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posted
Exhibit A

Exhibit B

------

This is more or less the perspective I have been working out of for years, now put into more explicit expression, thanks to an excellent work by Daniel Helminiak (cited on the referenced page). I'm making it a featured topic along with "God, Self and Ego" and "Why Christianity?" so visitors will know what the general approach to things is out here.

Comments? Questions?
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That looks pretty good to me, although the distinction between Theistic and Theotic is totally new to me.

I like the category of "nontheistic religion" which you have under "Philosophical". I wonder if you'd expound and expand on what you'd consider nontheistic religion to be.
 
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Yes, the theotic level is pretty much what's most unique about Christianity. That's what the incarnation, gift of the Holy Spirit, and Trinity are about.

Nontheistic religion would include Buddhism, Taoism and advaitan Hinduism. There's no developed teaching about God or creation in those traditions; in most cases, they don't even make a distinction between the two. Nevertheless, they are examples of the human spirit seeking meaning, purpose, authenticity, etc.
 
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That was interesting, Phil. I never knew the distinction between theistic and theotic either. I can see how it would be uniquely Christian, though...interesting.

God bless,
Terri
 
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Let's dig in a little more. It seems to me that there are many Christians who profess the Christian creeds (academic theosis) but whose actual lived perspective is theistic-informing-philosophic. I.e., they believe what the Church teaches, and this informs their spirituality as a "system of revelation." Jesus reveals what God is really like, and shows us what God's will is more clearly than Judaism, so now we know better what it means to be a child of God, what happens after death, etc. The Church tells us what we must do, when we must worship, and its teachings help to promote authentic spiritual living, etc. This is all still theistic spirituality in the Christian tradition.

Theotic Christianity doesn't really begin until one surrenders one's life to Christ's care and opens oneself to the transformation of the Holy Spirit . . . explicit Christian faith! That's what the New Testament -- especially Paul's writings -- is all about: rebirth, rejuvenation, transformation, becoming a new creation in Christ. It's about actual participation in the life of God through the Holy Spirit in Christ. This entails a relationship of love between the Christian and the Trinity (or one or more Persons); such a relationship is a wider perspective than a spirituality focused on conforming one's will with an external system of Revelation.

There are real boundaries between these three perspectives, and we know when we run up against them. Some, for example, are seriously seeking within the philosophic perspective, and even considering theism in an intellectual, academic sense. Consenting to the God revealed through theology or Scripture is another matter, however; that would entail a paradigm shift in a wide range of areas, from identity to ethics. There is a boundary between the philosophic and theistic, and we know when we run into it.

Same kind of thing goes for the boundary between the theotic and theistic. It's one thing to say that one believes in God, embraces revelation, and informs one's conscience in the teaching of a religious tradition. Saying yes to Christ, surrendering to the Holy Spirit, becoming part of Christ's mystical body, the Church: forget it! Christian theistic spirituality is fine with them, thank you very much.

Then there are those who seem to be on a theotic journey from the get-go. The challenge for them might be to develop the theistic and philosophic levels in the light of their relationship with God. We see a lot of this in the Church -- good Christians who need to learn to think about how God and creation inter-relate, and who need to develop their human spirit (all in the context of growing in relationship with Christ, of course).

------

One implication that I think will catch Brad's interest, here, is that Western culture and politics are largely in the philosophic context. This is as it should be if we are to avoid moving toward a theocracy. Theistic values can inform the discussion, of course, but they must be able to hold their own at the philosophic level without resorting to revelation. That's a problem with some of the Biblical fundamentalist and evangelical approaches, quite frankly; they want to impose their convictions in the name of God, and can't seem to translate their views into concepts and principles that can be discussed and debated at the philosophic level. The Catholic understanding of Natural Law provides a means to do that, as does the mainline Protestant's traditions on "general revelation."
 
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Hi Phil,

I was wondering if the difference between theistic and theotic is similar to the difference that Paul ascribes as being milk vs. meat? In other words, staying at the base level of faith rather than moving forward and actually into the faith?

