A Close Run In with Death

Francesca Aran Murphy

in God Is Not a Story

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780199219285
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780191711664 | DOI:
 A Close Run In with Death

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This chapter first reiterates the argument of Chapter III under the form that proving God's existence via the distinction of essence and existence is ultimately experiential, coming down to a psychological conviction that death, as endangering my existence, is poetically unjust. A better argument for God's existence would begin below the level of conceptual language, starting from animality and movement. It then describes Etienne Gilson's re-statement of Thomas' Five Ways (moves, causes, necessity/contingency, perfections, design), in order to give a satisfactory argument for God's existence, that is, Hans Urs von Balthasar's ‘four distinctions’. Based on the ‘Five Ways’ and building on their empirical character, the ‘four distinctions’ give an argument to God which is primarily objective and realistic, but which takes the subject and his experience into account, by beginning from the dialogue between mother and child which first ‘moves’ the child into reality.

Keywords: death; intuition; essence; Eucharist; animal; movement; cause; design; perfection; existence

Chapter.  29640 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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