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Notes 1. Philosophy, the Cross, and Human Being The epigraph is from G. W. F. Hegel, Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion, Volume III: The Consummate Religion, ed. Peter C. Hodgson, trans. R. F. Brown, P. C. Hodgson, and J. M. Stewart, with H. S. Harris (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985), p. 346. 1. According to Kant, this is one of the four primary philosophical questions. The first question is that of metaphysics: What can I know? The second concerns morals: What should I do? The third raises the concerns of religion: What may I hope for? Finally , Kant adds the anthropological question: What is the human being? Kant presents this in his Logic, cited in Manfred Kuehn’s introduction to Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View, trans. and ed. Robert B. Louden (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. xi–xii. Kuehn also argues that Kant did not approach this question with fundamentally ontological concerns, contra Heidegger’s reading in Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics. Instead, Kant proceeds “from a pragmatic point of view”—not concerning a given human nature or essence, but what the human being “as a free-acting being makes of himself, or can and should make of himself” (p. 3). 2. Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958). 3. See Jean Greisch, Qui sommes-nous? Chemins phénoménologiques vers l’homme (Louvain: Peeters, 2009). 4. George Herbert, Poems (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), p. 213. 5. Søren Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments, trans. and ed. Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1992), p. 15. 6. “Gott selbst liegt tot / Am Kreuz ist er gestorben.” From Johannes Rist’s 1641 hymn “O Traurigkeit, O Herzeleid.” Hegel cites this hymn in his Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion, pp. 125, 326. 7. Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, #46, in The Basic Writings of Nietzsche, ed. and trans. Walter Kaufmann (New York: Modern Library, 1968), p. 250. Cf. Oswald Bayer, “The Word of the Cross,” trans. John R. Betz, Lutheran Quarterly 9 (1995), p. 53 n. 3. 8. Martin Hengel, Crucifixion in the Ancient World and the Folly of the Message of the Cross, in The Cross of the Son of God, trans. John Bowden (London: SCM Press, 1986), p. 102. 9. Pro Rabirico 5:16, quoted in Alexandra R. Brown, The Cross and Human Transformation : Paul’s Apocalyptic Word in 1 Corinthians (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995), p. 159 n. 20. 10. J. Louis Martyn, quoted in Alexandra R. Brown, The Cross and Human Transformation : Paul’s Apocalyptic Word in 1 Corinthians (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995), p. 159 n. 20. 11. Hengel, Crucifixion in the Ancient World, p. 110. Hengel quotes Walter Bauer’s observation regarding Christianity’s Jewish and pagan critics: “The enemies of Christianity 200 Notes to pages 4–7 always referred to the disgraceful death of Jesus with great emphasis and malicious pleasure . A god or son of god dying on the cross! That was enough to put paid to the new religion” (p. 111). Hengel cites numerous sources such as Pliny, Tacitus, Minicius Felix, and Suetonius regarding the evident perversity of this new superstition (pp. 93ff.). 12. As Hengel notes, in many Greco-Roman documents one finds “the idea that offensive happenings should not be ascribed to revered divine beings or demi-gods themselves , but only to their ‘representations.’” Crucifixion in the Ancient World, p. 108. 13. Hengel, Crucifixion in the Ancient World, p. 110. 14. This excess of signification is compounded by the fact that the cross, more than almost any other religious symbol, is so widely dispersed throughout so many different cultures, and conveys so many diverse and conflicting meanings. Thus understanding the cross requires an endless hermeneutic. In addition to evoking sacrifice, suffering, shame, burden, redemption, grace, and love, the cross has also been detached from specifically religious understandings—as with its use as a symbol in medicine and fashion. Moreover, the cross connotes for some people such destructive forces as racism (in the burning cross of the Ku Klux Klan and as a locus of accusation in anti-Semitism) and nationalist aggression. See the preface to Cross-Examinations: Readings on the Meaning of the Cross Today, ed. Marit Trelstad (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress Press, 2006), p. xiii. 15. Søren Kierkegaard, Philosophical Fragments, ed. and trans. Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1985), p. 37. 16...


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