• The Quest for Rational Agreement: a Critical Assessment of Alasdair MacIntyre's Attempt to Overcome Relativism

      Chaplin, Jonathan; Gassanov, Samir; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2003-02)
    • Re-Rooting the Gospel in the Philippines: Roman Catholic and Evangelical Approaches to Contextualization

      Vandervelde, George; Gener, Timoteo D.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1998-11)
    • Reading The Brothers Karamazov in Burundi

      Ansell, Nicholas John; Atfield, Tom; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2005-10)
      In 1999, aged eighteen, I read 'The Brothers Karamazov' by Dostoevsky. I read this novel in Burundi, where I witnessed the suffering of others. The country's basic problem was civil war, which is best described in this terse note: "Rwanda, the sequel. Same story, different location. Nobody cares." The well-publicised problems in Rwanda in 1994 didn't end, they went next-door. The only thing separating the problems of those two countries was the most heavily landmined stretch of road on the planet. It was on this road, which was littered with the remains of vehicles and people, that I experienced the immediacy of 'the problem of evil'.I had hoped that the book I held in my hands on those lifetime-long hours on the road would resonate with my experience. Ivan Karamazov's accusation of the God who creates a world of atrocities seemed fuelled by an unflinching look at senseless, disteleological suffering. I had hoped that Ivan, with his face turned against God, could countenance the horror I saw. Karamazov's stance has been seen as the antithesis of theodicy, which is the attempt to reconcile faith in God with the existence of evil. This antithesis seems to overcome the distance between the experience of real suffering and the account of that suffering given by academic theodicy. Ultimately, however, that distance remains. Dostoevsky's protagonist in his railing against God connects no more with the victims in this world than a writer of theodicy does with her defence of God.
    • Reflections On the Nature and Method of Theology at the University of Leyden Before the Synod of Dordt

      Olthuis, James H.; Sinnema, Donald; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1975)
    • Religion and Democracy: an Institutional Response to Robert Audi

      Chaplin, Jonathan; Dam, Ken; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2006)
      This thesis will enter into the discussion about the relationship between religion and politics to examine the proposals made by Robert Audi attempting to resolve perceived incompatible and incongruous tensions arising from politically active religion. Utilizing the work of Paul Weithman, Christopher Eberle, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Jeffrey Stout, and others, this essay examines Audi's epistemological and empirical arguments for justifying restraints upon religiously-based political advocacy. Contesting the viability of Audi's notion of a "secular reason," and his generalization that religiously-based political advocacy threatens the health and strength of a free and democratic society, I conclude that the types of restraints being put forward by Audi will likely hinder rather than help bring about more healthy and just societies. Nonetheless, Audi has helped identify a key lacuna within the arguments of those advocating the legitimacy of religiously-based and religiously motivated political advocacy and action. As such, this essay aims to provide a 'complementary' approach - one which works to clarify and situate concerns expressed by Audi regarding unrestrained religiously-based political advocacy and those of his critics desiring a more religiously-inclusive public political sphere.Ascribing to the political community the task of discerning the common good or some variant thereof (Audi speaks briefly of "political justice"; this essay proposes "public justice") is widespread within the academic literature. Few theorists, however, have allowed substantive reflection on what the political common good entails to significantly shape their considerations of and proposals regarding democratic legitimacy, appropriate restraints and guidelines for public-political dialogue, and ideals of citizenship. To that end, the thrust of the complementary approach will involve grounding and framing a religiously inclusive conception of the public-political sphere within what is being called the "institutional imperative" of the political community to pursue "public justice." Part and parcel of this institutional grounding involves re-examining concerns for civic respect, restraint, and dialogue in light of the guiding institutional norm of "public justice."
    • Renegotiating Body Boundaries at the Dawn of a New Millenium

      Olthuis, James H.; Kerkham, Ruth H.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1998-08)
    • Rhetoric More Geometrico in Proclus' Elements of Theology and Boethius' De Hebdomadibus

