Chapter

Aspects of Revelation (I)

Samuel Fleischacker

in Divine Teaching and the Way of the World

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199217366
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728495 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199217366.003.0019
Aspects of Revelation (I)

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Revelation is frequently identified with moral teaching: both believers and unbelievers often assume that it purports to offer a set of moral principles one could not have found otherwise. This chapter argues, on the contrary, that revelations illuminate the place of morality while presupposing that their adherents already know what they need to know about the content of morality. Revelations re-frame morality, give their adherents insights into sources of moral evil and ways to overcome that evil, but do not—cannot—themselves first teach morality to their adherents. Indeed, the fact that revelations are written in particular historical circumstances, but are supposed to hold true for all human beings in all ages, leads them at least apparently to have certain moral failings (historical “pockmarks,” they are called here), which later traditions of interpretation must overcome.

Keywords: morality; history; pockmarks; interpretation; Heidegger

Chapter.  7413 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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