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Posted by on Jul 4, 2016 | 2 comments

The Nicene Creed: “…to judge the quick and the dead…”

The Nicene Creed: “…to judge the quick and the dead…”

**This post is part of a series reflecting on the Nicene Creed** << Previous post View series Next post >> From thence he shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end. The Creed has it all. The key topics of systematic theology, whether written by the deeply conservative or the modern German liberal, are all found in the creed. Theology proper—the study of God, as Rachel wrote about. Christology—the study of Christ—and soteriology— “for us and for our salvation.” Thursday’s blog post will feature the first post on pneumatology, the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, and today is our first taste of eschatology: the study of death, judgment, and our final destiny. The notion of a final judgment has captured the imagination of Christians for many centuries. Countless paintings and altarpieces are devoted to the topic; today’s chosen image is one such altarpiece created in the 15th century by Hans Memling. That the end times remain of interest can be...

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Posted by on Jun 7, 2016 | 1 comment

Can Hermeneutics be Ethical? Ricoeur and the War

Can Hermeneutics be Ethical? Ricoeur and the War

A few weeks ago, Barney wrote a post about Ricoeur and his mistaken pacifism.[1] Barney’s article left me with questions that led me to do some research. This research, in turn, led me beyond the specific issue of Ricoeur’s change of heart to the broader question of the relationship between his philosophy and politics. I found two pertinent articles: David Kaplan’s “Paul Ricoeur and the Nazis,” a response to “Paul Ricoeur as Another” by Richard Wolin, in which Wolin questions the political implications of Ricoeur’s hermeneutics, and relationship between his philosophy and ethics.[2] That Ricoeur changed his mind on a political issue in interesting; what is more interesting is the question of whether his passivity and (as Wolin sees it) pro-Vichy politics are the result of his philosophical views. Pacifism in the inter-war years in France, John Taylor explains, stemmed from the French view of war—that another was likely.[3] Ricoeur’s pre-war pacifism arose from his doubt regarding the expansionism of European democracies (especially France and Britain) and from his...

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Posted by on Mar 29, 2016 | 2 comments

Physician-Assisted Death: A Few Thoughts About the Canadian Situation

Physician-Assisted Death: A Few Thoughts About the Canadian Situation

In this blog post I am going to make a variety of observations about physician-assisted death (PAD), physician-assisted suicide (PAS), and euthanasia, in no particular order. Note that each observation will be necessarily compact and incomplete; these are not to be taken as definite statements but pieces of a puzzle to be mulled over as I (we, I hope) reflect on Canada’s situation.

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Posted by on Jan 19, 2016 | 0 comments

Murder and Moral Notions

Murder and Moral Notions

In Towards Zero, one of Agatha Christie’s murder mysteries, Mr. Treves, a retired solicitor and specialist on criminology reflects on how we often begin murder mysteries in a mistaken fashion. We think of the murder as the beginning of the story when rather it is the end. “I like a good detective story,” reflects Mr. Treves. “But, you know, they begin in the wrong place! They begin with the murder. But the murder is the end. The story begins long before that—years before sometimes—with all the causes and events that bring certain people to a certain place at a certain time on a certain day.”[1] Murder is the end of a series of events, thoughts, plans, and intentions. The novel itself is a reversal of the standard murder mystery story, the actual intended murder does not happen until the last pages of the book.[2] A similar misconception is attached to moral inquiry: in many accounts of moral inquiry, the thinking begins when a decision is named. Like the murder...

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