By Jacob J. Schacter

Author note: Jacob J. Schacter (Editor)

The factor of Judaism's courting to secular studying and knowledge is likely one of the most elementary matters of Jewish highbrow background. The authors accrued during this examine talk about either side of the difficulty and jointly supply an eloquent and convincing case for the perpetuation of Judaism's discussion with the 'outside' global.

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It quickly became apparent that this was a type of task that has not really been done, and I was encouraged by the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing project of critical reflection on this great theologian by being the first to try my hand at so daunting a task. I did not, however, fully realize even at the time that I completed the dissertation the extent to which this study is meant to enable the later study. Only subsequent reflection has shown how much that is true and has allowed me to more properly cordon off issues that do not properly belong to this study.

Theology is that discourse which is primarily concerned with the proper conceptualization and articulation, as far as it is humanly possible, of truths about God. Theology is not anthropology, or physics, or literature, yet it will deliver much that is true which will drastically alter the reflections of all other disciplines. Thus, if we know that God is of such a sort (Creator, good, worthy of worship), we will also know a lot about humanity. Or better, we will have to exclude certain theses about humanity (our self-sufficiency, for instance).

Thus, whether positively or negatively, Hegel looms large. [29] The complicated relationship appears very clearly in Theologic III, when von Balthasar, on his way to constructing what he calls a “Spirit-Christology,” turns to Hegel as one who has done most in this area. Hegel receives a generally sympathetic treatment before being booted out of the realm of true Spirit-Christology. It is particularly Hegel’s understanding of the Spirit that disqualifies him (namely, that it is not personal); but this is really a Christological disagreement at heart: such a person-less Spirit within a philosophical system controlled by the concept of Geist shows that personhood, and particularly personhood in Christ, has not yet become the ground of philosophical reflection.

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