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Givenness and Revelation$
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Jean-Luc Marion

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198757733

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198757733.001.0001

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The Aporia of the Concept of Revelation

The Aporia of the Concept of Revelation

The Epistemological Interpretation

Chapter:
(p.8) 1 The Aporia of the Concept of Revelation
Source:
Givenness and Revelation
Author(s):

Jean-Luc Marion

Stephen E. Lewis

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198757733.003.0002

The chapter sketches the surprising history of the concept of “revelation”. Thomas Aquinas distinguished between revealed and non-revealed knowledge of God, thus developing a strictly epistemological interpretation of revelation that subordinated not only the natural to the revealed way of knowing God, but also the natural knowledge of God to an eschatological “science of the blessed”, inaccessible in this life. Thus revealed theology lacks access to the principles that would render it a fully-fledged science. Subsequent theologians responded in two ways to this problem, either validating the epistemological interpretation of revelation, or challenging it with interpretations deemed more fitting. Francisco Suárez made the best effort at the former, securing revelation’s status as science by effectively decoupling revelation from faith. The Roman magisterium, by contrast, refused to countenance revelation as science. The question therefore arises: did God reveal himself in order to be known, or to love and be loved?

Keywords:   revelation, Thomas Aquinas, knowledge of God, natural knowledge, Francisco Suárez, faith, Vatican Council I, Dei Filius, Vatican Council II, Dei Verbum

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