• Before or Outside the Text: A Comparative Study on Jean-Luc Marion and Paul Ricoeur's Idea of Revelation

      Kuipers, Ronald A.; Tang, Joseph; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2010-05)
      This essay explores the idea of revelation of two French philosophers, Jean-Luc Marion and Paul Ricoeur. Ricoeur and Marion are very important figures not only in contemporary continental philosophy, but also in their contributions to the discussion of religion, or what some may call the "theological turn." Marion contends that revelation is the saturated phenomenon ' par excellence', free from the constraints of reason and metaphysics. For Ricoeur, a longer route in approaching the phenomenology of religion through the detour of hermeneutics is much needed. Such a longer path serves to concretely ground the discussion of revelation in a historic, linguistic, and textual milieu. Therefore, while Marion thinks that revelation is immediate and unconditionally given, Ricoeur maintains that revelation as manifestation names the possibility for biblical Scripture, and through hermeneutic interpretation, is able to open a world into which one might project one's ownmost possibilities.
    • A Certainty of Death: Appreciating Human Animalhood

      Kuipers, Ronald A.; Hubble, Paul; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2009-04)
      Engaging the work of Barry Allen and Karl Marx, a range of topics come together in an analysis of civilization as the buildup and breakdown of tissues. Life and death are both moments and directions. Death, as a moment in life, is certain. Human life, lived against death at its present scale, doesn't succeed in controlling or securing what it seeks to control and secure. Concerns about human knowledge and economies-civilizational tissue and its behaviours-are contrasted with familiarity and wealth as tissue, which are valuable goods against which their bastardizations can show up. We cannot place blind faith in technology, since it often fails the test of good tissue-life and the means to continued life. We cannot place blind faith in market freedom, as long as economic agents are programmed as they are, and as long as wealth is not understood as good, living tissue.
    • Democracy Without Secularism: A Pragmatist Critique of Habermas

      Kuipers, Ronald A.; van der Merwe, W. L.; Mullin, Daniel Michael; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2012-12)
      Jürgen Habermas has argued that democracy depends on all citizens recognizing the legitimacy of the law. Therefore, political argument must appeal only to public reason which is secular. Religious citizens must translate their reasons into a secular language accessible to the public. This dissertation argues that religious arguments are justified in public discourse if they refrain from dogmatism. Moreover, there is nothing inherent in secular reasons that make them publicly accessible or likely to generate consensus among members of a pluralistic society. If we treat religious arguments as simply arguments with controversial premises, it becomes less clear why religious arguments are singled out as particularly problematic for liberal democracies, since many secular political arguments share this feature. Granted, religious reasons are unlikely to secure consensus, but this does not count against them if consensus is not the goal of democratic discourse. This dissertation makes the case that Habermas, and other liberal theorists such as Rawls, have placed too much emphasis on consensus as the goal of democracy. Moreover, what they refer to is not practical consensus achieved pragmatically through compromise, but an idealized consensus that is the achievement of secular reason. This is problematic for two main reasons: there is no normative reason to think we ought to attain such consensus and such consensus is unlikely to be achieved in practice. Thus, there seems to be no normative force to the claim that religious citizens out to translate their arguments in secular language.
    • A Dream That Begins in Responsibility: Philosophy, Rorty, and the Other

      Hart, Hendrik; Kuipers, Ronald A.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1994-11)
    • Faith as the Art of the Possible: Invigorating Religious Tradition in an Amnesiac Society

      Kuipers, Ronald A.; Institute for Christian Studies (The Other Journal, 2008-03-31)
    • From Paradox to Possibility: Gauging the Unique Contribution of Christian Voices to the Public Discussion of Ecological Crisis

      Kuipers, Ronald A.; Gerritsma, Sara L.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2008-12)
      This thesis argues that western societies are caught in a paradox: Individuals and groups are increasingly concerned about the harmful effects humanity is having on the earth's health, while at the same time environmental degradation increases and societies are doing relatively little to stop environmentally harmful actions. Chapter 1 explores the deeper roots of our current situation, arguing that westerners are caught up in a harmful ideology that prioritizes economic growth and material prosperity at all costs, which means that steps to protect the environment will not be undertaken if these steps will have negative (or even neutral) impacts on economic growth. Suggesting a theocentric (God-centered) alternative to this harmful ideology, chapter 2 defends the expression of openly religious perspectives in the public political discussions of environmental crises but also emphasizes the responsibility of all participants to dialogue in a respectful, civil manner and to be open to truths coming from marginal perspectives. Finally, chapter 3 gives a number of concrete suggestions for public policies that can address the roots of ecological degradation and engage citizens who are ready and willing to take steps to reduce their environmental footprint.
    • Perspective vol. 35 no. 5 (Dec 2001)

      Institute for Christian Studies (2001-12-31)
    • Perspective vol. 42 no. 2 (Sep 2008)

      Institute for Christian Studies (2008-09-30)
    • Perspective vol. 44 no. 1 (Feb 2010)

      Institute for Christian Studies (2010-02-28)
    • Perspective vol. 47 no. 1 (Mar 2013)

      Kuipers, Ronald A.; Carr, Allyson; Zuidervaart, Lambert; Van’t Land, Drew; Wolthuis, Dawn; Wolthuis, Tom (2013-03-31)
    • Perspective vol. 47 no. 2 (Oct 2013)

      Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2013-10-22)
    • Pumping Intuitions and Making Practice Different: Richard Rorty's 'Intuitive' Account of Reference and Truth

      Kuipers, Ronald A.; Euverman, Ryan M.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2010)
      This thesis explores and makes explicit various aspects of Richard Rorty's rhetorical program for shifting our traditional conceptions of reference and truth. Rorty wants to persuade us to adopt verification (coping) semantics in place of correspondence seeking semantics. I argue against his intuition pumps by considering Keith Donnellan's remarks on description and reference and argue for a view of correspondence truth that is based on what the object, whatever the object, permits us to say. Making this point allows us to see a purposeful conflation in Rorty's work. If beliefs are true because they are justified, Rorty's fallibilistic remark that any of our beliefs may not be true (in the cautionary sense) would follow. But truths may pay because they follow (as "attributive representations") from 'unblocked' objects, or they may just pay. Thus, I suggest that Donnellan preserves William James' remark that we desire correspondence truth, an everyday explanatory notion.
    • The Risk of Hospitality: Selfhood, Otherness, and Ethics in Deconstruction and Phenomenological Hermeneutics

      Kuipers, Ronald A.; Bonney, Nathan D.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2012-05)
      This thesis argues that attitudes of inhospitality operate subtly in our politics, in our religious beliefs and practices, and in our understandings of who we are. Consequently, the question of hospitality - what it is and what it signifies - is an urgent one for us to address. In this thesis I examine and outline the hermeneutics-deconstruction debate over the experience of otherness and what it means to respond to others ethically (or hospitably). In the first two chapters I defend the importance of properly understanding the ethics of both Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida. Against the concerns of Paul Ricoeur and Richard Kearney, I maintain that a Levinasian and Derridean insistence on answering to the call of an unconditional hospitality is the best way forward in our attempt to respond with justice to strangers. Next, by engaging Martin Hagglund's objection to an ethical reading of Derridean unconditionality, I give attention to the theme of negotiation in Derrida's later work, a theme which I take to be the central feature of his account of hospitality. I conclude by proposing five theses concerning hospitality. These theses provide an overview of the main themes discussed in this thesis and once more address the various tensions internal to the concept of hospitality.
    • Stout's Democracy without Secularism: But is it a Tradition?

      Kuipers, Ronald A.; Institute for Christian Studies (Editions Rodopi, 2006-06)
      This article critiques Jeffrey Stout's suggestion in Democracy and Tradition that the practice of critical democratic questioning itself forms part of a historically unique secular tradition. While the practice of democratic questioning makes a valuable contribution to the project of fostering an "enlarged mentality" among the adherents of any particular tradition, Stout's contention that this practice itself points to the existence of a substantive tradition, one that stands apart from and is not reliant upon the moral sources of the traditions it engages, remains problematic.
    • Taking Hannah Arendt to Church: Toward a Renewed Appreciation of the Mutuality Between Moral Philosophy and Religious Life and Culture

      Kuipers, Ronald A.; Allers, Christopher R.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2007-09)
      In this study, I consider the possibility of extending Hannah Arendt's critiques of conformity and behavior and her insights on thinking and moral philosophy to Christian life and culture. With Arendt, I argue that the possibility to refrain from perpetrating great evils made possible by uncritical conformity resides within the activity of thinking itself, as she defines it. Furthermore, I argue, again with Arendt, that refraining from such evils is a moral decision which finds its ultimate standard in the self. Although she culls many helpful insights from religious traditions, Arendt refrains from extending her moral philosophy into any realm in which religion is considered to be the valid standard of what constitutes moral behavior. Instead, I argue, against Arendt, that Christians can, and perhaps should, develop a more mature understanding of religion and a more "covenantal" understanding of their relationship with the divine.
    • Working Through the Trauma of Evil: An Interview With Richard Kearney

      Kuipers, Ronald A.; Institute for Christian Studies (Cascade Books, 2012)
      In this interview, the Irish philosopher Richard Kearney explores the human experience of evil and the role of the human imagination in responding to this evil. Kearney focuses on the healing steps people may take in order to "work through" traumatic experience, steps that include remembering, narrative retelling, and mourning. Such working through, he says, can turn melancholia to mourning, thus allowing those who have experienced suffering and loss to "give a future to their past" and, in so doing, to "go on."
    • Written Into the Land: Use, Identity and the Human Awakening to an Eloquent Creation

      Kuipers, Ronald A.; D'Angelo, Christopher J. M.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2009-02)
      This thesis argues that human land use is a decisive yet commonly overlooked indication of the sort of people we are. As such, to grasp that we live in a world in 'ecological crisis' requires grappling with the moral, spiritual and narrative underpinnings and effects of those twentieth century shifts in urban/suburban development and farming practices that have so dramatically altered the North American cultural and geographical landscape. In particular, this dilemma is approached from a biblically informed Christian perspective. Chapter 1 proposes that understanding and experiencing the world as Creation requires accounting for the embodied and wondrous character of existence. Chapter 2 examines aspects of the biblical narrative that provide resources for rethinking destructive land use patterns. In conversation with agrarians and new urbanists, Chapter 3 provides an agrarian ethic for urbanites; a vision rooted in agrarianism that acknowledges how deeply the fate and health of cities and farms are intertwined.