Chapter

Hermeneutics and the God of Promise

Merold Westphal

in After God

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9780823225316
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236893 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823225316.003.0005

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

Hermeneutics and the God of Promise

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This chapter proposes a new hermeneutics of religion which explores and evaluates two rival ways of interpreting the divine — the eschatological and the ontotheological. This new hermeneutics revolves around the distinction between the eschatological and the ontotheological. With Kearney, it seeks to affirm the importance of the eschatological. It suggests that God talk should be at once future-oriented and metafuture-oriented. Such eschatologically oriented God talk should inform people about epistemology, ethics, spirituality, and metaphysics. The discussion then turns to Kearney's central thesis about actuality and possibility: “God neither is nor is not but may be”. It argues that “is” is associated with ontotheology; the “is not”, with negative theology rather than with atheism; and the “may be”, with the eschatological God talk he wishes to defend.

Keywords: hermeneutics; eschatology; ontotheology; God; actuality; possibility; Richard Kearney

Chapter.  7165 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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