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Theology within the Bounds of Language
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summary
Explores the use of language in Christian theology. Taking a cue from Ludwig Wittgenstein, Garth L. Hallett takes on the role of guide in discussing a fascinating, but often overlooked, topic -- the use of language in theology. With language a “labyrinth of paths,” Wittgenstein felt teaching was like taking students on many different journeys through London. Similary, Hallett allows readers to explore a variety of issues rather than making claims for a systematic theology of language. His preliminary discussions—on language and thought, language and truth, the authority of language, the relationship between sense and possibility—prepare linguistic reflection on such topics as inference and argument, universal factual and moral claims, defining and saying what things are, interfaith dialogue, theological language, and metaphor. Hallett employs a wealth of distinctly Christian examples in these considerations including faith, religion, the Eucharist, the afterlife, divine law, evil, the Incarnation, the Trinity, and the holy among many others. Undertaking this engagement, readers will find mystery is both diminished and deepened.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Theology within the Bounds of Language
  2. p. iii
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. 1. The Terrain Ahead
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. 2. Language and Thought
  2. pp. 11-22
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  1. 3. Linguistic Spectacles
  2. pp. 23-32
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  1. 4. Linguistic Truth
  2. pp. 33-44
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  1. 5. Truth’s Norm
  2. pp. 45-54
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  1. 6. The Norm’s Feasibility
  2. pp. 55-64
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  1. 7. Making Sense
  2. pp. 65-72
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  1. 8. Sense versus Possibility
  2. pp. 73-80
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  1. 9. Inference and Analogy
  2. pp. 81-90
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  1. 10. Universal Claims (Factual)
  2. pp. 91-96
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  1. 11. Universal Claims (Moral)
  2. pp. 97-104
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  1. 12. Privileged Senses
  2. pp. 105-116
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  1. 13. Defining and Saying What Things Are
  2. pp. 117-128
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  1. 14. The Need of Examples
  2. pp. 129-136
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  1. 15. Important Linguistic Distinctions
  2. pp. 137-144
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  1. 16. Verbal Disagreement
  2. pp. 145-152
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  1. 17. Verbal Agreement
  2. pp. 153-164
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  1. 18. Interfaith Dialogue
  2. pp. 165-174
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  1. 19. Interfaith Identities
  2. pp. 175-186
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  1. 20. Theological Language
  2. pp. 187-196
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  1. 21. Metaphor
  2. pp. 197-208
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  1. 22. Mystery
  2. pp. 209-220
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  1. Epilogue
  2. pp. 221-228
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 229-244
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 245-260
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 261-265
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