• 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.
    • On Spectation: Mikel Dufrenne's Valuation of Aesthetic Experience

      Seerveld, Calvin; Enneson, Peter; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1981-07)
    • 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)
    • Ow(n)ing Existence: Human Meaning, Identity and Responsibility in Heidegger's Being and Time

      Hoff, Shannon; Richard, Bryan Samuel; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2013-09-02)
      This thesis pays attention to the nature of human being that comes to light in Martin Heidegger's Being and Time. In particular, it attempts to show that his notion of authenticity allows for a distinctive and fruitful conception of ethical responsibility, albeit one that challenges us to rethink ethics and responsibility anew. I claim that if authenticity is ‘owning’ one's existence in a way that is properly fitted to Dasein's ontological way of being (as nonself-identical, ecstatic temporality), this ownership of self will necessarily be the stance of recognizing and responding to that which always already includes a network of relations involving world and others. On such an understanding, genuine existential care for oneself is also care for others in the most originary way possible. Such an ontological picture has been criticized by some commentators as being too formal, insufficiently historical, and lacking genuine mediation – in short, for being ineffectual as a normative force in real-life situations. The main contribution of this thesis is to argue against such an interpretation by showing that Heideggerian authenticity is a properly dialectical concept, capacious enough to account for the legitimate concerns raised by such criticisms, while also being productive for new articulations of what is really normative about human relations.
    • 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)
    • The Place of Theory in the Old Stoa

      Hart, Hendrik; Hull, John E.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1975-05)
    • Points of Convergence Between Dooyeweerdian and Feminist Thought: Reflections On Their Critiques of the Kantian Heritage

      Hart, Hendrik; Wesselius, Janet Catherina; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1991-08)
    • 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)
    • Prospects for a Historical Poetics of Cinema: David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, and Neoformalism

      Seerveld, Calvin; Linnell, Greg S.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1993-09)
    • Relationship Issues: Forgiveness and Promising According to Hannah Arendt and Jacques Derrida

      Hoff, Shannon; Ratzlaff, Caleb; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2015-08-31)
      In retrospect this learning experience lead me to two conclusions. First, the way we hold someone responsible must reflect the openness and vulnerability of the actor and those to whom she relates. What we do when we hold someone responsible, administering a sentence, for example, must respond to the unending process of interaction and transformation that defines the human person in intersubjective life. This essentially describes the meaning and limits of holding someone responsible. The second lesson was more directly addressed in this thesis. It concerns the idea that the uncertain and vulnerable characteristics of the self that accompany our transformability, are not simply detriments to responsibility. Rather, the uncertain nature of a self as it exists in relationship with others is a condition of meaningfulness, responsibility, and love. As a condition of responsibility, our finitude calls for the sustaining ethical practices of promises and forgiveness. Uncertainty, even in its greatest manifestations as birth and death, is something we can embrace.
    • Revealing/Reveiling the Sacred: the Atheology of Mark C. Taylor

      Olthuis, James H.; Robinson, Julie; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1998)
    • 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.
    • The Risk of Hospitality: Selfhood, Otherness, and Ethics in Deconstruction and Phenomenological Hermeneutics

      Kuipers, Ronald A.; Bonney, Nathan D.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2012-05)
      This thesis argues that attitudes of inhospitality operate subtly in our politics, in our religious beliefs and practices, and in our understandings of who we are. Consequently, the question of hospitality - what it is and what it signifies - is an urgent one for us to address. In this thesis I examine and outline the hermeneutics-deconstruction debate over the experience of otherness and what it means to respond to others ethically (or hospitably). In the first two chapters I defend the importance of properly understanding the ethics of both Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida. Against the concerns of Paul Ricoeur and Richard Kearney, I maintain that a Levinasian and Derridean insistence on answering to the call of an unconditional hospitality is the best way forward in our attempt to respond with justice to strangers. Next, by engaging Martin Hagglund's objection to an ethical reading of Derridean unconditionality, I give attention to the theme of negotiation in Derrida's later work, a theme which I take to be the central feature of his account of hospitality. I conclude by proposing five theses concerning hospitality. These theses provide an overview of the main themes discussed in this thesis and once more address the various tensions internal to the concept of hospitality.
    • 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]
    • 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)
    • Speaking Bodies: Communication and Freedom in Fichte and Merleau-Ponty

      Hoff, Shannon; Morrisey, Jeffrey James; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2012-05)
      Drawing on the ideas of J.G. Fichte and M. Merleau-Ponty, I argue that experience and freedom are intersubjective, linguistic, and bodily. In the first chapter, I take up Fichte's three "fundamental principles" from the Science of Knowledge alongside his ideas of embodiment and intersubjectivity from the Foundations of Natural Right to show that all experience is an indefinite mixture of self and not-self, and, therefore, that both the experiences of self-consciousness and its freedom must also be accomplished with reference to the not-self, and particularly others. The second chapter is an examination of Merleau-Ponty's account of expression in his Phenomenology of Perception. The key insight I pursue here is that the medium of expression, which makes possible all significance, is bodily and intersubjective, and that any expressive act is therefore both self-opaque and soliciting cooperation. In the end, I turn to how this cooperation, i.e. freedom, should be enacted.
    • Speech as Metaphor of Human Becoming According to St. Augustine of Hippo

      Marshall, Paul A.; Filipenko, Yana; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2000)
    • The Spirituality of Labour: Simone Weil's Quest for Transcendence

      Marshall, Paul A.; Selles, Johanna Maria; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1983-10)
    • Tracing Ruth in the Straits and Islands of Im/emigrant Blood: Be/longing in Rootedness and Routedness

      Olthuis, James H.; Lai, Anthony D.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1999)
    • Translation of the Implicit: Tracing How Language Works Beyond Gendlin and Derrida

      Zuidervaart, Lambert; Huisman, Jelle; Institute for Christian Studies (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.