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Is Nothing Sacred?The Non-Realist Philosophy of Religion: Selected Essays$
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Don Cupitt

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780823222032

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823222032.001.0001

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Kant and the Negative Theology

Kant and the Negative Theology

(p.3) 1 Kant and the Negative Theology
Is Nothing Sacred?

Don Cupitt

Fordham University Press

This chapter describes Donald MacKinnon's inference that Kant's religious thought was a negative theology because its doctrine emphasizes God's superiority and that he must be removed beyond the reach of descriptive language. Kant fully accepted the idea that the old doctrine had collapsed and for him it was God's existence rather than his nature that was unknowable and God's nature that was not mysterious. It seems that Kant was deliberately setting out to contradict the element of authoritarian appeal to mystery in the old negative theology. Thus, Kant continued the themes of the old negative theology, and he even changed it considerably in order to make it intellectually and morally more acceptable. Though, Donald MacKinnon takes a very different view, still he insists on sticking to a more descriptive and realist interpretation of the major themes of traditional Christian theology because he thinks one should stay and endure the strange inflexible intellectual difficulties that such a position involves.

Keywords:   negative theology, doctrine, God, existence, nature, mysterious, Christian theology

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