Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Cross and Marenbon on the Cambridge Phantasists

From Deconstructing Radical Orthodoxy

Cross, p.72:
"It seems to me, then, that a closer examination of Scotus' main argument actually helps us clarify the nature of Milbank's project: the exclusion of all argument froms sytematic theology. This would certainly explain the curious, hermetic and allusive rhetoric that Milbank and his followers adopt as their chosen discourse. It would also explain the tendency to assert positions without arguing for them. but if we think - as Aquinas and Scotus would - that this would result in the radical impoverishment of orthodox systematic theology, then we will want to resist not only Milbank's conclusion, but also the rejection of Scotus' univocity theory, irrespective of any other supposed historical consequences of the theory."

Marenbon, P. 58:
"Of course, granted that Heidegger is talking about 'Western metaphysics', then perhaps he is being the profound philosopher for which his followers take him, and which perhaps he is. And why, then, is not Milbank also entitled to a supply of inverted commas, the most precious resource for philsophers too involved in the profunditites of their own thought to interest themselves in what really happened in the past? Let him have them! Who will then continue to read his writings? Although Radical Orthodoxy does not involve a simple return to the past, the greater part of its exponents' concern seems to be in putting forward the views of thinkers who lived in various centuries long ago. True, the Radically Orthodoxy are not interested in these views merely as history. They wish to take them as their own. But, since they do not argue for them independently, they need the authority of those who originally, they claim, proposed them in order to support their reassertion of them. The force and appeal of Radical Orthodoxy, for those who feel them, consist in the way it allows modern Christians to believe that they are at the cutting edge of modern philosophy by accepting as gospel the claims of postmodernism, and yet also to make their own the positions of Plato, Augustine, Aquinas and others. Clothe these eminent figures in inverted commas, and Radical Orthodoxy wil begin to seem very bare. 'Augustine' and 'Aquinas' do not carry any authority, and Radical Orthodoxy lacks the arguments that would make the positions represented by these labels independently convincing."

1 comment:

Shane said...

I heart John Marenbon, I heart him so hard.