Advertisement

The Stuff of Revelation: Austin Farrer’s Doctrine of Inspired Images

  • Ingolf Dalferth
Part of the Studies in Literature and Religion book series (SLR)

Abstract

Austin Farrer was a philosophical theologian who took revelation seriously. He did not hold God’s creation and government of nature to be truths received by way of revelation and otherwise uncertified. But he was convinced that we cannot progress very far in our attempts to understand these rational truths about God if we ignore the truth which ‘God himself has revealed’.1 All our knowledge of divine truth, as he was well aware, depends on God’s prior self-manifestation: there is no knowledge of God unless he reveals and we reason. But, he insisted, merely to ‘distinguish between God’s action and ours’ is not enough: we must go on to distinguish between ‘two phases of God’s action’: his revelation by way of nature and his supernatural self-revelation in particular actions in history. There are divine mysteries such as the Trinity or the incarnation which are ‘inaccessible to natural reason, reflection, intuition or wit’, and ‘Christians suppose such mysteries’ to have been revealed in Christ and ‘to be communicated to them through the scriptures’.2

Keywords

Literary Criticism Biblical Text Historical Interpretation John Hick Holy Ghost 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    A. Fairer, The Glass of Vision (Westminster: Dacre Press, 1948) pp. 1–3.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    M. Goulder, ‘Fairer the Biblical Scholar’, in P. Curtis, A Hawk among Sparrows: A Biography of Austin Farrer (London: SPCK, 1985) p. 193.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    J. Blakesley, ‘Pictures in the Fire? Austin Farrer’s Biblical Criticism and John’s Gospel — a Comment’, Literature and Theology, I (1987) 18–90.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    See P. Curtis, ‘The Biblical Work of Dr Faner’, Theology, lxxiii (1970) 292–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 6.
    M. M. Yee, ‘A Critical Examination of the Theology of Austin Fairer with Special Reference to The Glass of Vision’ (thesis, Sydney 1976).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    F. Kermode, The Genesis of Secrecy: On the Interpretation of Narrative, 2nd edn (Cambridge, Mass., and London: Harvard University Press, 1979).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    M. Stocker, ‘God in Theory: Milton, Literature and Theodicy’, Literature and Theology, I (1987) 70–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 9.
    H. Gardner, The Business of Criticism (London: Oxford University Press, 1959) p. 126.Google Scholar
  9. 11.
    J. Hick, Faith and Knowledge, 2nd edn (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press; London: Macmillan, 1966) p. 29.Google Scholar
  10. 13.
    A. Fairer, Faith and Speculation: An Essay in Philosophical Theology (London: A. & C. Black, 1967) p. 102f.Google Scholar
  11. 16.
    W. Temple, Nature, Man and God (London: Macmillan 1934) p. 314.Google Scholar
  12. 20.
    M. Budd, ‘Wittgenstein on Seeing Aspects’, Mind, xcvi (1987) 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 21.
    J. Hick, ‘Seeing-as and Religious Experience’, Problems of Religious Pluralism (London: Macmillan; New York: St Martin’s Press, 1985) p. 19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 24.
    P. Helm, The Varieties of Belief (London: Allen & Unwin, 1973) p. 160.Google Scholar
  15. 29.
    A. Farrer, ‘Revelation’, in B. Mitchell (ed.), Faith and Logic, 3rd edn (London: Allen & Unwin, 1968) p. 105.Google Scholar
  16. 33.
    A. Farrer, A Rebirth of Images: The Making of St John’s Apocalypse (Westminster: Dacre Press, 1949) p. 13.Google Scholar
  17. 40.
    A. Farrer, Saving Belief (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1964) p. 107.Google Scholar
  18. 45.
    J. McIntyre, Faith, Theology and Imagination (Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1987).Google Scholar
  19. 46.
    C. C. Hefling, Jacob’s Ladder. Theology and Spirituality in the Thought of Austin Farrer (Cambridge, Mass.: Cowley, 1979) p. 52.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ann Loades and Michael McLain 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ingolf Dalferth

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations