Fides et Ratio

Faith Seeking Understanding

Location: Texas

I am a 21 year old student at Dallas Baptist University majoring in Philosophy.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Brief Thoughts on Introducing Radical Orthodoxy

am almost done with Introducing Radical Orthodoxy by Smith, who is a professor of Philosophy at Calvin College. This is an excellent introduction for anyone wanting to understand just who or what the heck Radical Orthodoxy is. It is a very diverse movement with different things being stressed. However, in many aspects the movement is very promising. Their view of "participation" is quite good, however, I wouldn't go as far as they do.

They almost represent a reversion back to Kant. They say that there is no "thing-in-itself". Kant said that there was, but that we couldn't get to it, because it was in the so-called noumenal realm of knowing, and it is impossible to know anything in the noumenal realm. So, how creation gets anywhere is by participation in the creator (according to RO). I don't agree that all of creation participates in the divine. I think that it is only the ekklesia that truly participates in the divine by virtue of the Eucharist. So, I would do some modifying there. Of course, I am merely doing an updated version of Calvin's view of the Eucharist.

Another problematic aspect is that Pickstock totally views the Eucharist as an Ontological phenomena (which is why she defends transubstantiation in After Writing), rather than being a true exercise in devotion and discipleship. She wants to defend the thesis that all of life is doxological, yet misses this fundamental point (I agree with her thesis that all of life is doxological and hence religious. See Calvin's Insitutes Book I for the doctrine of the Knowledge of God and you will see that there are striking similarities).

These are my only thoughts for now. I just got off of work and am sort of tired, but this is an excellent book (especially with its interaction with the Reformed tradition).


Blogger Alastair said...

However, if we stress the personal character of the celebration of the Eucharist I see that there is a place for seeing it as an ontological phenomenon, albeit not in quite the same way as Pickstock (although I do confess to finding her arguments very interesting, if not finally persuasive). What do you think?

2:23 AM  
Blogger David Fahrenthold said...

Yea, you bring up a good point, as always. I do not deny that there is an ontological phenomena, I just don't agree with the way she formulates her view is all. Sory I wasn't very clear. And her arguments are good, but I just don't ultimately agree with her (like you). Thanks for your thoughtful post, Al.

4:32 PM  

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