Language and Truth. Philosophy and Religious Discourse PDF Stampa E-mail

Vol 37, No 1 (2017)

Cover Teoria 37, 1 (2017)

Questo fascicolo di «Teoria» ha origine da un convegno internazionale che si è svolto il 30 giugno e l’1 luglio 2016 presso l’Università di Pisa, e che ha visto la partecipazione di alcuni dei più importanti studiosi del rapporto tra filosofia e religioni, con particolare riferimento alle tre religioni monoteistiche principali. La riflessione si è concentrata sul tema del linguaggio religioso, sulle varie forme in cui esso si articola, sul modo in cui la tradizione filosofica, con il suo specifico approccio, è in grado di tradurre – o non piuttosto di tradire – le molteplici espressioni dell’esperienza religiosa. Il convegno ha rappresentato il punto d’arrivo del progetto PRA (Progetti di Ricerca di Ateneo) 2016, dedicato ad approfondire lo stesso tema e finanziato dall’Università di Pisa. «Teoria», che nel passato ha già ospitato altri contributi su questi argomenti, volentieri ne pubblica i risultati.

This issue of «Teoria» originates from a international conference held on 30 June and 1 July 2016 at the University of Pisa. This conference was attended by some of the most important scholars of the relationship between philosophy and religions, with particular reference to the three main monotheistic religions. Reflection was focused on the theme of religious language, on the various forms in which it is articulated, and on the way in which the philosophical tradition, with its specific approach, is able to interpret – rather than betray – the multiple expressions of religious experience. This conference was the culmination of the 2016 “PRA” (Progetti di Ricerca di Ateneo) university research projects, dedicated to this same theme and funded by the University of Pisa. «Teoria», which has already hosted other contributions on these themes in the past, is delighted to publish the results.