Or...is it more like the difference between seeing God from the realm of strictly reason vs. seeing God beyond the reason. For instance, there are folks who study theology, and in my opinion are almost addicted to the study. They believe in God, but it's more from the point of view that through this study, they've somehow proven that believing in God is a reasonable and logical end-result of this study. While there are other people who never really got into theology that much but rather "experienced" God at some point in their lives. They may not be able to tell you the exact theological doctrine category they fall into, but they don't much care about that, they are more concerned with actually "knowing" Him...knowing every aspect of Him...communing with Him, and are often times incredulous that everyone doesn't have this same need.

Is that something like the difference between theistic and theotic? I'm trying to get a handle on the separation of the two, here.

God bless,
Terri
 
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Terri, it's more like the difference between the old Jewish covenant and the new Christian one. Theists, as I'm using the term (excluding pan-theists), are people who believe in God and even that God has revealed something of his/her/its nature and laws. The focus of their spirituality is primarily "doing God's will" which they understand largely in terms moral principles, or, worse, do's and don'ts. They might believe God is good and loving (most do), but their relationship with God stops short of the kind of relational "belongingness" that characterizes the theotic level.

A theist would tend to view God as mostly transcendent . . beyond . . "out there." Their spirituality would, hence, be "conformational" -- aligning their will with God's will in order to realize the justice, integrity and holiness that God has destined for those who are faithful. Heaven and hell are also "out there" -- external places where you "go" when you die. This is not entirely neglectful of grace, for the gift of law or revelation can be construed as grace, as, of course is our very existence.

The theotist would view God as immanent and transcendent -- within and beyond. In Christian spirituality, the "within" would be the Holy Spirit, and the "beyond" God the Father. Christ would be the One who stands with us, the Mediation between Father and Spirit, whose sacred, risen humanity becomes the vine into which our individual branches are grafted. Ethics is less about law than love, which characterizes the relationship. Heaven and hell are understood in terms of inner states as well as, perhaps, outer places. Heaven and hell can begin on earth, depending on one's inner state.

None of this is meant to say that theists or even those who are working only in the philosophic realm aren't also growing the divine life within. It's my personal belief that they are, inasmuch as I believe God's grace isn't premised on believing the right things or belonging to the right religion so much as responding to the inner promptings of the Spirit. So these three perspectives do not apply to God's gift so much as to our openness, or conscious faith commitments. These commitments make a difference, I believe, in opening us to the graces God is already offering. IOW, a wider perspective enables a broader receptivity.

Does that help?
 
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Yes!! That helps very much. I get it. Granted, there were some in the OT that had that special relationship with God where He wasn't "out there" but right there with them (I'm thinking about folks like Moses, Abraham, Isaiah, etc.), most of the rest did not have that connection with Him.

To me, that is one of the greatest differences between the way God revealed Himself under the Old Covenant and the New.

Thanks!

God bless,
Terri
 
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http://www.amazon.com/exec/obi...353-8244042?v=glance

Finally saw Cast Away after the four+ years it's been out now. My POV is somewhat different. I wasn't
too crazy about this director's other movie, Contact
with Jodie Foster. It's much too secular humanist in it's mindset to appeal to me. How could someone be marooned for four years on a desert island and never pray even once? All he does is talk to a Wilson soccer ball. Didn't he come from a nominally Christian culture?

There is some dark night of the soul experience which I relate to very much, as few of us have known such an extreme solitude, but no one is there on the island with him. He draws a few cave pictures and his higher power and drive to go on is the woman back home in Memphis.

I'm reading Emerson now and he said that the Unity
in Nature would reveal itself through every piece of it we could see and understand. Noland would have had something of this experience after four years, I would think.

He does realize that he is different from the rest of the tribe after his shamanic experience, and at the end of the film he is standing out in the middle of nowhere at a crossroads of the highway.
Hopefully whichever highway he took led him to the door of a church. Smiler

caritas,

mm <*)))))><
 
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Yes, that was a great answer by Phil, Terri. We should ask questions more often.