      Sweetman, Robert; Bovell, Carlos R.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2007-11)
      My thesis inquires into the reasons behind Proclus' and Boethius' adaptation of discussion more geometrico in their metaphysical works, Elements of Theology and De Hebdomadibus, respectively. My argument is that each philosopher is engaged in a spiritual exercise to the effect that each sought, in his own way, to predispose readers to the anagogical acceptance of profound matters of faith.
    • Rosa Luxemburg: First Socialist Feminist

      Zuidervaart, Lambert; Jung, Kristina E.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2006-10)
      Traditionally, Rosa Luxemburg has not been understood as a feminist. In the beginnings of her socio-political career she did not align herself with feminism. However, as time progressed, Luxemburg became increasingly weary of male-chauvinistic ideals including Revisionism, opportunism, centralization, militarism, and war. Luxemburg's socio-political theories and her relationships with the women's movement led her to label herself as feminist. This thesis outlines and examines the claim that Luxemburg can be described and labeled a feminist.
    • The Seduction of Jean Baudrillard: a Philosophical Critique of Fatal Theory

      Seerveld, Calvin; Ferdinand, Paul K.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1991-08)
    • A 'Sex'tet on Love: New Visions for Female Subjectivity and Mutuality

      Olthuis, James H.; Neufeld, Jennifer; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2006-05)
      A love ethic is the ground of agency and subjectivity for both men and women, and mutuality is the heart of love. Many feminist scholars are working to articulate and understand love by examining women's identity and language. In this thesis, I explore a language used for love and desire through theoretical examination and poetic expression. Using a dialectical relationship between the text and the reader, this project demonstrates that mutual love depends on access to language that can express love and sexuality. Three central texts are used: 'All About Love: New Visions' by bell hooks, 'I Love to You: Sketch of a Possible Felicity in History' by Luce Irigaray and 'Love Lyrics from the Bible: The Song of Songs, a New Translation' by Marcia Falk. In six sections of theoretic analysis and poetry, I show that female subjectivity and agency are conditions for mutuality in both love and sexuality.
    • Sexually Transforming Salvation: a Reading of Luce Irigaray's Insistence on Sexual Difference

      Olthuis, James H.; VanderBerg, Natasja; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2005-12)
      This thesis suggests that Luce Irigaray's recent focus on spirituality in 'Luce Irigaray: key writings' makes explicit themes already suggested by her career-long insistence on the importance of sexual difference. It traces Irigaray's imagination of a dynamic, life-giving duality of sexual difference, suggesting that Irigaray's sexual difference displaces western philosophy's division between the natural and the spiritual; the earth and the sky; and mortals and the divine. In Irigaray's philosophy, cultivating sexual difference between men and women is the key to relinking the natural and the spiritual. This thesis calls this re-linking a religious task.Within this broad project, emphasis is placed on Irigaray's insistence that in order for sexual difference to be our redemption, women need to attend to creating a spiritual world appropriate to our own natural world. Indispensable to this project is the cultivation of a genealogy of mother-daughter relationships. This thesis explores this theme in Irigaray by discussing Drucilla Cornell's book, 'Legacies of dignity: between women and generations', as an Irigarayan genealogical exercise.This thesis also explores Irigaray's demand that western culture rethink its understanding of God. She suggests that we cultivate a sense of the divine as 'sensibly transcendent.' In order to highlight the distinction between Irigaray's divine and a monotheistic, transcendent God, this thesis turns to Patricia Huntington's article 'Contra Irigaray: the couple is not the middle term of the ethical whole.'The concluding chapter explores Irigaray's reworked notions of incarnation and salvation.Throughout these explorations, this thesis holds that Irigaray's re-integration of the natural and the spiritual will promote more ethical living -- with others, our selves, the earth and the divine.
    • 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.
    • Teleology in the Thought of William of Ockham

