• 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.
    • Why Should I Bleed? A Conversation With Louise Lander and Lara Owen About the Meaning(s) of Menstruation

      Walsh, Brian J.; Smith, Lisa J.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1995-11)
    • "The Woman Will Overcome the Warrior": a Dialogue with the Feminist Theology of Rosemary Radford Ruether

      Olthuis, James H.; Ansell, Nicholas John; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1990-08)
    • A World-View Analysis

      Hart, Hendrik; De Jong, Judith; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1978)
    • 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.
    • Yes and No: Carl F.H. Henry and the Question of Empirical Verification

      Olthuis, James H.; Pearcey, John Richard; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1987-08)