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Title: 'The distinction' and 'the relation' : creation and the creator in Burrell and Schillebeeckx
Author: Poulsom, Martin G.
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2006
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This treatise investigates the philosophical components of Christian creation-faith, considering their character and the connections between them, developing a particular expression of the distinction and relation between creation and its Creator. The work of David Burrell and Edward Schillebeeckx furnishes tools for that development, in two ways: firstly, by supplying a terminology of distinction and relation that shapes the discourse; consequently, by facilitating the study of the interaction between 'the distinction' and 'the relation' of creation, which, in both authors' work, is dialectical in character. The study assesses whether Burrell and Schillebeeckx each stress one of these concepts at the expense of the other, finding the evidence suggestive but not compelling. It examines dialectic more closely, describing Burrell's dialectic as polar and Schillebeeckx's as relational. The polar nature of Burrell's dialectic generates a tension between the relata, tending to pull them apart. Schillebeeckx's relational dialectic results, rather, in a mutual interaction in which the relata support and enrich one another. A preference is voiced for Schillebeeckx's relational dialectic, an organizing principle not only of his account of creation, but of his philosophical theology more generally. His method of correlation is examined, concentrating on the way it directs his accounts of praxis and of humanism. Relational dialectic then serves as the basis for the articulation of a Schillebeeckian philosophical theology, following in his footsteps without imitating him exactly. This gives rise retrospectively to a novel reading of Aquinas on analogical language about God. It offers the prospect of a seamless philosophical theology, drawing on the idea of participation to speak of the humanization and divinization of men and women. Relational dialectic also facilitates the expression of a mutual interaction between God's free commitment to creation and humanity's free commitment to a better future for the world.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available