And here's one: MM, what is the relevance of the movie "Cast Away"?
 
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I think MM must have been referring to the ad for "Phillip's HeartStart Home Defibrillator" at the top of the page. Wink
 
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We cross-posted. This is Carl Sagan's religion. The neanderthals are not to be trusted, Burn your bibles
and put in a call to the mother-ship.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obi...353-8244042?v=glance

caritas,

mm <*))))><
 
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I wasn't too crazy about this director's other movie, Contact with Jodie Foster.

I hear you loud and clear, MM. Please spare yourself the grief then. Don't read the book. Repeat after me. Don't read the book. Big Grin

How could someone be marooned for four years on a desert island and never pray even once? All he does is talk to a Wilson soccer ball. Didn't he come from a nominally Christian culture?

Only in Hollywood is it normal for a guy to talk to a piece of sporting equipment but talking to God is considered odd.

Hopefully whichever highway he took led him to the door of a church.

Michael, do you remember that nice lady at the end. Get the girl and then take her with you along to church. Wouldn't that work?
 
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We cross-posted. This is Carl Sagan's religion. The neanderthals are not to be trusted, Burn your bibles
and put in a call to the mother-ship.


MM, I'm reading a scientific book right now and I find nature to be absolutely fascinating. Nature is beautiful, strange, and full of surprises. Nature is useful, versatile, clever, efficient, economical, adaptable, and prolific. If anything is worthy of worship it is nature. But oh how wonderful then is that (person or process) which produced nature. To cut off at the knees those who would try to do so is to call into question whether one's reverence really is for nature or whether it's more about an intense dislike for someone else's metaphysics.
 
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Exhibit B (also a link in the opening post, now)



The Positivist View would pertain to the sciences below Psychology, and even that part of Psych. that is more concerned with what people do, how they act, etc. instead of the issues of motivation and meaning. The latter belong to Spirituality as a branch of Psychology in the schema I'm using.

The problem with Sagan is that he's expecting theological propositions to explain themselves at the level of biology or even physics. That's a silly as trying to explain animal behavior in terms of quantum physics. Sagan is hopelessly stuck in the positivist viewpoint; for him, it's the only valid way to establish truth claims. He seems to have little understanding and development at the philosophic level, and is a moron when it comes to understanding theism (as when he asks, "If God created everything, then who created God?). As is so often the case, he's reacting more to fundamentalism and its opposition to evolution and the like than anything else. He also seems unaware of any other kind of Christianity, including the classical traditions that pre-dated fundamentalism by 19 centuries! People like Sagan don't even deserve a response . . . so I'll stop now. Wink
 
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Emerson and Thoreau would seem to represent an admixture of the philosophic and theotic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_David_Thoreau

http://www.kenkifer.com/Thoreau/

http://www.npr.org/programs/mo...features/patc/walden

http://www.transcendentalists.com/1thorea.html

Mysticism has room for the theistic view as well as the philosophic and theotic from where I sit.

caritas,

mm <*)))))><
 
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Mysticism has room for the theistic view as well as the philosophic and theotic from where I sit.

Yes, that's right. See points 1-3 at the bottom of the table (Exhibit A, top post). The theotic "contains" the theistic and philosophic, but not vice versa.

------

I would like to say a little more about the Positivist viewpoint, which is briefly alluded to in Exhibit A. This is what we might call "hard science" as its concern is to establish an accurate explanation and accounting for "what is," or "what happens to be the case." The building up of such knowledge has been going on exponentially since the Englightenment, and especially in the past century or so.

The Positivist viewpoint ends and the Philosophic begins when questions of meaning and ethics arise, however. These concerns are greatly clarified by an accurate accounting for the way things are, but they cannot be resolved at the Positivist level. Purposes, meanings, and "oughts" are not the concern of science in the Positivist sense, but belong to the human spirit/philosophic psychology. I note again that much can be said and experienced about meaning and ethics at the Philosophic level without resorting to religion.

