• Decomposing Modernity: Images of Human Existence in the Writings of Ernest Becker

      Olthuis, James H.; Martin, Stephen William; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1992-12)
    • An Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Seminars 1 and 2

      Olthuis, James H.; Martin, Noah; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2008-01)
      My thesis is an introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis--and assumes all of the connotations of the word "introduction". I have tried to make it as clear and simple as possible, constantly reiterating each point in hopes that the reader will find some sort of conceptual handle in which to gain access to Lacan's world. This thesis begins with an attempt to situate the Lacanian project in its historical and theoretical context. I proffer the contributing factors that led Lacan to initiate his Seminar followed by the theoretical tasks he wished to accomplish therein. I then transition into a discussion dealing with the underlying mechanisms of language that form Jacques Lacan's specific strand of psychoanalysis.With Lacan's understanding of the functioning of the signifier in place I shift into a topological discussion of the individual symbolic concepts crucial to an understanding of the nature of Lacanian psychoanalysis. Throughout this discussion I endeavor to show how the concepts interrelate and influence the formation of all the parts of the nascent amorphous theoretical whole; all the while drawing on examples from popular culture in order to illustrate these concepts to the non-specialized reader.In the third and final section of the thesis I discuss how these concepts are manifest in the psychoanalytic practice--the actually existing analytic session. I venture a guess at how these concepts effect the work of the analyst and the analysand in order to suggest an explanation of what the terminus of analysis looks like.
    • Hannah Arendt and the Disappearance of the Political in the Modern Age

      Zylstra, Bernard; Koyzis, David Theodore; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1982-01)
    • At What Price? The Fruits of Truth as Agreeable Leading

      Hart, Hendrik; Klemp, Mathew E.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1996-08)
    • 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)
    • The Nature of Critical Theory and Its Fate: Adorno vs. Habermas, Ltd.

      Zuidervaart, Lambert; Klaassen, Matthew J.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2005-10)
      Jurgen Habermas argues for a paradigm change in critical theory from Theodor W. Adorno's philosophy of consciousness to his own linguistically-turned theory. Habermas claims that Adorno's conception of reason sets up an antagonistic relationship between subject and object that can only be overcome by a non-rational mimesis with nature. This thesis defends Adorno against Habermas, and argues that the linguistic turn is a mistake. Chapter 1 outlines Habermas's critique, and corrects some of his specific misunderstandings of Adorno. Chapter 2 offers a positive defense of Adorno. By means of an expanded notion of nature, Adorno shows how the relation between subject and object need not be the antagonistic one characteristic of so much of modern philosophy. Chapter 3 argues that it is not Adorno's dialectical thought, but Habermas's linguistically-turned critical theory that suffers from an inability properly to articulate the relation between subject and object.
    • The Triunity of Life: On the Unity of the Vollenhoven Project

      Sweetman, Robert; Kamphof, Eric J.; Institute for Christian Studies (Eric Kamphof, 2004)
    • A Critical Assessment of Will Kymlicka's Theory of Minority Rights: Dilemmas of Liberal Multiculturalism

      Chaplin, Jonathan; Hys, Dmytro; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2004)
      This thesis argues that to take into account only liberal interpretations of multicultural dilemmas would be insufficient and unrealistic in assessing the claims of justice for ethnocultural diversity. The current liberal approach as offered by Will Kymlicka is a good beginning for ethnic conflict management. However, his theory is marked by a number of limitations due to the fact that he operates only with the principles and norms of liberal institutions. In modern multiculturally constituted democracies, the presence and constant increase of cultural diversity challenges the self-understanding of liberal democracy. Kymlicka's liberal theory of multiculturalism has been challenged by several political theorists, who emphasize the insufficiency of his approach due its reliance on liberal readings of ethnic conflicts. [from Introduction, p. [1]]
    • Imaginatively Constructing God Concepts: Exploring the Role of Imagination in Gordon Kaufman's Theological Method

      Olthuis, James H.; Hildebrand, Glenda; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1988-08)
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Hart and Plantinga On Our Knowledge of God

