Desire, Faith, and the Darkness of God

Essays in Honor of Denys Turner

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Editor(s): 
Eric Bugyis and David Newheiser
  • Notre Dame, IN: 
    University of Notre Dame Press
    , November
     2015.
     480 pages.
     $45.00.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9780268022426.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Frank England forthcoming.

Description

In the face of religious and cultural diversity, some doubt whether Christian faith remains possible today. Critics claim that religion is irrational and violent, and the loudest defenders of Christianity are equally strident. In response, Desire, Faith, and the Darkness of God: Essays in Honor of Denys Turner explores the uncertainty essential to Christian commitment; it suggests that faith is moved by a desire for that which cannot be known.

This approach is inspired by the tradition of Christian apophatic theology, which argues that language cannot capture divine transcendence. From this perspective, contemporary debates over God’s existence represent a dead end: if God is not simply another object in the world, then faith begins not in abstract certainty but in a love that exceeds the limits of knowledge.

The essays engage classic Christian thought alongside literary and philosophical sources ranging from Pseudo-Dionysius and Dante to Karl Marx and Jacques Derrida. Building on the work of Denys Turner, they indicate that the boundary between atheism and Christian thought is productively blurry. Instead of settling the stale dispute over whether religion is rationally justified, their work suggests instead that Christian life is an ethical and political practice impassioned by a God who transcends understanding.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Douglas Finn is assistant professor of theology at Boston College.

Keywords: 

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