Wittgenstein and the Metaphysics of Grace
What is the meaning of the word `grace'? Can Wittgenstein's maxim that the meaning of a word is its usage help explicate the claims that Christians have made about grace? When Christians use the word, they reference within language the point of contact between humanity and the divine. Terrance W. Klein suggests that grace is not an occult object but rather an insight, a moment when we perceive God to be active on our behalf. Klein examines the biblical evidence that grace begins as a recognition of God's favour, before considering Augustine as the theologian who champions history rather than nature as the place of encounter with grace. Aquinas' work on grace is also explored, retrieving the saint's thought on three seminal concepts: nature, form, and the striving intellect. Overall, Klein suggests that grace is the perception of a form, an awareness that the human person is being addressed by the world itself.
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act of perception apperception Aquinas Aquinas’s Aristotelian Aristotle assertion Augustine Augustine’s aYrmed Bernard Lonergan called causality of grace character of grace Christ event Christian discourse concept cosmos created creation desire deWned deWnition distinction diVerent divine diYculty element employed encounter engagement epistemological essentially eVect Excalibur existence existential experience eYcient causality faith favor formal causality foundational fundamental G. E. M. Anscombe gift God’s activity gospel gratuitous Greek Heidegger heuristic human knowledge human nature human person insight insists intellect interlocutor inWnity Jesus justiWcation knower language game linguistic linguistic turn logic logos Lonergan Lubac Luther Manicheism meaning metaphysics modiWcation Neoplatonic noetic notes object one’s ontological ordered perceive philosophical picture Plato potency question Rahner reality rejected relation relationship revelation scientiWc signiWcance simply speak of grace stand substance suggest supernatural Testament theology things Thomas Thomas’s Thomistic tion Tractarian Tractatus transcendence ultimately understanding Wittgenstein word grace worldview Wrst