ITEM METADATA RECORD
Title: Open and Closed: A Wesleyan Reflection on Christian Narratives of Love
Other Titles: Naar een christelijk open verhaal: een onderzoek naar de theologische implicaties van de openheid ervan
Authors: Davis, Phillip
Issue Date: 8-May-2014
Table of Contents: Contents

Preface XVII

Introduction 1

Chapter 1: Oppressive Narratives 13
1.0 Trapped within an Oppressive Narrative 13
1.1 Joan of Arc 13
1.2 Witch Trials in the Low Countries 17
1.3 Caught Within a Grand Narrative 21

Chapter 2: The Differend 25
2.0 Lyotard’s “Philosophy” Book 25
2.1 The Differend Defined 25
2.2 Auschwitz 26
2.3 Phrase Pragmatics 27
2.4 The Phrase 28
2.4.1 Phrase Universe 29
2.4.2 Phrase Regimens 30
2.4.2.1 Logical Regimen 31
2.4.2.2 Nominative Regimen 32
2.4.2.3 Ostensive Regimen 35
2.4.2.4 Cognitive Regimen (Knowledge) 37
2.4.2.5 Descriptive Regimen 39
2.4.3 Heterogeneous Regimens 40
2.4.4 Presentation 41
2.5 Being/Not-Being 44
2.5.1 Gorgias and Parmenides 45
2.5.2 Refutation of the Referent 46
2.6 Genres of Discourse 47
2.6.1 Pertinent and Inconsistent Links 48
2.6.2 Damages and Wrongs 49
2.6.3 Ends 51
2.6.3.1 Cognition 51
2.6.3.2 Speculation 51
2.6.3.3 Obligation 54
2.6.4 Politics 57
2.6.5 The Archipelago 58
2.6.6 “Strategies – of No-One” 61
2.7 Narratives 62
2.7.1 Grand Narratives 64
2.7.1.1 Mythic Narratives 65
2.7.1.2 Story of History 65
2.7.1.3 Capitalism – The Economic Genre 66
2.7.2 Signs of History 67
2.7.3 Guiding Threads 68
2.7.4 Rejection of Grand Narratives 69
2.7.5 Philosophy’s Task: To Bear Witness to the Differend 71
2.7.6 Lyotard’s Criticism of Christianity: A Super Meta-Narrative 73

Chapter 3: Making Lyotard’s Case 77
3.0 Lyotard’s View of Love 77
3.1 Love as Openness 77
3.2 Love and Representation 79
3.2.1 Signs 79
3.2.1.1 The Theater and the Great Zero 79
3.2.1.2 Nihilism and Conquest 80
3.2.1.3 Semiology 81
3.2.1.4 Simulacrum 82
3.2.1.5 Capitalism 84
3.2.1.6 Tensor Sign 85
3.2.2 Gift 87
3.2.2.1 Symbolic Exchange 87
3.2.2.2 Labor-Force 88
3.2.2.3 Desire and the Machine 88
3.2.2.4 Judaic Discourse 90
3.2.2.5 Psychoanalytic Discourse 92
3.2.2.6 Absence 94
3.2.3 The Libidinal Band 95
3.2.4 An Unfaithful Husband 98
3.3 Love and Presentation 100
3.4 Love as Threat 104
3.4.1 Mainmise 104
3.4.2 The Love of Truth 106
3.5 The Hiddenness of Love 108
3.5.1 Dissimulation 109
3.5.2 Scapeland 110
3.5.3 Exposing Oneself 112
3.6 Love and Writing 117
3.7 Analysis of Lyotard’s Critique of Christianity 121
3.7.1 Love as the Principle Operator 122
3.7.2 Love as Idea 124
3.7.3 The Other as Sign 125
3.7.4 The Other as Gift 126
3.7.5 Permission to Speak 127
3.7.6 Love and Terror 128
3.7.7 Love as Event 128
3.8 Examples Buttressing Lyotard’s Case 129
3.8.1 The American Civil War 130
3.8.2 Creation “Science” 138
3.8.3 Dawkins’ “Conscious Atheism” 144
3.8.4 No Possible Conversation 152
3.9 Lyotard and the Christian Narrative 153

