Dissertation Abstract




A Study In The Metaphysics Of Metaphorical Theology:
C. S. Peirce's Conception Of The 'Continuum' As A Model
For The 'Spiritual Presence' Of Paul Tillich


Conway, Charles Gerald



Degree:         Ph.D.

Year:             2005

Pages:            00280

Institution:      Graduate Theological Union; 0080

Advisor:          Coordinator Claude Welch


Source:           DAI, 66, no. 11A (2005): p. 4061

Standard No:      ISBN:             0-542-42408-8


This dissertation employs the methodology of Sallie McFague's metaphorical theology to demonstrate that Charles S. Peirce's conception of the 'continuum', as cosmically deployed, aptly serves as a model for the immanence of God delineated by Paul Tillich's notion of 'Spiritual Presence', for these reasons: (1) Peirce's cosmology presupposes that the universe is suffused with divine love; (2) His panpsychism conceives the universe as Absolute Mind; (3) The 'pure' version of Peirce's category of Firstness can represent the inexhaustible abyss of divine potentiality, seen as a continuum of Absolute Mind, from which both originating and continuing creation spring; (4) There exists a congruence between the functionalities of the continuum and the principal missions of the Holy Spirit.

          McFague's theology proposes its task to be the translation of the mythological symbology of religion into the discursive, philosophical language of theology. Such a grand undertaking necessitates at its core a metaphysical grounding, which she chooses not to specify. To fill this void the dissertation advances such a metaphysics in order to justify, philosophically and theologically, the bridging of the poetic and conceptual critical to the theological enterprise.

          Tillich's portrayal of the human spirit being seized by the Divine Spirit at once can account for the theologian's enlightenment and a harmonizing of the polarities of the human capacities for poetry and conceptualization. The theonomous continuum of the Spirit, illuminated by Peircean insights, facilitates such a bridging by its abiding presence and incessant quickening in both creational and salvational realms.

          The metaphysics of Peirce marries Tillichean pneumatology by means of McFague's method in order to tender a metaphorical yet philosophico-theological elucidation of the vehicle of a continuum of inexhaustible possibility, serving to make more intelligible the consummation of the Spirit's cosmic and spiritual missions.



Descriptor:       THEOLOGY



Accession No:     AAI3196561

Provider:        OCLC

Database:         Dissertations