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Title: Trajectories of Peircean philosophical theology : scriptural reasoning, axiology of thinking, and nested continua
Author: Slater, Gary
ISNI:       0000 0004 5354 7341
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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The writings of the American pragmatist thinker Charles S. Peirce (1839-1914) provide resources for what this thesis calls the “nested continua model” of theological interpretation. A diagrammatic demonstration of iconic relational logic akin to Peirce’s Existential Graphs, the nested continua model is imagined as a series of concentric circles graphed upon a two-dimensional plane. When faced with some problem of interpretation, one may draw discrete markings that signify that problem’s logical distinctions, then represent in the form of circles successive contexts by which these distinctions may be examined in relation to one another, arranged ordinally at relative degrees of specificity and vagueness, aesthetic intensity and concrete reasonableness. Drawing from Peter Ochs’s Scriptural Reasoning model of interfaith dialogue and Robert C. Neville’s axiology of thinking—each of which makes creative use of Peirce’s logic—this project aims to achieve an analytical unity between these two thinkers’ projects, which can then be addressed to further theological ends. The model hinges between diagrammatic and ameliorative functions, honing its logic to disclose contexts in which its theological or metaphysical claims might, if needed, be revised. Such metaphysical claims include love as that which unites feeling with intelligibility, hell as imprisonment within an opaque circle of interpretation whose distorted reflections render violence upon oneself and others, and the divine as both the center of aesthetic creativity and outermost horizon from which our many layers of interpretive criteria emerge. These are claims made from a particular identity in a particular cultural context, but the logical rules upon which they are based are accessible to all, and the hope of the model is to help people overcome problems of interpretation and orient themselves toward eternity without ignoring the world around them.
Supervisor: Rasmussen, Joel Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Philosophy,psychology and sociology of religion ; Ethics (Moral philosophy) ; Metaphysics ; Charles Sanders Peirce ; Scriptural Reasoning ; Peter Ochs ; Robert C. Neville ; Nested Continua