Chapter 4: The Christian Open Narrative 157
4.0 Engaging Lyotard’s Critique 157
4.1 Boeve’s Dual-Approach 157
4.2 Theology and Context 158
4.2.1 Contextual Plausibility 159
4.2.2 Tradition and Context 160
4.2.3 Changed Context 161
4.2.4 Identity and Plurality 162
4.3 Methodology 163
4.3.1 Correlation Theology as Adaptation 163
4.3.2 Theology as Rejection 165
4.3.3 Beyond Adaptation and Rejection 167
4.4 Philosophy and Theology 167
4.4.1 Lost Plausibility 168
4.4.2 Radical Heterogeneity 169
4.4.3 Differend 170
4.4.4 The Christian Master Narrative 172
4.5 Boeve’s Assessment of the Problem 175
4.5.1 A Tendency Towards Ontotheology 175
4.5.1.1 Modern Theologies 176
4.5.1.2 Pre-Modern Theologies 177
4.5.1.3 Sacramentology and Ontotheology 177
4.5.1.4 Theology’s Ontotheological Impetus 178
4.5.2 Theology Must Recontextualize 179
4.5.2.1 Radicalizing Correlation Theology 179
4.6 Recontextualization 180
4.6.1 A Reading Key 181
4.6.1.1 Descriptive Category 183
4.6.1.2 Normative Framework 183
4.6.2 Interruption 184
4.6.2.1 Contextual Interruptions 185
4.6.2.2 Theological Interruptions 187
4.6.3 Lyotard as Philosophical Resource 190
4.6.3.1 Language for Recontextualization 190
4.6.3.2 Lyotard’s Open (Philosophical) Discourse 191
4.6.3.3 Jewish Thought 193
4.7 Towards an Open Narrative: Boeve’s Critique of Lyotard 194
4.8 The Open Narrative 197
4.8.1 Open Narratives 197
4.8.1.1 Awareness of Plurality 198
4.8.1.2 Sensitivity Towards the Irreducible Other 199
4.8.1.3 The Structure of the Open Narrative 199
4.8.1.4 The Open Narrative in Practice 201
4.8.1.5 The Question of Truth 201
4.8.2 The Christian Open Narrative 203
4.8.2.1 A Very Specific Form of Open Narrative 204
4.8.2.2 Characteristics of the Christian Open Narrative 206
4.8.2.3 The Critical-Liberative Power of Jesus’ Open Narrative 206
4.8.2.4 Bearing Witness to the Kingdom of God 209
4.8.2.5 Jesus’ Open Abba-Relationship as Basic Attitude 211
4.8.3 The Event of Grace 213
4.8.3.1 Breaking Open Oppressive, Closed Narratives 214
4.8.4 The Christian Narrative Is Most Naturally an Open Narrative 216
4.8.4.1 For Believers, Jesus Is the Very Paradigm of the Open Narrative 216
4.8.4.2 Jesus as God’s Revelation of Love Par Excellence 217
4.9 A Theology of the Open Narrative 218
4.9.1 Referring to the Unpresentable 219
4.9.2 God Escapes Every Attempt to Enclose God 220
4.9.3 Regaining Contextual Plausibility 221
4.10 Theology as an Open Discourse of the Idea of Love? 221
4.10.1 Referring to Love as Unpresentable 223
4.10.2 Avoiding Oppressing the Other through Love 224
4.10.3 Remaining Open to the Possibility of Receiving the Event of Grace 225
4.10.4 Participation (Living) in Love Analogous to Living in the Truth 225
4.11 In Conversation with Boeve 227

