Individuation and participation : A study of man in community in the theologies of Wolfhart Pannenberg and Emil Brunner

Llewellyn, Hallett E (1976) Individuation and participation : A study of man in community in the theologies of Wolfhart Pannenberg and Emil Brunner. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Man's search for meaning has involved him in political, social and religious area of life. In many cases his concern has been directed exclusively in one or other of these areas. Indeed, it can be said that man's perspective on reality, particularly throughtout this centuiy, has encouraged such compartmentilization of life. Meaning (fulfillment) has generally meant the commitment to one concern to the exclusion of another. As a result, conflict has developed with each discipline arguing for the ultimacy of its own claim. The church, for example, has found itself at odds, many times, with political activity for this reason. This thesis challenges the heart of such devisive thinking. Throughout, I argue for one reality in the question of meaning. Using the theology of Wolfhart Pannenberg for support, I present a perspective in which politics, society and religion are viewed as participants in the same reality, although with distinctive contributions. More specifically, in dealing with the question of meaning, I approach the subject of the individual's relationship to the community. This subject inevitably arises and is crucial to any serious contemplation of man's quest for fulfillment. Where and how does the individual look for satisfaction in his quest? To my knowledge no adequate response has been presented to this question. Politically, we are witnessing a struggle between those forces that claim ultimacy for the community and its meaning, and those forces which defend the rights of the individual above all systems and structures. The same struggle is present economically between defenders of socialism and defenders of capitalism. Theologically, a struggle is also in progress. There are proponents of a pietistic tradition who argue for a transcendence of the individual above the world for true meaning. On the other hand, there are proponents of a position who advocate a more worldly, secular theology which claims meaning as purely immanent in the world. In this thesis I am treating the subject from the theological point of view. It is my conviction that man's search for meaning is dependent on where and how he sees his God. Every man in search of fulfillment is engaged in a religious exercise whether he recognizes it or not. Thus, no man can escape the question of God, This thesis deals specifically with this question and its suggestive perspective on the relationship between the individual and the community. It is my contention that no conception of God, thus far presented, deals adequately with the matter at hand. Present concepts fall short of a comprehensive understanding. Either value (meaning) is divorced from fact, in which case the community of man loses its significance, or value is united with fact in such a way as to deny man the honor of freedom and openness. In either case, the requirements of personal existence, for which unity and freedom are necessary conditions, are not met, I suggest that theology can no longer proclaim a God with any degree of credibility unless it meets such conditions, The challenge of atheism is mentioned, particularly its claim that present day conceptions of God deny man freedom with their deterministic implications. The ciriticism I make is that protestant theology has been weak in meeting this challenge and is presenting a God incredulous to the modern mind for this reason.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: Allan D Galloway
Keywords: Theology, Philosophy of Religion
Date of Award: 1976
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1976-72072
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 17 May 2019 13:07
Last Modified: 17 May 2019 13:07

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