• The Rhetorical Roots of Radical Orthodoxy: Augustinian Oratory and Ontology in Milbank's Theopo(e/li)tics

      Sweetman, Robert; Van't Land, Andrew R.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2013-08-21)
      This thesis engages the controversial work of political theologian John Milbank in light of the conceptual tools developed by the classical rhetorical tradition (particularly Augustine, Cicero, and Aristotle). I respond to three key criticisms of Milbank's anti-foundationalist metaphysics by re-describing his project as philosophical rhetoric. Firstly, while Milbank's polemical stance is often criticized as being primarily negative, I argue instead that it serve his larger goal of positively identifying with two traditions: orthodox Christianity and Continental post-structuralism. Secondly, while Milbank's metaphysics is critiqued as undermining his metarhetorical anti-foundationalism, I argue that both discursive modes (and their epistemological, political, and aesthetic implications) account for one another in his work. Thirdly, while the aggressive style of Milbank's scholarship is often criticized as contradicting the content of his ontology of peace, I propose instead that Milbank attempts to use the power of discourse to promote the peaceful Christian mythos.
    • Sigmund Freud's Model of Transference: a Developmental History

      Olthuis, James H.; Van Wyk, Kenneth; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1987)
      I propose to examine the major statements by Freud on the topic of transference and counter-transference. This will not be exhaustive, rather the chosen statments will serve as foci for demonstrating major philosophical and anthropological changes which occur during Freud's development of psychoanalytic theory. [p.1]
    • The I's Relationship to the other as Transcendent, Foundational, and Ethical in Levinas' Totality and Infinity

      Hoff, Shannon; Hanna, Eric James John; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2013-07)
      An interpretation and application of the key insights about the I and the other from Emmanuel Levinas' book: Totality and Infinity. The first chapter interprets Levinas' terminology, specifically his notions of the I and the other, and shows how he describes human experience. The second chapter explores how the other is transcendent to the I as a site of ongoing possibility for the significance of experience, how the other founds the I during human development in the person of the caregiver, and how the I's basic relationship to the other has an ethical character. The third chapter applies these insights to show how they can lead to a more authentic living out of interpersonal relationships and to better ways of thinking about human living in social and political contexts.
    • Faith, Knowledge and Science: A Systematic Exposition of the Thought of Michael Polanyi

      Seerveld, Calvin; Anastasiou, Harry; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1979)
    • "Zus en Zo over Dit en Dat": an Essay on the Concept of Function in the Systematic Philosophy of Herman Dooyeweerd

      Hart, Hendrik; Wolters, Albert M.; Recker, Perry; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1977)
    • Power and Mutuality in Modern Foreign Language Education: The Possibility of a Christian Orientation

      Olthuis, James H.; Smith, David Ian; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1997-09)
    • Metaphor, An Aesthetic Figure: An Analysis of Philip Wheelwright's Theory

      Seerveld, Calvin; Ophardt, Michael J.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1983-05)
    • Liberal Progressivism and Public Policy: A Foundational Analysis of Unemployment Insurance in Canada

      Marshall, Paul A.; Hogeterp, Michael C.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1995-10)
    • Fiction as Philosophy: Reading the Work of Christine de Pizan and Luce Irigaray to Write a Hermeneutics of Socially Transformative Fiction-mediated Philosophy

      Sweetman, Robert; Carr, Allyson Ann; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2011-06)
      This dissertation proposes to examine the work of scholars Christine de Pizan and Luce Irigaray in order to develop the possibilities of fiction in philosophy for the purposes of social transformation. Using four of her major narrative texts (The Mutacion of Fortune, the City of Ladies, the Path of Long Study and the Vision) I show how Christine employs the complex array of hermeneutical tools available to her in fictionalized ways as a means of training her readers into re-writing their understanding of themselves and their contexts. Alongside such re-writings, I show that she understands herself to have a particular vocation for educating the powers of France towards ethical action in their governance, and that she does so in these works in the form of philosophically oriented fictionalizations. I use the work of Luce Irigaray to explore a philosopher from the twentieth and twenty-first century who uses narrative and hermeneutical tools that bear a family resemblance to Christine's. Tracing Irigaray's formulations on the necessity of sexual difference I show how she re-tells stories from myth and history in such a way as to develop the sexual difference she desires. Finally, having engaged with these two philosophers, I use the hermeneutical work of Hans-Georg Gadamer to present my own work on how well-crafted fiction can be used to build philosophical concepts and understandings that are not yet available in our world, but which become available to us through our participation in the new fictionalized contexts and fictional worlds we create. I show how it is through understanding the possibilities this kind of philosophical and fictionalized utopic thinking holds that social transformation rooted in the world-building capabilities of individual persons can occur.
    • Brandom and Hegel on Objectivity, Subjectivity and Sociality: A Tune Beyond Us, Yet Ourselves

