• Narrative companionship: philosophy, gender stereotypes, and young adult literature

      Zuidervaart, Lambert; Musschenga, A. W.; Van Dyk, Tricia Kay; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2016-03)
      This dissertation contends that North American culture is in the grip of a reductionism that neglects plurality while seeking after pseudo-universality and pseudoindividuality, exemplified by the apparently contradictory tendencies to take as normative what can be generalized and to deny universally applicable normativity. I pay special attention to gender stereotypes, in which the particular (individual) becomes irrelevant, ignored, or perceived as a threat unless it can be treated as part of the general (stereotype). I argue that philosophical fiction—and, in particular, young adult fiction— contributes to a principled plurality in both lived and academic philosophy. It does so through its imaginative power to enlarge perspectives, criticize from the margins, and galvanize readers to engage with injustice. I focus on young adult fiction because of its wide reach, relevance for ethical formation, and exceptional tendency to question stereotypical understandings of human existence. After explicating the distinction between lived and academic philosophy and situating my project in the larger conversation about fiction and philosophy, I argue for the ethical significance of philosophical interaction with story. In conversation with Martha C. Nussbaum and Hannah Arendt, I draw together three themes—the integrality of form and content, the ability of storytelling to act as critical thinking in context, and the key role of particularity in the context of plurality—in order to emphasize the need to approach fiction in its intrinsic plurality without losing the possibility of shared criteria. A causal model is insufficient in this regard. Drawing on Lambert Zuidervaart’s conception of imaginative disclosure, I show that art both suggests and requires interpretation and that fiction’s ethical contribution to philosophy needs to be understood as thoroughly hermeneutical. I settle on “narrative companionship,” a variation of Wayne C. Booth’s metaphor of stories as friends, as a helpful noncausal metaphor for interaction with fiction. Then I seek to demonstrate the fruitfulness of this metaphor, in contrast to academic philosophy’s traditional approaches to fiction as either a tool or an example, by commenting on several stories that have informed my own lived philosophy.
    • Natality From Chaos: Hannah Arendt and Democratic Education

      Zuidervaart, Lambert; Van Dyk, Tricia K.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2006-08)
      This thesis considers contemporary education from a philosophical angle via the work of Hannah Arendt in light of education's key place a the intersection of responsibility for the past, empowerment to effect change in the present, and hope for the future. Chapter 1 sets out an understanding of human community as a chaotic system in the technical sense via Arendt's concept of natality, applying this understanding to the project of education as a way of helping educators facilitate students' ability to contribute something new without controlling students' potentially unique contributions. Chapter 2 questions in more detail the applicability of some of Arendt's philosophical and political ideas to multicultural education, addressing also the need for setting goals for action without assuming a deterministic, mathematically linear process. Chapter 3 examines Arendt's firm distinction between education and politics in the context of globalization and the possibility of continual renewal and transformation of our world.
    • Natural Healing In Biblical Perspective: It's Contribution to Health Care

      Olthuis, James H.; Lysander, Nesamoni; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1989-09)
    • 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.
    • Navigating the Crisis of Movement: Rupture, Repetition, and New Life

      Kirby, Joseph Morrill; Institute for Christian Studies (The Other Journal, 2015-10-08)
    • Nemesis and Fulness: Reinhold Niebuhr's Vision of History, 1927-1934

      McIntire, Thomas; Moquist, Tod Nolan; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2001-01)
      There are many excellent studies of the life and thought of Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971), prominent Christian ethicist, social philosopher, and political activist of the American Century. Most studies focus on his mature works of mid-century, particularly his theological ethics. The following study treats his emergent theory of history between 1927-1934, especially the idea of progress and the narrative of modern capitalist society. During this formative period Niebuhr wrote three major books (Does Civilization Need Religion? [1927], Moral Man and Immoral Society [1932], and Reflections on the End of an Era [1934]) which reflect his intellectual passage from religious liberalism and the politics of persuasion to "Christian-Marxism" and the politics of power. The following thesis will trace the diverse historiographical influences found in these works, from the church-historical perspective of Ernst Troeltsch to the dialectical materialism of Karl Marx. It is common to say that Niebuhr was purely a theologian of history. But following Ricoeur and White, I describe the main ingredients of a philosophy of history that are present in these writings: myth, plot, social processes, patterns of progress and cycle. Moreover, he was a "thinker in time"--these philosophical elements combined to render a plausible and meaningful narrative context for social action. In the early period Niebuhr began his lifelong critique of Enlightenment, capitalism, and the idea of progress. Following Robert Nisbet's analysis of the concept of progress in Western cultural history, I will argue that Niebuhr traverses his own peculiar dialectics of history, moving from the idea of progress-as-freedom (in the twenties) to the idea of progress-as-power (in the thirties); from the form of irony to the form of tragedy; from the concept of the voluntary reform of the excesses of captialism to the concept of the frank use of coercion to implement a socialist alternative to captialism. His philosophy of history in this period thus reflects in Christian idiom aspects of the very antinomies of the Enlightenment regarding personality and power, freedom and fate, which he desires to overcome.
    • Nisi Causa Utili et Necessaria: Catherine of Siena's Dominican Confessors and the Principles of a Licit Pastoral 'Irregularity'