      Sweetman, Robert; Zylstra, Stephen John; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2007-07)
      This thesis offers an account of William of Ockham's understanding of teleology in order to question the standard modernist history of the concept. Ockham does not rely on the Aristotelian analogy between art and nature to establish that all natural things seek an end. Nor does he simply relativize the analogy by considering all creatures as having their ends fixed by God. Instead, Ockham draws a sharp distinction between voluntary and natural agency, which results in two very different uses of final causality. On the one hand, the way in which final causes operate in voluntary agents cannot compromise their freedom. On the other hand, the way they operate in natural agents cannot explain their necessity. Ockham negotiates the radical difference between the causality of voluntary and natural agents by positing a new analogy altogether, comparing it to the difference between will and intellect.
    • Theologizing in Vain: a Dialogue with Ellul Between Truth and Reality

      Ansell, Nicholas John; Jesse, Daniel E.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2008-05)
      In this study, I propose through the thought of Jacques Ellul that humanity has perverted the original creation. In doing so, we have constructed what I will call a Counter-Creation; a second creation. In this counter-creation, mankind has replaced the creativity and the fluidity of the original. Along with this I argue in the second chapter that we have socially constructed new gods, which I will call sacred myths. These sacred myths are unquestionable, and hold power over against humanity. In the third chapter, I depart from Ellul, and go beyond his reflections on the vanity of life, on the vanity of socially constructing the world around us. Through the story of Cain and Abel, I propose that in Qoheleth there are two types of vanities in play: One that is unrighteous and one that is righteous. In doing so, I hope to help people recognize their finitude, while not being paralyzed or being tempted to plunge into chaos due to the meaninglessness of life.
    • Towards an Integral Anthropology: An Examination of Donald Evans' Philosophy of Religion

      Olthuis, James H.; Wilson, Gordon P.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1985-08)
    • Tradition, Innovation, Wholeness, and the Future in the Art of Paul Klee

      Seerveld, Calvin; Bush, Andrea L.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1993)
    • The Triunity of Life: On the Unity of the Vollenhoven Project

      Sweetman, Robert; Kamphof, Eric J.; Institute for Christian Studies (Eric Kamphof, 2004)
    • Truth in Art: a Dialogue With Gadamer

      Dengerink-Chaplin, Adrienne; Dziedzic, Allyson Ann; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2006-03)
      "One of the most contentious issues in aesthetics is whether or not there can be truth in art. This is so because the question of the possibility of truth in art implicitly assumes two other fundamental questions: the nature of truth and the nature of human understanding. In his treatment of truth in art, Gadamer comes down roundly on the side of the possiblity of truth in art. In this thesis, I show how Gadamer's approval of truth in art hinges on his notion of hermeneutics and his belief in art's transformative power, and propose that his account of truth in art is still a viable and creative approach to the question today. After taking a look at the Kantian, Heideggerian, and Aristotelian background with which Gadamer is operating in his treatment of truth and art, I trace where this led Gadamer, specifically in the sense of his move to have aesthetics so closely connected to hermeneutics. Through interaction with work by Mary Devereaux, I highlight some concerns over Gadamer's use of tradition and of order as a fundamental feature of the artwork, and give an account of how those concerns may be addressed."
    • Weil, Truth and Life: Simone Weil and Ancient Pedagogy As a Way of Life

      Sweetman, Robert; Mols, Yvana; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2007-07)
      Contemporary philosophers, wary of the vaulted metaphysical systems proposed by Enlightenment thinkers, have explored alternative avenues of doing philosophy. Unfortunately, these "new" philosophical systems often neglect their roots in ancient philosophical practice. The purpose of this thesis is to textually ascertain the ancient concept of philosophy as a way of life in the contemporary philosophical work of Simone Weil. This connection is demonstrated in two distinct yet related ways. The practical pedagogy demonstrated through biographical work and student lecture notes provide a distinct vision of her life's bent toward practical philosophy. In addition, her Notebooks, read in light of Pierre Hadot's interpretation of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, demonstrate the pervasiveness of this way of life in her personal textual engagement. In Weil, therefore, we find an important contemporary instance of continuing and reinterpreting the ancient philosophical practice where she finds her philosophical origin.