Religious Language: analogy

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  • Religious Language: Analogy
    • Strengths
      • It helps us understand God and develop a relationship with him.
      • Doesn't claim to be certain; is partial.
      • Used in holy books.
      • Makes us truly think about the qualities of God.
    • Weaknesses
      • Only gives us something metaphorical.
      • Makes assumptions on what God is.
      • Hick - picture of God still unclear as we can't compare him.
      • Brümmer says that: 'God's nature is not accessible to us, nor, therefore is the way in which he is wise'.
    • Scholars
      • Thomas Aquinas
        • Analogy of attribution
        • Analogy of proportion
          • - Also known as analogy of proper proportion      -This is where words relate to something in a different proportions
            • John Hick uses the example of the word 'faithful' applied to a person and a dog - there is simmilarity but different proportions
          • Human words such as 'goodness' and 'love' are the same qualities found in God but on a much greater scale when applied to God.
      • Ian Ramsey
        • - Builds on Aquinas's ideas               -He says we can use human qualities to describe God but we must qualify them.    - The human term is the 'model' as it gives us idea of the meaning.         - The 'qualifier' is the word which helps us scale up the term  to God's level (e.g. omnipotent shows God's power as much moire than human power)
          • - The effect of the qualifier makes in greater depth about God until we gain insight.           - 'Insight disclosure': qualifier used in a place that isn't expected so makes us deepen understanding - When we receive insight we respond to it.
    • Via positiva/ cataphatic way
    • Key ideas
      • - Thomas Aq. influenced by via negativa     - He used the term 'via eminetiae' meaning that our knowledge of God can only be limited        -Human terms such as 'good' are only partial as these human concepts are flawed
      • - Aquinas said that we should use analogy to describe God - Analogy is when language is used to give a similar or related sense to the original word (midway between equivocal and univocal)


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