• Action, Love, and the World: An Inquiry Into the Political Relevance of Christian Charity (With Constant Reference to Hannah Arendt)

      Kuipers, Ronald A.; Tebbutt, Andrew; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2013-03-21)
      In The Human Condition, Hannah Arendt identifies the central principle that has defined Christian communities since their earliest appearance as “worldlessness.” On Arendt’s analysis, Christianity has always tended to found relations between people on charity, a virtue that, due to its affiliation with the anti-political experience of passionate love, is incapable of serving as the basis of any public realm or common political world. This thesis aims to reconcile the virtue of charity to Arendt’s political vision on the basis of a reconsideration of love’s “worldlessness.” In the first two chapters, I characterize Arendt as a political thinker and provide an account of her ideas of political action and the common world. In the third chapter, I place Arendt’s understanding of the world in dialogue with Jean-Luc Marion’s phenomenological account of charity, which dissociates charity from the idea of passion and presents it as an act of will through which one resolves to see past the simple objectivity of the world and to perceive the invisible “flesh” or personhood of others. Charity is “worldless”—and thus crucial to an Arendtian understanding of politics—in the sense that it looks beyond what the world automatically makes present in order to “see” the other person and to invite her voice into the common world of speech and action.
    • The Challenge of Love: Impossible Difference, Levinas and Irigaray

      Olthuis, James H.; Baker, Larry Joseph; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2004-08)
      Engaging the question of postmodern ethical intersubjectivity in the work of Emmanuel Levinas and Luce Irigaray I attempt to move beyond Levinas sacrificial view of intersubjectivity with Irigaray's critique of sexual difference. I argue that Levinas view of ethical 'subjectivity' is violently conditioned by a necessary narcissim located in Levinas's description of the feminine dwelling. Instead of narcissim I argue with Irigaray for a way of love that offers an ethical relationship bonded in mutuality. This way of love is rooted in an understanding of the primordial matter of life as good for intersubjective-relationships that do not depend upon narcissim for connection. Concluding this study I suggest that his kind of intersubjectivity can be rooted in a primordial way of life found in the rhythm of breath.
    • A Different Tenor: Songs of Love and Sorrow--Re-Engaging the Social Ethics of Music

      Smick, Rebekah; Zuidervaart, Lambert; Toronto School of Theology; Royal Conservatory of Music; Institute for Christian Studies (University of Toronto Press, 2011)
      The question of how music relates to our existence as ethical beings has not always elicited the same response. For much of the twentieth century, the relation between music and ethics was addressed from the angle of music's autonomy. Music was fenced off from society so that it might better fulfill its own internal demands. Thus, in answer to the question whether music has, or should have, an ethical dimension, the predominating philosophical answer of the twentieth century was solidly negative. The article that follows, a response to this negative point of view, reproduces a panel discussion that took place in April 2010 during a conference entitled "Songs of Love and Sorrow: Re-Engaging the Social Ethics of Music." Co-organized by the Institute for Christian Studies, the Toronto School of Theology, and the Royal Conservatory of Music, the conference attempted to bring to the musical arts a concern to re-evaluate the social significance of artistic experience and practice. Though not argued like an essay, the article highlights significant themes about the relationship of music to ethics, including the innately social character of music, its possible effect on our behaviour, the potential social content of sound itself, the positive social effect of music's ambiguity, the need to break down the barriers between music practitioners and interpreters, the role communities might play in sponsoring the work of musicians, and the possible compatibility between music's formal requirements and its potential for social engagement.
    • Love's Circumscriptions - the self in hide(ing) - : Surviving and Reviving the Truth

      Olthuis, James H.; Leaman, Michele; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2005-11)
      I trace Jacques Derrida's notions of self and truth in Circumfession. This text paints a gruesome self-portrait depicting the inescapable violence of subjectivity. The self is born in blood. Derrida courageously confesses to being a casualty of this lovelessness. Similarly, exploring the depth of patriarchy's inscriptions requires facing the painful truth of my bleeding self. Investigating these wounds seems to reopen them, making me complicit in my own oppression. Drawing from the rich narrative of Ingeborg Bachmann's novel Malina, I allow feminists such as Helene Cixous, Luce Irigaray, Drucilla Cornell and bell hooks to engage Derrida's notions of the wounded and wounding self. Beginning in this bloody place, they attempt to write a way-out of the disempowering systems of subjectivity to which the female self seems confined. They write in order that love will bleed some light on the struggle for empowered female subjectivity, re-writing the self as a space of love rather than violence.
    • Love, Understanding and the Mystical Knowledge of God

      Sweetman, Robert; Goering, Joseph; Guardiani, Francesco; Silano, Giulio; Institute for Christian Studies (LEGASNew York, 2002)
      I propose to explore the relationship between love, understanding and mysti­cal knowledge of God in Eckhart. It contrasts as it must to the "voluntarism" of the Bernadine tradition. So how does Eckhart see God in mystical union with, as he calls it, "the eyes of love"?
    • On Being a Reformational Philosopher: Spirituality, Religion, and the Call to Love

      Zuidervaart, Lambert; Institute for Christian Studies (2014-11-14)
    • Relationship Issues: Forgiveness and Promising According to Hannah Arendt and Jacques Derrida

      Hoff, Shannon; Ratzlaff, Caleb; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2015-08-31)
      In retrospect this learning experience lead me to two conclusions. First, the way we hold someone responsible must reflect the openness and vulnerability of the actor and those to whom she relates. What we do when we hold someone responsible, administering a sentence, for example, must respond to the unending process of interaction and transformation that defines the human person in intersubjective life. This essentially describes the meaning and limits of holding someone responsible. The second lesson was more directly addressed in this thesis. It concerns the idea that the uncertain and vulnerable characteristics of the self that accompany our transformability, are not simply detriments to responsibility. Rather, the uncertain nature of a self as it exists in relationship with others is a condition of meaningfulness, responsibility, and love. As a condition of responsibility, our finitude calls for the sustaining ethical practices of promises and forgiveness. Uncertainty, even in its greatest manifestations as birth and death, is something we can embrace.
    • Revealing/Reveiling the Sacred: the Atheology of Mark C. Taylor

      Olthuis, James H.; Robinson, Julie; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1998)
    • Telltale Statues in Watteau's Painting

      Seerveld, Calvin; Institute for Christian Studies (Johns Hopkins University Press for the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 1980)