Chapter 5: Theological Reflections on Love 231
5.0 Discourses on the Idea of Love 231
5.1 Nygren: Agape and Love 231
5.1.1 The Agape Motif 233
5.1.1.1 Jesus: The Revelation of God’s Agape-Love 233
5.1.1.2 Paul: The Agape of the Cross 234
5.1.1.3 John: Agape’s Final Formulation 235
5.1.2 The Eros Motif 236
5.1.2.1 Plato 236
5.1.2.2 Aristotle 237
5.1.2.3 Plotinus 237
5.1.2.4 The Fundamental Contrast Between Agape and Eros 238
5.1.2.5 Fundamental Motifs in Conflict 239
5.1.3 The Caritas Motif 239
5.1.3.1 Caritas as Love to God 240
5.1.3.2 Settling the Issue Between Eros and Agape 240
5.1.3.3 Caritas, Cupiditas, and “Quies” 241
5.1.3.4 A Uniquely Creative Idea of Love 241
5.1.4 The Renewal of the Agape Motif in the Reformation 242
5.1.5 Luther 243
5.1.5.1 A False Way of Salvation 243
5.1.5.2 Luther’s Campaign Against Self-Love 244
5.1.5.3 The Difference Between Divine Love and Ordinary Human Love 244
5.1.5.4 The Uniqueness of Christian Love 245
5.1.6 Assessment of Nygren’s Thought 245
5.2 Moffatt: Love in the New Testament 247
5.2.1 Is Christianity the Religion of Love? 247
5.2.2 Jesus’ Teaching in the Synoptic Gospels 248
5.2.2.1 God’s Love: Caring and Stern 249
5.2.2.2 Love to God 250
5.2.2.3 Love for Neighbor 251
5.2.3 Paul’s Teaching 252
5.2.3.1 God’s Love Demonstrated in Salvation 252
5.2.3.2 Love to God or Christ 253
5.2.3.3 Brotherly Love 253
5.2.4 The Primitive Church 255
5.2.4.1 God’s Love 256
5.2.4.2 Love to God 256
5.2.4.3 Brotherly Love 257
5.2.5 The Johannine Interpretation 258
5.2.5.1 God’s Love 258
5.2.5.2 Love to God or Christ 259
5.2.5.3 Love for Individuals 260
5.2.6 Conclusion 261
5.2.7 Assessment of Moffatt’s Thought 261
5.3 Morris: Testaments of Love 263
5.3.1 A Curious Omission 264
5.3.2 God’s Everlasting Love in the Old Testament 264
5.3.2.1 Jeremiah 265
5.3.2.2 Hosea 265
5.3.2.3 Unmerited Love 266
5.3.2.4 Righteousness 266
5.3.2.5 The Centrality of Love 266
5.3.3 Human Love in the Old Testament 267
5.3.4 Love and Loyalty 269
5.3.5 Love in the Septuagint 271
5.3.6 Greek Words for Love 272
5.3.6.1 Natural Affection 272
5.3.6.2 Friendship 272
5.3.6.3 Eros 273
5.3.6.4 Agapē 273
5.3.7 The God of Love and the Love of God 274
5.3.7.1 Love for Sinners 274
5.3.7.2 Love Gives 274
5.3.7.3 The Perfecting of Love 275
5.3.8 Love Is Creative 275
5.3.8.1 Practical Love in 1 John 276
5.3.8.2 The Command to Love 276
5.3.9 Love for Other People 277
5.3.9.1 Self-Love 277
5.3.9.2 Brotherly Love 278
5.3.10 The Love of Friendship 279
5.3.11 Conclusion 280
5.3.12 Assessment of Morris’ Study 281
5.4 Jeanrond: A Theology of Love 282
5.4.1 A Theology of Love 283
5.4.2 Horizons of Love 284
5.4.2.1 Love and Difference 284
5.4.2.2 Love as Embodied 284
5.4.2.3 Love Is Erotic 285
5.4.2.4 Networks of Love 285
5.4.3 Biblical Challenges to a Theology of Love 285
5.4.3.1 Love of God and Love of Neighbor 286
5.4.3.2 The Changing Horizon of Love 286
5.4.4 Augustine’s Theology of God’s Love 286
5.4.4.1 Augustine’s Approach to Sexuality and Marriage 287
5.4.4.2 The Logic of Augustine’s Theology of Love 287
5.4.4.3 Insights Gained from Augustine’s Theology of Love 288
5.4.5 Rediscovering the Loving Subject 289
5.4.5.1 Bernard of Clairvaux 289
5.4.5.2 Thomas Aquinas 290
5.4.5.3 Courtly Love 291
5.4.5.4 Martin Luther 291
5.4.5.5 Medieval Trends 292
5.4.6 Love as Agape 292
5.4.6.1 Anders Nygren 293
5.4.6.2 Karl Barth 293
5.4.6.3 Christian Doctrines of Love 294
5.4.7 The Unity of Love and Desire 295
5.4.7.1 Paul Tillich 295
5.4.7.2 Karl Rahner 296
5.4.7.3 Pope Benedict XVI’s Encyclical Letter 298
5.4.7.4 Approaching Love as Praxis 300
5.4.8 Institutions of Love 300
5.4.8.1 A New Christian Concept of the Family 300
5.4.8.2 The Ambiguous Heritage of Christian Marriage 301
5.4.8.3 A Future for Christian Marriage? 301
5.4.8.4 Love and Chastity 303
5.4.9 The Politics of Love 304
5.4.9.1 Friendship 304
5.4.9.2 The Church as Institution of Love 305
5.4.10 The Love of God 305
5.4.10.1 Divine and Human Love 306
5.4.10.2 Love and Salvation 307
5.4.10.3 Love and Sexuality 308
5.4.10.4 Love in Creation 308
5.4.11 Assessment of Jeanrond’s Thought 309
5.5 Conclusions 310
5.6 Toward a Christian Open, Holy Love 313

