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Metalanguage and Revelation: Rethinking Theology’s Language and Relevance

  • Andrea VestrucciEmail author
Article
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Abstract

What distinguishes theology (in specific Christian theology) from the other uses of language? Is theology a specific language, or is it a specific situation of language, a specific way to consider language? I start with the issue of language’s inadequacy before (and because of) divine revelation. By analyzing the variety of answers to this inopia verborum, I show that the theological inadequacy of language is not conceptual, but formal: it concerns the metalinguistic definition of inadequacy. Then, I formalize the relationship between metalanguage and object language, and I argue that theology applies precisely to this formal relationship. From this, I deduce that the function of theology is to question the need for metalinguistic foundation and validation—given that this need characterizes human language, that is, what is not divine revelation. I end with two applications: on one hand, to the axiomatization of theology; on the other hand, to the methodology for inter-religious dialogue.

Keywords

Theology Foundation Metalanguage Logic Paradox Axiomatism Inter-religious dialogue 

Mathematics Subject Classification

Primary 03A05 Secondary 03B65 03B80 

Notes

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate Theological UnionBerkeleyUSA

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