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The Limitation of Language and an Ambiguous Way of Knowing: A Comparative Theological Study of Cyril of Alexandria and Nāgārjuna

The Limitation of Language and an Ambiguous Way of Knowing: A Comparative Theological Study of... and an Ambiguous Way of Knowing: A Comparative Theological Study of Cyril of Alexandria and Nāgārjuna Wanjoong Kim George Lindbeck’s postliberal approach has inspired many theologians to focus on the language use embedded in doctrines and understand the “nature of doctrines” as a regulatory system of prescribing our language use.1 Its advantage is apparent in focusing more on the second-order propositions while avoiding difficulties involved in making the first-order propositions.2 But this linguistic approach does not examine the nature of language with reference to its “order.” In ordinary language use, reality is described according to binary order, such as the principle of noncontradiction. For example, if it is true to say that Socrates is a man, then it is false to say that Socrates is not a man. But many cases of religious language use surpass this order and become ambiguous by assuming a form of paradox, particularly in the face of mystery, as Gordon Kaufman has observed.3 This paper will analyze the nature of language to understand its semantic mechanism that makes such an ambiguous use of language possible when describing a given reality. The main argument in this paper will be drawn upon a comparative theological http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Buddhist-Christian Studies University of Hawai'I Press

The Limitation of Language and an Ambiguous Way of Knowing: A Comparative Theological Study of Cyril of Alexandria and Nāgārjuna

Buddhist-Christian Studies , Volume 37 – Oct 28, 2017

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The University of Hawai'i Press.
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1527-9472
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Abstract

and an Ambiguous Way of Knowing: A Comparative Theological Study of Cyril of Alexandria and Nāgārjuna Wanjoong Kim George Lindbeck’s postliberal approach has inspired many theologians to focus on the language use embedded in doctrines and understand the “nature of doctrines” as a regulatory system of prescribing our language use.1 Its advantage is apparent in focusing more on the second-order propositions while avoiding difficulties involved in making the first-order propositions.2 But this linguistic approach does not examine the nature of language with reference to its “order.” In ordinary language use, reality is described according to binary order, such as the principle of noncontradiction. For example, if it is true to say that Socrates is a man, then it is false to say that Socrates is not a man. But many cases of religious language use surpass this order and become ambiguous by assuming a form of paradox, particularly in the face of mystery, as Gordon Kaufman has observed.3 This paper will analyze the nature of language to understand its semantic mechanism that makes such an ambiguous use of language possible when describing a given reality. The main argument in this paper will be drawn upon a comparative theological

Journal

Buddhist-Christian StudiesUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Oct 28, 2017

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