Monday, August 28, 2006

[THO] Good Old Karl Jaspers

I'm starting to get my head around Jaspers a bit better. I see that he is mostly trying to get at his understanding of Bultmann, but I do find that he still misses something. But there is much to really appreciate about his "comprehension" of revelation. One powerful insight he has is a screaming indictment of dogmatism, when we believe we possess the absolute truth then we shut ourselves off from the revelatory nature of Scripture. (see p. 40 using Lessing as an example of virtuous liberalism). Recently fellow blogger, Hosea talked about the weakness of context irreverant preaching, what I call prooftexting. Reading Jaspers I was left wondering how much of our need to maintain dogma actually hinders our ability to approach scripture in a manner that opens us to new discovery and wonder. Maybe liberalism isn't the enemy of good preaching that my fundamentalist friends believe, maybe the true enemy is in their own theological backyards. There is a difference between being aprehended or captured by the Truth and comprehending the truth perfectly, doesn't St. Paul have something to say about our earthly comprehensive abilities?

Also I am falling in love with Jaspers' term, 'the Encompassing'. It just sounds to warm and embracing to me. He is referring of course to the perception of life from the perspective of faith.

After all this I am eager to hear Bultmann's response. This is a zinger of a book!

3 comments:

knsheppard said...

Frank, you need to read Martin Jay's review of a biography of Jaspers in the LRB" http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n11/jay_01_.html.

One of Freedom said...

I'll have to see if I can get the full review through the Ottawa U library. I noticed that there was a course on Jaspers offered at the graduate level at St. Paul, at least the textbook in the bookstore was on Jaspers. Seeing that was why I bought this one (and I knew the name Bultmann but hadn't read any Bultmenn). Jaspers is fiesty I'll give him that.

Hoshea said...

Frank,
Thanks for the nod & for the regular discussion. God bless.