      Hart, Hendrik; Huisman, John; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2004-08)
      The thesis explores and takes a stand with respect to the differences between the religious epistemologies of Alvin Plantinga and Hendrik Hart. For Plantinga, direct rational knowledge of God "in Himself" is possible because it is grounded in the experience of our rational faculties. For Hart, direct rational knowledge of God's nature is impossible because God transcends the created order and, therefore, the limits of rational understanding. Our knowledge of God, as a consequence, can only be faith knowledge that is decidedly indirect and metaphoric in nature. Plantinga believes that such views are Kantian in inspiration and that they turn our knowledge of God into nothing more than rationally incoherent "disguised nonsense." The thesis shows that Plantinga's own philosophical theology fails to meet the rational standards he sets for religious knowledge, his critique of Kantian religious epistemologies fails to apply to Hart's position, and that he himself allows for indirect knowledge of God in certain instances. The thesis concludes by noting if our knowledge of God can be indirect in some instances without also being rationally incoherent disguised nonsense, then perhaps Hart is not wrong for regarding it to be indirect in all instances.
    • 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.
    • Freedom Un/Limited: a Sympathetic Critique of Libertarian Freedom in the Open Theism of Clark Pinnock

      Ansell, Nicholas John; Hocking, Jeffrey S.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2008-12)
      This thesis lays out a critique of the libertarian autonomy in Clark Pinnock's open theism. It contends that libertarian autonomy (defined as the choice to do otherwise) is unable to do justice to the fuller sense of freedom described in the biblical narrative. Offering more than a critique, this thesis suggests an alternative definition of freedom by qualifying Karl Barth's "freedom as obedience" as 'freedom as faithfulness'. As such, true freedom is contrasted to the autonomy that leads to evil, and is found beyond the false dichotomy of compatibilism and incompatibilism, heteronomy and autonomy. Freedom is recognized as a good gift of creation and a promise of the eschaton, and thus must be distanced from the shadow of evil which haunts human autonomy. Ultimately, this thesis contends that faithfulness to God as the source and call of life leads to responsive, transformative, and eschatologically unlimited freedom.
    • The Miracle of Nature and the Nature of Miracle: a Study of the Thought of J. H. Diemer Concerning Creation and Miracle

      Olthuis, James H.; Gousmett, Chris; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1985-04)
    • A Critical Exploration of Jane Austen's Persuasion

      Hart, Hendrik; Goon, Carroll Ann; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1983)
    • 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)
    • Kingfishers and Criteria: a New Approach to the Engineering Design Method

      Zuidervaart, Lambert; Groenewold, Benjamin; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2006-10)
      The usual method of designing a solution for a problem, which applies general principles to a specific situation, tends to overlook the unique features of each situation and so must inevitably efface the very structure of what it means to create, and so resolve diversity and plurality into blank uniformity. This is grave problem which a renewed attention to the individuality of things might help resolve. This project considers the criticism of several thinkers (including John Duns Scotus, Martin Heidegger, Theodor Adorno, and J.C. Jones) on the schema of general and particular that undergirds the engineering design method. It then seeks to open up further the suggestions these thinkers have for a new approach to the design method not enthralled to an understanding of general categories, but grounded in a contemplation of the individual.
    • 'All That Man Has and Is' : a Study of the Historiographical Concerns Guiding the Work of Christopher Dawson

      Sweetman, Robert; Greydanus, Richard; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2008-08)
      This thesis presents the historiographical concerns guiding the work of Christopher Dawson, Roman Catholic historian, sociologist, and philosopher of history, in terms of a science of human being, which is adequate to conceptualize human activity in time. The author attempts to show that Dawson rejects the modern, empirical paradigm, both for its secularity and its reconceptualization of the relation between time and human activity in history. A conceptual continuity Dawson sees between the work of modern empirical thinkers G.W.F. Hegel, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Nietzsche, and its consequences for understanding history as a teleological process, or the progress of Reason, consciousness, Spirit, self-overcoming, etc., is treated in the first section. Dawson's account of the natural conditions of human knowing, and its relation to his theory of culture, is treated in the second section. And in the final section, Dawson's understanding of the relation between religion and culture is presented.
    • 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.