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Knowledge, Action, Pluralism

Contemporary Perspectives in Philosophy of Religion

Edited By Sebastian Kolodziejczyk and Janusz Salamon

In this book, an international team of scholars from leading American, British and Continental European universities, led by Richard Swinburne, Eleonore Stump, William Wainwright and Linda Zagzebski, presents original ideas about three currently discussed topics in the philosophy of religion: religious epistemology, the philosophy of God’s action in the world, including the problem of evil and Divine Providence, and the philosophical challenge of religious diversity. The book contains echoes of all four main strands of the late 20th century philosophy of religion: Richard Swinburne’s philosophical theology, Alvin Plantinga’s reformed epistemology, John Hick’s theory of religious pluralism, and the philosophy of religion inspired by the work of the later Wittgenstein. One of the distinguishing features of this volume is that it mirrors a new trend towards philosophical cooperation across the so-called continental/analytic divide.
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Salvation as Divine Action: A Philosophical Approach to the Power of Faith in Christ’s Resurrection

Extract



Denis Moreau

I. The Theme of Salvation in Contemporary Discourse

The concept of salvation still occurs regularly in ordinary language. It also appears, typically without being defined clearly, in a number of contemporary philosophical works far removed from Christianity.

It is striking how commonly the notion of salvation and related words (the verb ‘to save’, the nouns ‘saviour’, ‘salvage’) are used in most European languages. In French, people greet one another with the word ‘salut’, in Italian they say ‘salve’ or ‘ti saluto’, in German they say ‘salü’ (or ‘heil’ ‘heil dich’ in the past). Though people using the word in such situations may not know it, this recalls an ancient practice of wishing an interlocutor ‘salvation’ upon meeting. For instance, Pythagorean philosophers appear to have greeted each other with the word ‘health!’, ugiainein (a greeting also found in the New Testament, at the beginning of The Third Letter of John), and Seneca’s letters to Lucilius often begin with the formula: ‘Seneca Lucilio suo salutem dat.’ The themes of saviour, salvage, salvation, which are etymologically as well as conceptually related to that of salvation, are also increasingly common in political discourse (such and such a person is considered the country’s saviour), economic discourse (the salvage of a corporation), as well as computer discourse (we save or salvage data). Finally, on a funnier, but no less meaningful note, French supermarkets sell a shower gel called ‘Axe. Difficult Morning, anti-hangover.’ The product’s...

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