Yet sooner or later, inquiry and action in the Philosophic perspective meets up with its limits. Is there ultimate meaning, truth, goodness, and explanation about everything? It seems the mind is naturally open and receptive to this possibility, which in itself bespeaks the legitimacy of the Theistic level. Why wonder about ultimate-anything if the point is merely meaning in the service of survival and reproduction? Why even conceive of something like God in the first place? (See this delightful little essay by Rahner).

Obviously, these questions cannot be resolved by dropping down into the Positivist perspective, which is what people like Sagan seem to demand. They can't be answered in the Philosophic perspective either.
 
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This is very good stuff. It appears that Helminiak is building on the insights he gained from his mentor, Lonergan. Lonergan drew distinctions between secular conversion and religious conversion. The secular conversions include intellectual, affective, moral and social conversion. These conversions are transvalued by religious conversion. [I'll provide a quote, below, wherein you can gather what the word transvalue means in this context.]

Lonergan's distinction between the secular and religious conversions, amplified by the further distinction between the theistic and theotic within religions, seems to run parallel to Helminiak's treatment of spirituality (spiritualities). IOW, the theotic not only transvalues the theistic, but they both transvalue the philosophic and positivistic. IOW, the religious spiritualities transvalue the secular spiritualities. But much of Helminiak's project is focusing on the secular spiritualities, the natural spiritualities, so as to provide common ground for interreligious dialogue. [Some say that the transcendental thomists, like Helminiak's mentor, Lonergan, claim far more common ground (between religions and even secular spiritualities) than is warranted, but that might best be reserved for another thread.]

Now, what does transvalue mean? Gelpi writes:
quote:
Grace transmutes and transvalues both natural and sinful tendencies. It transmutes and transvalues sinful tendencies through repentance. It transmutes and transvalues natural tendencies by enhancing them and ordering them to a satisfaction they could never achieve in and of themselves , namely, loving union with a God who has entered human history and reveals himself in faith to those he chooses. In other words, grace perfects nature. But it does so by transmuting it and endowing it with entirely new ways of relating to God. We call the transmutation of human experience in faith "created grace." And the fact that created grace transcends anything we can do or experience naturally explains the discontinuity which converts experience in coming to faith. Hope graces the repentant heart by healing it of disordered affections and binding it to a faithful God. Faith graces the human mind by teaching it to acknowledge the saving significance of religious events. Love graces human decisions by ensuring that they are informed by gospel values. Gifts of sanctification (dona Spiritus Sancti) ensure ongoing docility to the Holy Spirit in putting on the mind of Jesus. Charisms of service (gratiae gratis datae) bind Christians to one another in a community of faith, of worship, and mutual service. All these different forms of created grace transmute the natural elements that structure human experience .
Thus far, this presentation of Helminiak doesn't really address developmental issues but let me briefly muddy the waters with same. What happens when the human knowledge manifold tries to navigate its way through these different spheres of human concern: positivistic, philosophic, theistic and theotic?

Well, human knowledge is broadly conceived to include sensation, perception, emotion, motivation, the nonrational/noninferential, pre-rational/pre-inferential, the suprarational (and connaturality) & faith, common sense, abductive, inductive & deductive logic/inference, and deliberation, and so on. These aspects are integral and holistic, each faculty complementing the others, even amplifying and clarifying the others. They all have a role, in my view, in helping us make our way through the positivistic, philosophic, theistic and theotic realms.

Overemphasis on the rational and inferential and underemphasis on the nonrational and pre-rational and suprarational is rationalism. Overemphasis on the nonrational, suprarational and pre-inferential and underemphasis on the rational and inferential is fideism . An overinvestment in human knowledge is epistemological hubris (radical modernism and even premodernism). An underinvestment in human knowledge is excessive epistemological humility (radical postmodernism). A suitable (optimal) investment in human knowledge is an epistemological holism , a/k/a fides et ratio.

