Chapter

Putting it into Words

George Pattison

in Thinking about God in an Age of Technology

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780199279777
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603464 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199279772.003.0006
 Putting it into Words

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Thinking about God involves more than the wordless longing of the heart. Thinking must also be put into language, even if the role of silence is admitted. Apophatic and mystical traditions have always acknowledged the limitations of language. An approach is developed that looks to kinds of language other than the propositions that have been the stuff of traditional philosophical theology. These might include a shift to the subjunctive mood and the acceptance of parataxis, as in Heidegger’s exposition of Parmenides. Examples are taken from George Herbert and Pascal; John Milbank’s account of pleonasm as the modality of religious language, and of the need to construe language as dialogical are discussed.

Keywords: apophatic; silence; Heidegger; Parmenides; Herbert; Pascal; Milbank; Pleonasm; dialogue

Chapter.  11898 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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