Transcendental theology

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Transcendental theology is a term invented by Immanuel Kant to describe a method of discerning theological concepts.[1] Kant divided transcendental theology into "ontotheology" and "cosmotheology", both of which he also invented, "in order to distinguish between two competing types of 'transcendental theology'".[2]

Kant defined the relationship between ontotheology and cosmostheology as follows:

"Transcendental theology aims either at inferring the existence of a Supreme Being from a general experience, without any closer reference to the world to which this experience belongs, and in this case it is called cosmotheology; or it endeavours to cognize the existence of such a being, through mere conceptions, without the aid of experience, and is then termed ontotheology."[1]

The problem of transcendental theology as developed by Kant is that human reason is not capable of proving God's existence[citation needed]. Kant solves this problem by appealing to moral symbolism. Thus, Kant describes God as a moral trinity: holy lawgiver, good governor, and just judge.[3]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kant, Immanuel, Critique of Pure Reason, Section VII: Critique of all Theology based upon Speculative Principles of Reason.
  2. ^ Thomson, Iain Donald (2005). Heidegger on Ontotheology. Technology and the Politics of Education. Cambridge University Press. p. 7. ISBN 0521851157.
  3. ^ For details, see Stephen Palmquist, "Kant's Perspectival Foundation for Critical Theology", Part Two of Kant's Critical Religion (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000).