Now, it is true that, as we move from one sphere of concern or perspective to another, different aspects of our human knowledge manifold will be called forth as more pertinent/appropriate to the demands of the nature of what is being known as well as more appropriate/pertinent to the demands of the present exigencies of the one doing/attempting the knowing. I'll translate: IOW, sometimes the heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing; we know this in a thousand ways (Pascal).

I mention all of this to distinguish between our spheres of concerns and our modes of knowledge, since a question came up earlier about the theistic and theotic, which are not two ways of knowing but are two different spheres of concern. We can be just as rationalistic, for instance, about our theotic endeavors as we can about our theistic endeavors, seeing the way, for example, but not walking the way.

pax all,
jb
 
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Obviously, these questions cannot be resolved by dropping down into the Positivist perspective, which is what people like Sagan seem to demand. They can't be answered in the Philosophic perspective either.

To be clear, if we think of the positivistic, philosophic, theistic and theotic as different spheres of concern, and we distinguish these spheres of concern from the different aspects of the human knowledge manifold or different elements in the human epistemological suite, then, perhaps, what we are really saying is, not so much that certain questions cannot be resolved or answered from certain perspectives or within certain spheres of concern, but, rather, that certain questions are simply not being asked within certain spheres of concern because those spheres are not concerned with them in the first place.

For one thing, the positivistic realm constructs models of reality and the philosophic realm deals with the normative sciences of logic, aesthetics and ethics. There is a huge difference between our attempts to model reality and our attempts to explain reality. It is only when philosophy moves into metaphysics that explanatory attempts even begin to emerge; but my experience of metaphysics is that they pretty much amount to super-modeling attempts and that authentic explanatory attempts don't commence until one is "doing" the theistic, even if it is a-theistic. Questions about God involve explanatory attempts of reality; the positivistic and philosophic realms involve attempts to model reality.

When the human faculty of abduction (our hypothesis-generating inferential capacity) quite naturally and spontaneously proposes God, we are no longer merely modeling reality but are attempting to explain reality, in part, and not with just our heads but very much with our hearts, and not just with our higher level critical reasoning but very much with our common sense (which is properly regarded, in many circles, as less fallible, too).

pax,
jb

Note: To clarify modeling vs explaining, here is a one line sentence from a many-lined essay I wrote recently: The basic distinction to be drawn between our modeling and explanatory attempts is that our modeling attempts, ultimately, are approaching reality in its discrete parts, while our explanatory attempts are approaching reality taken as a whole.
 
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Let me add that, once our positivistic and philosophic spheres of concern and our intellectual, affective, moral and social conversions, have been transformed and transvalued/illuminated by the light of faith, the positivistic and philosophic can serve to complement, amplify and clarify the theistic and theotic and religious, mutally enriching all spheres of concern and all aspects of human knowledge. Natural theology as a project can serve to demonstrate the reasonableness of faith, as a preamble to faith. Once illumined by faith, we can then do science and philosophy within a theology of nature, a wholly different (and to most, more rewarding) enterprise from natural theology. Once illumined by faith, our human sciences can even more efficaciously advance and enrich our spiritualities and conversions, however otherwise "secular" they may be.

pax,
jb
 
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What Gelpi has to say about grace rings true, jb. I see it every day in the willing and not so willing
recovering persons. I like the bumper sticker "grace happens." Smiler

Emerson jumps from Unitarianism to the concept of the "over-soul" without an intermediary theistic step. Even the Hare Krishna people have a diety.

I can see where Jehovah-Rapha, our Healer, or Jehovah Tsidkenu, our Righteousness, or Jehovah Jireh, our Glory can dwell in the higher aspects of ourselves, but I believe it dwells also within
a distict personality which is wholly distinct, separate and "other." Many mystics no longer believe this, but see it as a stage to be outgrown.

I have no such problems with the virgin birth, atonement and resurrection. I believe the same things as Christians all over the world do. There is a "fundamental" as well as corresponding "harmonics."

Thanks you for sharing about Lonergan and Rahner. I'm looking forward to learning more about them. Smiler

Then the question arises about the Turing test and
Phillip K. Dick's "Do androids dream of electric sheep? Wink

http://www.kurzweilai.net/meme...rticles/art0474.html

One of Meister Eckhart's better sermons:

http://www.users.globalnet.co....alfar2/eckserm45.htm

And an article jb could have written which I barely understand. Wink

http://members.optusnet.com.au/~gjmoses/relexp1.htm

caritas,

mm <*)))))><
 
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quote:
Originally posted by johnboy:
[qb] IOW, the religious spiritualities transvalue the secular spiritualities. But much of Helminiak's project is focusing on the secular spiritualities, the natural spiritualities, so as to provide common ground for interreligious dialogue. [/qb]
Let me back up here. Much of Helminiak's project has been about drawing very definite distinctions, properly nuancing ideas and parsing terms. THEREFORE, let me not do a disservice to this hard and inspired work by throwing around the term spirituality too loosely. Helminiak clearly intends to restrict the usage of this term to the philosophic perspective, which is humanistic, secular, prior to religion. So, more appropriately, we would say he is drawing a distinction between the secular and the religious, locating the positivistic and philosophic in the secular-humanistic perspective and the theistic and theotic in the religious perspectve. It is the drawing of the secular and religious distinction that parallels what Lonergan was doing with conversions.

Another thing to appreciate about Helminiak's work at clarifying terms is that he adopts the tripartite model of humanity: body, psyche and spirit, pretty much consistent with Viktor Frankl's approach (using different terms). I have found that Helminiak's use of the term psyche corresponds to Richard Rohr's use of the term soul, which Helminiak avoids because it has too many other connotations.

pax,
jb
 
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quote:
Originally posted by mysticalmichael9:
[qb] Emerson jumps from Unitarianism to the concept of the "over-soul" without an intermediary theistic step. Even the Hare Krishna people have a diety.

I can see where Jehovah-Rapha, our Healer, or Jehovah Tsidkenu, our Righteousness, or Jehovah Jireh, our Glory can dwell in the higher aspects of ourselves, but I believe it dwells also within
a distict personality which is wholly distinct, separate and "other." Many mystics no longer believe this, but see it as a stage to be outgrown [jb's emphasis].[/qb]
MM, you speak directly to the issue of why the theotic has no counterpart, for all practical purposes, in the Eastern traditions. If one believes we are already divine, who needs theosis?

Some have (properly) criticized Lonergan and Rahner for their kantian-like adaptation of thomism, called transcendental thomism, which waxes eloquent in proposing such concepts as the Anonymous Christian and expanding on such themes as implicit faith and thematic grace. I can see where Helminiak's distinction between the theistic and the theotic might precisely be an attempt to correct what was an overly optimistic theological anthropology, as employed by Rahner and Lonergan and others.

I believe that Merton's experience with the East and his testimony therefrom, which drew clear distinctions between the immanent and transcendent, the existential and theological, the natural and supernatural, the apophatic and kataphatic, the impersonal and the personal, all support Helminiak's distinctions. Much of what we have talked about regarding nonduality (vis a vis Wilber et al and other visitors to Shalomplace from time to time) also has revealed a clearly distinct dynamic in Christian theosis. I think Helminiak's work might properly represent such a "chastised" optimism as others have called for in the theological anthropology of Rahner and Lonergan.

Gelpi cites many problems with the Rahnerian notion of thematic grace as contrasted with what he calls grace as transmuted experience, wich involves the transformative and transvaluative dynamics I explicated above:
quote:
I have also found that a theology of thematic grace finally creates more confusion than mutual understanding in ecumenical exchanges. For it fallaciously assumes that all people relate to God in essentially the same way. As a consequence, a theology of thematic grace fails to credit sufficiently the incredible variety of human and religious experience. And it betrays well-meaning Christians into projecting into the unconverted, attitudes which result only from converted faith in God. Belief in the supernatural existential also leads the same well-intentioned Christians to project into the religious experience of non-Christians elements that derive specifically from a Christian conversion experience. In other words, in ecumenical exchanges a theology of thematic grace all but ensures mutual misunderstanding. Here I in no way wish to deny analogies among the religious experiences of Christians and non-Christians. But I resist facile generalizations about their essential likeness as methodologically unjustified. I would insist that similarities be validated case by case.

