Between Heaven and Earth

Bruce V. Foltz

in The Noetics of Nature

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print October 2013 | ISBN: 9780823254644
Published online May 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780823261024 | DOI:

Series: Groundworks (FUP)

Between Heaven and Earth

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Heidegger argues that modern technology’s view of nature as stock or inventory is the outcome of Western metaphysics as “onto-theology,” in which Christianity played a central role. Lynn White offers a historiographical variant, claiming that our environmental problems, of which global climate change is perhaps most manifest today, derive from the putative Christian view of nature as subject to human dominance. This chapter argues that ancient Christianity, especially as articulated in the Orthodox East, has a far different view, from which we could learn today. Here nature is seen as manifesting divine energies (energeiai) that the purified mind (nous) can contemplate noetically, even though the divine essence (ousia) remains transcendent and mysterious. Western Christianity ignores this distinction. Beginning with Augustine (and culminating in Ockham) God becomes increasingly remote from creation. The analogia entis is a last, unsuccessful attempt to retrieve the divine immanence that has endured in the Christian East.

Keywords: Martin Heidegger; Onto-theology; Lynn White Jr; Global Warming; Global Climate Change; Divine Energies; Energeia; Analogia Entis; Augustine; William of Ockham

Chapter.  4717 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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