Chapter 6. A Radical Holy Love 315
6.0 Holy Love 315
6.1 God’s Forgotten Attribute 315
6.2 Love Within Limits 317
6.3 John Wesley’s Theology of Holy Love 318
6.3.1 Why Wesley? 320
6.3.2 A Practical Theologian 321
6.3.3 Sin as Disease 323
6.3.4 God’s Prevenient Grace 326
6.3.5 Justification as Restoration 329
6.3.6 Sanctification as Love 333
6.3.7 Entire Sanctification 336
6.3.8 Wesley’s Theological Program: Love 339
6.3.9 An Open Theologian? 341
6.3.10 Wesley in Conversation with Jeanrond 343
6.4 Love as Presentation and Representation 345
6.4.1 God Loves Through Presentation 346
6.4.2 God’s Love and Representation 346
6.4.3 God’s Love and “Interesting” 347
6.4.4 Human Love and Representation 348
6.4.5 Human Love and Presentation 349
6.4.6 Thinking about Love 349
6.5 Theology and Love 350
6.6 Holiness as a Porous Border 352
6.6.1 The Problem of Rigidity 352
6.6.2 Holiness Protects Alterity 353
6.6.3 God’s Love Is Radically Open to the Other 354
6.6.4 God’s Love Is Radically Closed to Sin 355
6.6.5 A Proposed Model 356
6.7 Interruption as Invitation 357
6.8 Thoughts Toward a Wesleyan Theology of Love 357
6.8 Heavenly Gates 359

Chapter 7. Conclusion 361
7.0 Findings 361
7.1 Phrase Pragmatics 361
7.2 Hegemonic Narratives 361
7.3 Dangerous Love 362
7.4 Open Narratives 362
7.5 Reflections on Love 363
7.6 Holy Love 364
7.7 Avenues for Further Research 365

Bibliography 367
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: TH
Appears in Collections:Research Unit Systematic Theology - miscellaneous

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