Hart at his best.
In this series of “illuminations,” I quote passages from David Bentley Hart’s collection of essays The Hidden and the Manifest that I have found particularly instructive. I hope they will generate good discussion.
“What indeed has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” asks Tertullian. The question has haunted Christian theology ever since. If we answer “Nothing whatsoever,” we find ourselves trapped in a biblicism unable to grasp the mystery of divine transcendence: God becomes a god, albeit the only one. If we answer “Everything,” we lose our hold on divine revelation itself: the biblical witness becomes submerged in the brilliancies of our philosophical reflections. Who needs the Bible if we have Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus? David Bentley Hart might be understood as inhabiting the space between Athens and Jerusalem. He identifies himself as a “Christian Platonist,” yet one quickly discovers that this is a Platonism that has been purified in…
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