Divine Discourse: Philosophical Reflections on the Claim by Nicholas Wolterstorff

By Nicholas Wolterstorff

The canonical texts and traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam declare that God speaks, yet philosophers frequently mistakenly deal with such speech as revelation. Wolterstorff argues that modern speech-action idea bargains a desirable method of the declare. He develops an leading edge idea of interpretation alongside the best way opposing the present near-consensus of Ricoeur and Derrida that there's whatever wrong-headed approximately examining a textual content to determine what its writer stated.

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To authorize a text is in effect to declare: let this text serve as medium of my discoursing. In several of the examples I cited, the authorizing act consisted of the discourser attaching her signature 42 Divine discourse to an inscription of the text. In the case of ghost-written manuscripts, the authorizing act presumably consists of some such thing as the author signing the letter of transmittal which accompanies the manuscript produced by the ghost writer. As we will see in a subsequent chapter, authorization, or something very much like it, underlies all speaking, all discoursing.

Charles Taylor, in his recent book, Sources of the Self, argues that our habit of thinking of human beings as having an inward self and an outward self, along with its corollary habit of thinking of that inward self and its "contents" as hidden from all but the person herself, is to be traced back to Augustine. It is, Taylor remarks, "hardly an exaggeration to say that it was Augustine who introduced the inwardness of radical reflexivity and bequeathed it to the Western tradition of thought"2 Perhaps Taylor is right about that.

Not all intended revelation is non-manifestational in character. A person might, for example, intentionally manifest her grief intentionally display it, or show it. What does this distinction between manifestational revelation and non-manifestational revelation come to then? " The prominence of the distinction in contemporary theological disputes makes the question worth trying to answer. The distinction would seem to be a difference in the means of revelation. To find out whether that appearance is veridical, we must ask, which difference?

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