      Sweetman, Robert; Goering, Joseph; Guardiani, Francesco; Silano, Giulio (LEGASNew York, 2006)
      The Dominican Order gradually evolved rules governing contact between a Dominican pastor and a woman penitent. In the context of these rules, the care given to Catherine of Siena as reported by Raymund of Capua and as confirmed in the letters of Catherine herself can only be termed irregular. The paper attempts to identify the principles underlying and legitimating pastoral irregularity.
    • Not Ideas About the Thing But the Thing Itself: Thomas Reid's Epistemology in the Light of Artistotle's "De Anima"

      Sweetman, Robert; DeMoor, Michael; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2003-09)
      This thesis argues that, in spite of his explicit denunciation of Aristotle's theory of perception and thought, Thomas Reid's own theory of perception marks a return to the central themes of Aristotle's theory. It is argued, first, that Aristotle's 'De Anima' presents an account of sensation and thought in which the functions of the object of perception play the determining role with respect to the structure, order and intelligibility of the act of perception. Thomas Aquinas' and Descartes' transformation of Aristotle's account are then discussed, showing how the "apparatus" of Aristotle's theory remains while the ground of order and intelligibility is shifted from the functions of the object of perception to those of the perceiver as subject. The theories of the British empiricists are then shown to be continuous with this transformation of Aristotle's thought. Finally, it is argued that Reid returns to an objectivism by way of his rejection of the subjectivistic transformation wrought by Descartes et al. It is argued that this rejection is not---as Reid himself believes---a rejection of the crucial aspects of Aristotle's theory, but instead constitutes a return to its primary themes and theses.
    • Not One of Them is Missing!

      Blomberg, Doug; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian StudiesToronto, ON, 1999-10)
    • Not Very Modern But Very Twentieth Century: An Interpretation Of Jose Ortega Y Gasset's Categories For Art Historiography

      Seerveld, Calvin; Luttikhuizen, Henry Martin; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1986)
    • On (Not) Accepting Reality: Introducing The Annihilation of Hell

      Ansell, Nicholas; Institute for Christian Studies (CPRSE, 2015-05-27)
    • On (Not) Obeying the Sabbath: Reading Jesus Reading Scripture

      Ansell, Nicholas; Institute for Christian Studies (Brill, 2011)
    • On Being a Reformational Philosopher: Spirituality, Religion, and the Call to Love

      Zuidervaart, Lambert; Institute for Christian Studies (2014-11-14)
    • On Spectation: Mikel Dufrenne's Valuation of Aesthetic Experience

      Seerveld, Calvin; Enneson, Peter; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1981-07)
    • On the Problem of Common Ground: Van Til, Dooyeweerd and Thomas Kuhn

      Hart, Hendrik; Lee, Joongjae; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2001)
    • On the Varieties of Religious Rationality: Plato (and the Buddha) Versus the New Atheists

      Kirby, Joseph Morrill; Institute for Christian Studies (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2015)
      Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl claims that human beings are spiritually and mentally free, and that it is possible to maintain one's dignity even in a concentration camp. If this tremendous claim is true, it is true regardless of who says it. However, it is only when the claim is made by someone like Frankl that it functions rhetorically, actually prompting the listener to reflect on what it might mean. In the Georgias, Socrates argues for an even more extreme version of this same idea: that it would be better to be tortured to death than to torture someone else, because it is impossible for a torturer to be happy. This paper shows why, if what Frankl and Socrates say is true, both tradition and myth are perfectly rational modes of discourse, and why a culture that rejects the capacity of tradition and myth to disclose truth will almost inevitably reject these claims as irrational. This discussion is framed in terms of an interesting disjunct in the meaning of the term "atheist," as it is used by the New Atheists and as it is used by Plato, and is set in dialogue with the claims of as Vipassana meditation teacher S. N. Goenka, whose teachings bear remarkable similarity to Plato's.
    • One Man's God ... Another's Demon: A Study Into the Relativity of Value and the Remoteness of Science in the Sociology of Max Weber

      Olthuis, James H.; Breems, Bradley G.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1975-10)
    • Operationalizing and Quantification: Some Methodological Problems in Recent Social Science

      Zylstra, Bernard; Marshall, Paul A.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1980-06)
    • The Ordeal of Solitude: Solitary Confinement in Prisons and Monasteries

      Kirby, Joseph; Institute for Christian Studies (2014-05-04)