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By G. Pattison

Can theology nonetheless function within the void of post-theism? In trying to solution this question Agnosis examines the concept that of the void itself, tracing a heritage of nothingness from Augustine via Kierkegaard and Nietzsche to Bataille and Derrida, and dialoguing with Japan's Kyoto university philosophers. it's argued that neither Augustinian nor post-Hegelian metaphysics have given a passable figuring out of nothingness and that we needs to glance to an adventure of nothingness because the top flooring for destiny spiritual existence and suggestion.

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To put it another way: doesn't the tactic of simply declaring the question to be irrelevant, leave it free to play in the margins of theology in such a way that it will continue to interrupt the discourse of theology with a never-ending stream of absurd, irrelevant and phantasmagoric interventions? To say, as a grammatical remark, 'This question cannot be asked' doesn't help resolve a situation where the question is being asked. Since it is being asked there is therefore a job to be done in asking what the question means and why, in its own terms, it must be superseded.

If Hegel is paradigmatic for the characteristically modern reinvention of metaphysical speculation on the ground of human subjectivity we have to ask how far his claims on behalf of a metaphysics founded on subjectivity (and, therefore, in an Augustinian perspective, founded on the essential nothingness of the human subject) actually reach? It is certainly the case that Hegel's development of the dialectics of nothingness seems to involves claims of objective and even cosmological validity; dialectical logic, he claimed, reveals the inner life of the divine Trinity prior to the creation of the world.

38 Agnosis: Theology in the Void APPENDIX: THE RETURN OF THE REPRESSED IN KARL BARTH'S DOCTRINE OF 'DAS NICHTIGE' Luther and Calvin, I have argued, sought to separate out the task of Christian theology from the enterprise of speculative metaphysics and to keep it uncontaminated by any kind of ontology. From the standpoint of the Reformation the question about Being (and therefore of the ontological status of descriptions of the human subject in terms of nothingness) has no place in theology. But is it possible to exclude this question from any important interpretation of human existence on anything other than a provisional basis?

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