      Zuidervaart, Lambert; Koslowski, P.; DeMoor, Michael James; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2011-07)
      This dissertation is an exposition and critique of Robert Brandom's theory of discursive objectivity. It discusses this theory both within the context of Brandom's own systematic philosophical project and, in turn, within the ideas and questions characteristic of the Kantian and post-Kantian tradition in German philosophy. It is argued that Brandom's attempt to articulate a theory of the objectivity of discursive norms (and hence also of the content of discursive attitudes) resembles J.G. Fichte's development of themes central to Kant's philosophy. This "Fichtean" approach to the problem of objectivity is then compared and contrasted to that of G.W.F. Hegel. Though Brandom, Fichte and Hegel share the desire to derive an account of the conditions of objectivity from the social character is discursive practices, Hegel offers a version of this project that differs with respect to the nature of self-consciousness, sociality and truth. It is then argued that Brandom's theory suffers significant internal inconsistencies that could be avoided by adopting a more "Hegelian" approach to these three themes. More specifically, Brandom's own project requires that he recognize the necessity and irreducibility of firstperson and second-person discursive attitudes, as well as that he recognize the role of "I-We" social practices for discursive objectivity. Furthermore, he must include in his explanations some form of natural teleology and hence he must abandon his deflationary approach to semantic explanation. However, Brandom's methodological and metaphysical commitments prevent him from doing so.
    • Translation of the Implicit: Tracing How Language Works Beyond Gendlin and Derrida

      Zuidervaart, Lambert; Huisman, Jelle; Institute for Christian Studies (2012)
      This thesis discusses the explication of the implicit side of language, from the perspective of the self, the social, and the text, as situated in the wider context of thinking about language 'beyond post-modernism.' Language is first discussed as an intricacy, an intricate and changing complex of explicit signs and implicit elements and processes. It is shown that the implicit processes, such the speaking of being (Heidegger), focusing (Gendlin), and the interrelatedness of language and culture (Agar), are ruptured by processes like deconstruction (Derrida) and the semiotic breach of the symbolic (Kristeva). Explication brings a part of the implicit to the surface in the form of creativity (Deleuze) and critique, which is also discussed in the examples of play (Gadamer) and care. The transformations involved are illustrated in reflections on writing (Plato), poetry (Trakl), life as immigrant, and on translation as a philosophical practice.
    • Soliciting the Decisions of Philosophy: An Exposition of "Plato's Pharmacy" by Jacques Derrida

      Seerveld, Calvin; Adkins, Brent; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1994)
    • Democracy Without Secularism: A Pragmatist Critique of Habermas

      Kuipers, Ronald A.; van der Merwe, W. L.; Mullin, Daniel Michael; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2012-12)
      Jürgen Habermas has argued that democracy depends on all citizens recognizing the legitimacy of the law. Therefore, political argument must appeal only to public reason which is secular. Religious citizens must translate their reasons into a secular language accessible to the public. This dissertation argues that religious arguments are justified in public discourse if they refrain from dogmatism. Moreover, there is nothing inherent in secular reasons that make them publicly accessible or likely to generate consensus among members of a pluralistic society. If we treat religious arguments as simply arguments with controversial premises, it becomes less clear why religious arguments are singled out as particularly problematic for liberal democracies, since many secular political arguments share this feature. Granted, religious reasons are unlikely to secure consensus, but this does not count against them if consensus is not the goal of democratic discourse. This dissertation makes the case that Habermas, and other liberal theorists such as Rawls, have placed too much emphasis on consensus as the goal of democracy. Moreover, what they refer to is not practical consensus achieved pragmatically through compromise, but an idealized consensus that is the achievement of secular reason. This is problematic for two main reasons: there is no normative reason to think we ought to attain such consensus and such consensus is unlikely to be achieved in practice. Thus, there seems to be no normative force to the claim that religious citizens out to translate their arguments in secular language.
    • Independent Filmmaking: Projecting a Screen of Particularity With Integration

      Seerveld, Calvin; Macklin, Scott; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1995)
    • Anaximander and the Relation Between Myth and Philosophy in the Sixth Century B.C.

      Wolters, Albert M.; Rowe, William V.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1979)
      This paper is a study of the pre-Socratic, Milesian philosopher Anaximander, in light of the question concerning the rise of philosophy and its relation to myth in the sixth century B.C. We are restricting our inquiry to Anaximander to make our consideration of the myth/philosophy relation more manageable. Thus we will assume that Anaximander's thought is indicative of the general status of this relationship in his time and milieu. We chose Anaximander also because of the great diversity of interpretations of his thought in current pre-Socratic scholarship. Differences in approach to Anaximander reflect differences concerning the nature of pre-Socratic thought in general. Differences with regard to the pre-Socratics in turn reflect ultimate assumptions as to the nature of philosophy and the historical circumstances in which it arose. Therefore, a considerable part of our study will concern itself with the major Anaximander-interpretations in the literature, their key assumptions and their relationships to existing traditions in pre-Socratic research. This part of the study will be carried out in preparation for our own interpretation of Anaximander and the relation between myth and philosophy visible in his thought. The latter will be conducted in dialogue with the other interpretations and with a conscious awareness of its own hermeneutical assumptions.
    • Compassion and Protest in the Art of Kaethe Schmidt Kollwitz

      Seerveld, Calvin; Reimer, Priscilla Beth; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1989-11)
    • Philosophy and Faith: a Critical Examination of Karl Jaspers' Philosophy of Religion

      Olthuis, James H.; Dudiak, Jeffrey M.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1987)
    • Revealing/Reveiling the Sacred: the Atheology of Mark C. Taylor

      Olthuis, James H.; Robinson, Julie; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1998)
    • 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)
    • Forgiveness: the Gift and Its Counterfeit

      Olthuis, James H.; VanderBerg, James; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2002-11)