Pierluigi Barrotta, Adriano Fabris


  • Bibliographical survey on religious language
    This paper is a bibliographical survey about the developing of religious language during the last decades. The major concepts and issues which characterize the twenty-first century debate have been articulated in seven key views: the emotive view; the logical view; the analogical view; the univocity view; the metaphorical view; the symbolic view and the performative view. The main aim is to draw a framework that may help for orientating in the updated debate regarding religious language. What is of interest in this survey is that the analysis of religious language sheds light not only on this branch of linguistic studies but also on language in general.<br /><br />
  • Ragione e fede nel dibattito dei pensatori musulmani
    How does the contemporary Islam deal with the relationship between reason and the credal issues? Rooted in the theological doctrines of Sunni Islam of the classical age, this article explores the challenge Islam is faced with nowadays, in particular on the issue of human rights.<br /><br />
  • The texture of religious language
    From time immemorial poetry and religion have been linked. Lucretius, Thomas of Celano, and St. John of the Cross provide iconic examples. Both involve non-literal discourse, as spelt out by Origen, Augustine, and Thomas Aquinas. We need to distinguish allegory, parable, metaphor, and analogy. In talking of God we use both bodily and mentalistic predicates: both can only be understood metaphorically. This is illustrated by an examination of “Our Father who art in Heaven”. Even for Aquinas the notion of fatherhood was metaphorical, and the biblical notion of heaven cannot survive in any literal sense in a world of Newtonian physics. The metaphorical nature of religious language does not rule out the possibility of prayer, as illustrated by A.H. Clough.<br /><br />
  • Prospettive storiografiche di teologia medievale cristiana e di teologia islamica (Kalām)
    Abstract Theology as a science arises in Medieval Christian thought chiefly as a result of the comparison with the Aristotelian criteria for demonstrative reasoning. Through an excursus on the historiography on Medieval theology, both Christian and Muslim, this article compares the development of theology in both areas, and suggests that direct acquaintance with the text of Aristotle's Posterior Analytics plays a role in the appraisal of the nature of the thological discourse.
  • La Legge e l’«ostinazione ebraica»: Franz Rosenzweig interprete di Paolo. Una prospettiva teologico-politica su Rm 9-11
    This paper aims to show the relations between Franz Rosenzweig and Paul of Tarsus concerning the notion of «Jewish obstinacy». According to Rosenzweig, the Jewish obstinacy is not simply an opposition to Christianity, but actually it is its firm and durable guarantee. It is enough to remember what Rosenzweig writes: «The pastor argued conclusively who, asked by Frederick the Great about the proof of Christianity, replied: “Majesty, the Jews”» (The Star of Redemption, tr. B. Galli, p. 438). The paper analyses this notion and its theologico-political implications in the chapter 11 of the Epistle to the Romans and in the Third part of The Star of Redemption.
  • Yigdal, qinah, she’elah - Inno, lamentazione, domanda. Tre discorsi ebraici nel pensare a Dio
    The contribution deals with the difference between philosophy and religion in thinking truth. It opposes the religious metaphorical speech and the philosophic conceptual speech. Hymn, lamentation, question are three forms of religious metaphorical speech in Jewish praying. The contribution offers examples of these three lyric forms and, taking inspiration from Hermann Cohen and Franz Rosenzweig, it shows how they represent human universal manners to address God although in a particular language.
  • Verità e linguaggio nella filosofia di Martin Heidegger: al di là del fondamento
    This article intends to point out that the questions about the language and the truth in Martin Heidegger’s Philosophy allow to reflect on the religious discourse. This link between philosophy and religion is made possible from the philosophy of the German thinker based on four premises: a) the philosophical concept for facilitating such reflexion is that of the onto-theology, b) this concept focus on the concept of ground, c) the structural nexus between ground and supreme being is the entry point for God into the philosophy, d) in this way the onto-theo-logy becomes the fundamental mode of the metaphysics, object of criticism by the philosopher of Messkirch.
  • Logos, parola, parabola: un’istanza metafisica per la teologia cristiana
    The essay tries to bring into study the “metaphysics of voice”, of which Corrado Bologna had spoken years ago in his Flatus vocis, whose speculative summit is reached and expressed in the pages entitled “The Voice of Love”. In order to become σὰρξ (Sarx) the λογος (Logos) must become and express himself as φωνή􀀀 (Voice), and as incarnated It represents the “absolute paradox”, i.e. the most radical confrontation against every gnostic temptation. That prologue, which is a “conclusion” of the Forth Gospel, reaches us in such a way to put out the question of the existence of God, in an ontotheological sense, on which Philosophy and the so-called “rational Theology” devoted much energy. What we urgently need instead is a “speculative theology”, capable of going beyond, by crossing them through, the intricacies of both Ontotheology and Philology. Too much time and resources have been wasted in attempts to prove the existence of God and in the exegesis of texts, depriving the existence of the listening to the “voice”, which precedes and inaugurates the word, allowing the embodiment of thought. This way, one can grasp, albeit broadly, the metaphysical valence of the Christological event, through a path that leads from the reflection on the metaphysics of voice to the sacramentality of the Word itself, assuming as conjunction the analogia Verbi (Analogy of the Word), disclosing through it both the cosmic-anthropological and the historical-eschatological dimensions of the Hebraic-Christian Revelation, whose fruitfulness for the philosophical thought requires to be inhabited and further articulated. <br /><br />
  • L’Aristotele di Vittorio Sainati e l’Aristotele dei contemporanei
    Vittorio Sainati wrote two books and several articles on Aristotle’s logical thought. In this paper I reconstruct Sainati’s intepretation of Aristotle’s logic. I show that Sainati anticipates some of the contributions by Michael Frede and Marko Malink. I focus on two aspects: 1) Sainati’s reconstruction of Aristotle’s doctrine of the categories and 2) Sainati’s claim that it is possible to make sense of Aristotle’s necessity syllogistic if we believe that the necessity operator is used to express the necessity of the per se predications. I show that Sainati’s idea that logical categories are nothing but predications has been further developed by M. Frede in a famous essay. Additionally, I show that Malink’s interpretation of modal syllogistic against the backdrop of Aristotle’s theory of predication echoes Sainati’s contributions. My paper aims at showing the depth of Sainati’s intepretation of Aristotle’s logic.<br /><br />
  • Dio non “esiste” ma “avviene”. Un punto d’incontro (medievale) fra filosofia analitica e teologia continentale
    This paper deals with the philosophical, theological and, more in general, religious issue of God as Being itself. First, I briefly explain the classical Thomistic doctrine of God as “Ipsum esse subsistens”. Then, I explain and analyse the reasons why both Heideggerian continental philosophy and Fregean analytic philosophy disagree with this classical doctrine. Finally, I put forward an alternative approach that allows us to take seriously both the Heideggerian and the Fregean philosophical traditions without dismissing, but rather by developing the Thomistic notion of existence as act of being.
  • Agostino e Plotino sulla materia dei corpi
    The paper has two main aims: first, to offer a general overview about Augustine’s concept of corporeal matter, based on a comprehensive examination of all the occurrences of the Latin lemmas materia and materies in his works; second, to discuss more in detail the vexed question of the Plotinian influence on Augustine’s conception of matter, in order to highlight that the major meeting points between Augustine and Plotinus rest on a purely literal level, and to rather point out the significant conceptual differences between these two thinkers.