Knowledge and the Transcendent: An Inquiry into the Mind's Relationship to God
By: Paul A. Macdonald (author)Hardback
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There has been a distinct trend in modern thought to be deeply suspicious and critical of the human mind's ability to gain genuine access to any reality that transcends the world or the mind. As such, much modern reflection on the mind's relationship to a transcendent God has either banished God from the realm of the cognitively accessible or found ways to evacuate God of his transcendence, and reduce God to a concept or idea in the mind. In this book, Paul Macdonald directly challenges negative modern understandings of the mind's relationship to God. "Knowledge and the Transcendent" advances the provocative claim that the human mind is not 'bounded' on the outside but actually remains 'open' to the world and to God. As such, the mind is able to know the world and God with varying degrees of objectivity. The author turns to the philosophical theology of Thomas Aquinas in order to explicate as well as defend important claims that Aquinas makes about human cognition as well as our knowledge of God.
In this life, while we cannot know or 'see' God directly, we nevertheless can enjoy some knowledge of God by way of reason and faith, both of which are cognitive capacities for forming and holding true beliefs about God. Consequently, Macdonald argues that Aquinas, as properly interpreted, provides powerful philosophical and theological resources for rehabilitating the mind's relationship to God and thus also safeguarding our knowledge of transcendent being and truth.
Paul A. Macdonald Jr. is assistant professor of religion at Bucknell University.
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- ID: 9780813215778
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