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The grammar of freedom: Edwards and Schleiermacher [microform]
Bib ID 3283332
Format MicroformMicroform, BookBook
Hoggard Creegan, Nicola Anne
Description 221 p. 

This study takes up the problem of the freedom of the will by exploring the grammar of our everyday and philosophical uses of the word 'freedom,' using the theological work of Jonathan Edwards and Friedrich Schleiermacher, and the linguistic insights of Ludwig Wittgenstein. The problem of freedom can then be approached indirectly, and historically, rather than metaphysically. We are able to unravel problems and inconsistencies in language use and to explore some of the diverging forks of meaning in what Wittgenstein calls the 'city of language.' This leads us, with Edwards and Schleiermacher, to an understanding of human freedom as conditioned and limited, rather than radically or transcendentally free.

There will always be reasons, antecedents, or causes for our actions. Hence we are left to examine further the problem of what is meant by freedom. Grammar assists us again in focussing on our linguistic milieu, on the forms of life which undergird our language filled life, and on our corporate Christian communities. As these communities dialogue with Word and as words take on proclamatory power our grammar and our forms of life are transformed and renewed. Freedom is understood as freedom from bondage and as individual life lived in a harmonious corporate existence. This picture is captured by Schleiermacher's vision of the Word as the whole prophetic work of Christ, and of his disciples and of those gathered in history by this Word into the corporate world of blessedness, liberated by word from the corporate world of sinfulness.

Also pertinent is Edwards' vision of being's consent to Being and of the ontological power of the proclaimed Word, and his eschatological vision of the final blessed society as a conversing, social, language centred community. The first chapter looks at theories of language and Wittgensteinian grammar. Chapters two and three examine the work of Edwards and Schleiermacher respectively, on freedom. Chapter four looks at both these authors as they speak on conversion, Word and community. Chapter five attempts to apply some of these insights to the life of the modern church.



Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 53-06, Section: A, page: 1971.

Director: Suzanne Selinger.

Thesis (Ph.D.)--Drew University, 1992.

Reproduction Microfiche. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International. 
Subjects Theology.  |  Religion, History of.  |  Religion, Philosophy of.
Other authors/contributors Drew University


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