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Eastern and Western Apophatic Paths between Pre-Modern Divinity and Post-Modern Secularity

後現代世俗性與近代早期神性之間的東西方否定神學路徑

Abstracts


In speaking to the topic "Between Humanity and Divinity: In Literature, Art, Religion and Culture," this paper places its emphasis especially on the "Between." Humanity and divinity can be experienced only in this "between." The vast traditions, humanistic and religious alike, in both Eastern and Western cultures, define images of humanity and divinity always only in at least implicit relation to one another. Humanity no less than divinity is indefinable and unknowable as such. This unknowability is fundamental to Socratic-but equally to Daoist-wisdom. Only the space between humanity and divinity allows for representation of either and indeed for the extremely rich forms of figuration produced with astonishing abundance by literature and the arts, as well as by religious rites and practices, throughout world cultures. The paper expounds something of the apophatic or negative logic underlying these fields of representation, moving between divinity and humanity, as seen through "apophatic" (or negative theological) lenses. It attempts to do so in a comparative spirit reaching across cultures from Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance studies in the West to ancient and venerated forms of philosophical, religious, and aesthetic thinking in the East, particularly in Chinese tradition. The paper also includes, in closing, a methodological reflection on philology as a speculative discipline. Such a theoretical perspective is solicited by the overall theme, since thinking the "between" of humanity and divinity entails suspension of all univocal, positive positionings and fosters a kind of thinking without defined objects, a thinking in and from the space between all definable fields.

Parallel abstracts


在討論「人性與神性之間:文學、藝術、宗教與文化」此一題目時,本論文特別將重點放在「之間」一字。唯有透過「之間」,才能夠經驗人性與神性。無論在人文或宗教的浩瀚傳統中,東西方文化在定義人性及神性的形象時,都至少會以二者間含蓄不明關係的方式為之。人性之不可定義與未知,也不下於神性。這種未知在蘇格拉底或道家的智慧皆屬基本原則。唯有介於人性和神性間的空間能夠允許二者的再現,且透過全球文化中令人難以想像之豐富文學、藝術,以及宗教儀式與實踐來加以形象化。本文詳論隱藏於這些再現場域之下的否定神學或者否定邏輯,經由否定神學的透鏡來檢視游移於神性與人性之間的事物。論文將以跨文化的比較精神為之,內容涉及西方的古典、中世紀、文藝復興研究,乃至東方古老且地位崇高的哲學、宗教與美學思想,特別是中國傳統。文末,本文也包含了以語文學作為一個思辨學門的方法論省思。這種理論的觀點在處理本文的主題是有必要的,因為思考人性與神性的「之間」意味著擱置所有單一、正面的立場,而促進一種沒有明確客體的思考方式,一種在所有可定義場域之間游移的思考。

Parallel keywords

智慧 之間 未知 否定神學 推測語文學 推測

References


Ames, Roger, and David Hall. Thinking from the Han: Self, Truth, and Transcendence in Chinese and Western Culture. State U of New York P, 1998.
Balzac, Honore de. La peau de chagrin. Livre de poche, 1995.
Barth, Karl. “Doctrine of the Word of God.” Church Dogmatics, vol. 1, parts 1-2, translated and edited by T. F. Torrence and G. W. Bromiley, T. & T. Clark, 1988.
Benjamin, Walter. “Geschichtsphilosophischen Thesen.” Illuminationen: Ausgewahlte Schriften, Frankfurt, Suhrkamp, 1961, pp. 268-79.
The Bible. Authorized King James Version, 1611. King James Bible Online, www.kingjames bibleonline.org/1611-Bible/

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