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Title: Memory and forgetfulness : a theme of christian metaphysics
Authors: Ahlers, Rolf
Keywords: Metaphysics
Christianity -- Philosophy
Philosophy and religion
Issue Date: 1982
Publisher: University of Malta. Faculty of Theology
Citation: AhIers, R. (1982). Memory and forgetfulness: a theme of christian metaphysics, 33(1-2), 43-61.
Abstract: This paper aims at a critical theology of communications. It is based on Hegel's presentation of few point of the story of western metaphysics: Its inability to "hold on to death". The power ,of that critical presentation of the metaphysical-scientific project derives from a communicatively, i.e. relatingly conceived Absolute which has taken death, difference and finiteness into itself: Only by relating himself in finite terms, can God communicate adequately. In doing so, he tells not only his, but also the world's story. Presenting himself, he presents also the world's nature; placing critique, negation and death into his self, he criticizes death-forgetful and God-defensive mankind. In telling the world's story, a story which is forgetful .of death, and therefore defensive against the dying God, God tells his own story. Reminding man of himself, he also reminds of metaphysics' God-amnesia. The paper leans strongly .on Theunissen's theological Hegel-interpretation and argues on the basis of the "atheism", disclosed at the end of western metaphysics, as a constitutive moment of theological reflection. 'It is :critical of contemporary religions 'Of "meaning-bestowal" and "nomizing" "holiness", dmwing from the sociology of knowledge or from nineteenth century Kantianism. It is also critical of theologies standing close to' these movements. But this critique becomes apparent only toward the end of the paper, after the dialectic of memory and forgetfulness has been elaborated as a central issue of western metaphysics in the first part. The second shows how that dialectic is closely associated with the conception of a deathless God, which conception triggers the compensate: foreknowledge 'Of death and definite having been repressed, ideological meaning now has to be produced. The third part of the paper indicates how in Hegel's thought the termination of western metaphysics is disclosed with its inner logic. This logic is characterized by the intimate relation 'of God-amnesia and a 'repression ,of the knowledge of death. This dose association having been "elevated" as the inner working of western metaphysics at its end, the fourth part develops Hegel's theologic as a narrative source of critique, which in the fifth and final portion is shown to have trinitarian structure.
Appears in Collections:MT - Volume 33, Issue 1-2 - 1982
MT - Volume 33, Issue 1-2 - 1982

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