Sunday, July 8, 2012

Eberhard Jüngel on Theological Conceptions of Actuality and Possibility...

This is great stuff:

"The future actuality of the world is not a matter of hope; it is made.  It belongs to the context of worldly action; it is a matter of calculation and cannot do with hopes any more than we can work with hope in constructing an aeroplane or in pursuing historical-critical inquiry into the past.  The future actuality of the world is something which can be made.  As such it does not originate immediately from the word of promise, but from the work of the diviner, who, according to Kant, truly represents 'things imminent in future time', if he 'himself creates and continues the events which he announces in advance'...

What can be made does not become, in the strict sense of 'becoming ex nihilo'.  We make actuality out of that which is actual.  We change, we transform.  In this way, we make the future.  God, however, is not one who transforms; he is the creator, who allows possibility to move toward actuality.  But this possibility arises from the divine distinction between the possible and the impossible, arises, that is, ex nihilo.  The world's possibility is not within but external to its actuality.  And its being is external to its futurity."

Eberhard Jüngel - "The World as Possibility and Actuality" (from his Theological Essays)

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