Cute baby pictures, pretentious meditations on college teaching, sporadic political commentary--who could ask for anything more?
If God is God purely because of quantitative omnipotence, then a Nietzschean remains "holy" in his hubristic rebellion, as it is only a matter of amount which separates creator from the created. God is in effect immanentised because God is only one more ontic entity struggling for "expression." (83)
Nihilism is the situation from out of which I am called to redemption, it is the experience of world apart from God. Understood like this, nihilism is that place from out of which I come and into which I fall in the continuing desire to be faithful, the continuing need to redeem the place in which I find myself. (105)
The creature's "nature" is not primarily an indeterminate self-positing given, subsisting behind its intentions, but rather is finally determined through its intentions by the company she keeps and the objects of her worship, expressed through the descriptions she gives of herself and the world. Again, despite many "trinities" that can be discerned in the mind's activity, it can only be an image of God, only manifest God in creation, insofar as it doxologically participates in God's charity through the historic ecclesia. The self, who serially is through activity which is formally doxological, is an icon for the "object" of its worship, by which that "object" and the self are in turn made manifest. (115)Self, in other words, is always relative to other selves, and being is always a gift. To negate the giftedness and the gift-character of existence itself is in fact to surrender to nihilism.
Rather fancifully, one could suggest, then, that if Heidegger's way to thought was in mediation upon the concrete and universal "Here I am," and Descartes' upon the abstract universal "I am a thinking ego," than what we are set to think with Anselm is the thought: "We are friends."Moss sees Anselmian friendship as the actual, concrete working-out of Hegel's self-consciousness. I perceive my friend while at the same time perceiving that my friend is perceiving me. Reflection of reflection and all that.
Within Thomas's conception of creation-as-gifted, the "supernatural" refers to gifts which are beyond the nature of fallen humanity, and thus to "the human being whom one finds behaving generously, justly, truthfully. (And of course, it is only God to whom the term "supernatural" could never be applied: who graces God? Who elevates the nature of divinity?)" (45; quote from Nicholas Lash)So, Montag argues, ontological/epistemological denials of the accessibility of "the supernatural" already assume two "realms" rather than two intensities of sight (as per Milbank) with which one might see the same Creation. Once again, late medieval philosophy turns out to have been quite influential in later, post-Kantian philosophy.
By contrast, in the Church Fathers or the early scholastics, both faith and reason are included within the more generic framework of participation in the mind of God: to reason truly one must be already illumined by God, while revelation itself is but a higher measure of such illumination, conjoined intrinsically and inseparably with a created event which symbolically discloses that transcendent reality, to which all created events to a lesser degree also point. (24)Over against this participatory mode of metaphysics, Milbank lays out post-Kantian metaphysics and epistemology as ultimately nihilistic, emptying things of their depth because, by Kantian rules, only the manifold surfaces and their transcendental products are even available.