Wisdom of the Heart

Kim Paffenroth

in The Experience of God

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780823225187
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823237135 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

Wisdom of the Heart

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This concluding chapter links together Blaise Pascal's Pensées, conceived in the years before his death in 1662 and first edited as late as 1844, and Herman Melville's Moby-Dick (1851) by way of the theme of the “wisdom of the heart”. Our everyday experience is thoroughly mediated by the Bible. We refer ourselves and others to biblical characters, try to live up to them or react against them, while our deeds are oriented to scriptural injunctions, models, and even hermeneutical templates such as allegory and typology. Pascal's experience of God is firmly shaped by the scriptures, while the Bible is in turn marked by the ways in which he frames it. And we can read an entire theology condensed in the pages of Moby-Dick, one whose sense and function are quite different from the orthodoxy that animates Pascal.

Keywords: God; experience; Blaise Pascal; Pensées; Moby-Dick; Herman Melville; Bible; scriptures; wisdom; human nature

Chapter.  9127 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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