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Thinking about God in an Age of Technology$
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George Pattison

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199279777

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199279772.001.0001

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Putting it into Words

Putting it into Words

Chapter:
(p.125) 5 Putting it into Words
Source:
Thinking about God in an Age of Technology
Author(s):

George Pattison (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199279772.003.0006

Thinking about God involves more than the wordless longing of the heart. Thinking must also be put into language, even if the role of silence is admitted. Apophatic and mystical traditions have always acknowledged the limitations of language. An approach is developed that looks to kinds of language other than the propositions that have been the stuff of traditional philosophical theology. These might include a shift to the subjunctive mood and the acceptance of parataxis, as in Heidegger’s exposition of Parmenides. Examples are taken from George Herbert and Pascal; John Milbank’s account of pleonasm as the modality of religious language, and of the need to construe language as dialogical are discussed.

Keywords:   apophatic, silence, Heidegger, Parmenides, Herbert, Pascal, Milbank, Pleonasm, dialogue

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