I highly recommend Two Spiritual Paths: Thematic Grace vs. Transmuting Grace (Part 1) and also Thematic Grace vs. Transmuting Grace (Part II) from SPIRITUALITY TODAY, Winter 1983.

The more I look at those articles by Gelpi, the more I can see where Helminiak may be offering the much needed corrective to the lonerganian account of conversions.

pax,
jb
 
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Welcome to the party, JB, and thanks for taking the discussion to a deeper level. Smiler

Just a few random comments and responses:

I mention all of this to distinguish between our spheres of concerns and our modes of knowledge, since a question came up earlier about the theistic and theotic, which are not two ways of knowing but are two different spheres of concern. We can be just as rationalistic, for instance, about our theotic endeavors as we can about our theistic endeavors, seeing the way, for example, but not walking the way.

Quite so! I noted on the table that these perspectives can be taught as academic disciplines, and so, for some, that is pretty much the extent of their involvement with them. IOW, one can teach Christian mysticism without being a Christian mystic. Spirituality as a way of life vs. as an academic discipline are indeed two different things. Nevertheless, it's good to recognize that the perspectives can be taught so, which helps to give them some kind of objective basis.

Once illumined by faith, we can then do science and philosophy within a theology of nature, a wholly different (and to most, more rewarding) enterprise from natural theology. Once illumined by faith, our human sciences can even more efficaciously advance and enrich our spiritualities and conversions, however otherwise "secular" they may be.

For sure, and happily so, else we would have a situation where spirituality and study were at odds with each other.

A little later I'll talk about how the Positivist and Philosophic levels actually constrain certain aspects of the Theistic and Theotic.

Helminiak clearly intends to restrict the usage of this term (spirituality) to the philosophic perspective, which is humanistic, secular, prior to religion. So, more appropriately, we would say he is drawing a distinction between the secular and the religious, locating the positivistic and philosophic in the secular-humanistic perspective and the theistic and theotic in the religious perspectve. It is the drawing of the secular and religious distinction that parallels what Lonergan was doing with conversions.

In my understanding, Helminiak doesn't mean to restrict spirituality to the philosophic level, only to say that that's where we first find evidence of its exercise. In doing so, he's extricating it from the realm of religion, as you've noted, and opening the possibility for exploring spirituality in its own right as a branch of psychology (no, not transpersonal psyche). When informed by theistic and theotic faith, spirituality is transvalued, as you noted above, and becomes theistic spirituality, or theotic spirituality. It is still human spirituality, only in-formed by the higher perspectives.

Another thing to appreciate about Helminiak's work at clarifying terms is that he adopts the tripartite model of humanity: body, psyche and spirit, pretty much consistent with Viktor Frankl's approach (using different terms). I have found that Helminiak's use of the term psyche corresponds to Richard Rohr's use of the term soul, which Helminiak avoids because it has too many other connotations.

Right. If we were to really move into ontological language, here, he would say, with Rahner, et al, that we really are talking about the spiritual soul (see exhibit B, above). But Body-Soul is too common a dichotomy with all kinds of baggage so he moves into the tripartite model, which is (like the four perspectives) not an ontolological model.

MM, you speak directly to the issue of why the theotic has no counterpart, for all practical purposes, in the Eastern traditions. If one believes we are already divine, who needs theosis?

Big Grin Yes! Only there are branches of Hinduism that do seem more theistic. Still, overall, the Eastern approaches seem intent on awakening one to the Self in its non-reflecting, non-intentional aspect, which Lonergan has accounted for within the philosophic perspective.
 
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re: In my understanding, Helminiak doesn't mean to restrict spirituality to the philosophic level

Oh, very good, then I can retract my retraction.

pax!
jb
 
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