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and Moral
for Theologizing
Explanation of Terms
• Indispensible requirement
• Something taken for granted
Presuppositions • Presumption
• Something required as a preconditions

Ontological • being, existence

• Parmenides – founder of ontology
• study of the inherent nature/being of

• not simply behavior or a code values,

Moral principles or standards
• Morality is the dynamic response of
personal freedom to the existential truth
and authenticity of man
Ontological Presuppositions
Tertullian Heracleitus
– anima naturaliter - ἦθος ἀνθρώπῳ δαίµων
Ontological Presuppositions

F. Schliermacher – ‘feeling of utter Ἄνθρωπος πάντων χρηµάτων

Ontological Presuppositions
›  Theological Reflection
›  Innate theocentricism
“while in other areas of knowledge it is
the nature and method of research that
finally leads to the subject and defines it a
priori, in theology the opposite happens – it is
the subject that prejudges absolutely, and
defines the nature and method of research”
Method ‘Object’

God Prejudges method

Not in search for an unknown ‘X’

Deus absconditus et Deus Revelatus
Ontological Presuppositions
›  Motivation for research
›  nostalgia [νόστος + ἄ7γος] and not curiosity

Impersonal God 1. mechanical

understanding of the world [God
becomes a faceless Prime Mover] and 2.
a materialist understanding of the human

Personal God 1. synergy and

nobility of the human person [life is not an
absurd game], 2. a Personal God who
continues to provide (Providence) and 3.
response of awe and gratitude for God’s
divine economy.
Ontological Presuppositions
›  Personal God
›  Person called to ‘synergy’
›  Freedom and responsibility
›  For God – absolute
›  For humanity – relative
›  “the preservation of these analogies between
God and the human person with reference to
the notions of freedom and responsibility is also
the most substantial point of axiomatic and
methodological differentiation between
theology and philosophy”
Essential difference not the alleged one dimensional
rationalism of philosophy but the absolutist understanding
of freedom and responsibility
Moral Presuppositions
“Not to every one, my friends, does it
belong to philosophize about God; not
to every one; the Subject is not so cheap
and low; and I will add, not before every
audience, nor at all times, nor on all
points; but on certain occasions, and
before certain persons, and within
certain limits.

Not to all men, because it is permitted

only to those who have been examined,
and are passed masters in meditation,
and who have been previously purified
in soul and body, or at the very least are
being purified. For the impure to touch
the pure is, we may safely say, not safe,
just as it is unsafe to fix weak eyes upon
the sun's rays.”
Moral Presuppositions
“…And what is the permitted occasion?
It is when we are free from all external
defilement or disturbance, and when
that which rules within us is not confused
with vexatious or erring images; like
persons mixing up good writing with
bad, or filth with the sweet odors of
ointments…. And who are the
permitted persons? They to whom the
subject is of real concern, and not they
who make it a matter of pleasant
gossip, like any other thing, after the
races, or the theatre, or a concert, or a
dinner, or still lower employments. To
such men as these, idle jests and pretty
contradictions about these subjects are
a part of their amusement.”
4 Theological Presuppositions
›  Creation ex nihilo

›  Creationof the human person

in the image and according to
the likeness of God
›  The
necessary distinction-in-
unity between the essence
and energies of God
›  The
Incarnation – the sine qua
non presupposition for all
theology: cur Deus Homo?