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~ ANAI{AINOSIS

A Newsletter For Reformational Thought

September, 1985

Volume Eight, No. 1

Human Rights: A Review of A Christian Perspective

by Jonathan P. Chaplin

(a) Human Rights Today

Political issues are increasingly being discussed today in terms of rights. Especially since the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the language of rights has spread across discussions of all fields of political life. Most of our political discussion which is not about economics tends to be about human rights. In fact, economic issues themselves are also increasingly being debated in terms of rights. A distinctive Christian understanding of this key element in contemporary political discourse is therefore of considerable importance. Let us begin by noting some of the ways in which the term IIrightli. has been used.

Until the twentieth century, use of the term IIright" was normally restricted to civil rights, e.g., the right to a fair trial, the right to associate, the right not to be arbitrarily arrested; and property rights, e.g., the right not to have one's possessions interfered with or seized. These kinds of rights are often grouped together under the category of "freedom rights." They are rights against various kinds of interference with individual freedom. They are still highly important today and are receiving renewed attention by those opposed to the increasingly interventionist policies of many western governments. More serious is the fact that millions of human beings are still persistently denied such rights by being subjected to physical violence, starvation, dispossession, arbitrary imprisonment, torture, corrupt judicial processes, or restrictions on freedom of movement or speech. The massive scale of their violation can be appreciated by reading the reports of "Amnesty International,lI which focusses on just these kinds of human rights.

During the nineteenth century and on into the twentieth a further category of rights began to be claimed, often referred to now as

participation rights. Initially this meant the right to vote in elections, but more recently, the right of employees or students to participate in decision-making within their respective institutions.

During the twentieth century the term "right" has been further extended to include what are sometimes known as social rights: the right to education, the right not to be discriminated against on grounds of colour, race, religion or gender; and ~conomic rights: the right to work, or the right to a minimum standard of living. These different categories of rights often seem to overlap in public debate and the precise way they are defined should not be taken too strictly. As we shall see shortly, a much wider range of categories is necessary if we are to do justice to the great variety of human life in society.

One of the reasons for the current extension of the term "right" is the ambiguity in the concept of freedom. If "freedom rights" are seen as rights to have freedoms protected, then what counts as a right depends on how freedom is defined. Freedom was viewed by classical liberalism as a negative thing, as freedom from outside interference. Persons were free if they were able to choose their own goals and pursue them under protection of the law. But as liberalism developed, it was realized that in practice such freedom was only experienced by those with enough material resources to allow real choices in their lives. For those without food, shelter, education, or wealth, the rights to vote or to hold property meant very little. Freedom thus came to be seen also as something positive, as freedom to have or do certain things. For human personality to develop freely, liberals now thought it would not be enough simply to have protection against outside interference with one's civil or property rights. It would also be necessary to be guaranteed certain basic resources, enabling individuals to exercise genuine freedom of choice.

Initially, such resources were seen as

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including a basic standard of living, elementary education and essential health care. But gradually, new resources were added to the list of things that were seen as necessary to the free development of human personality: paid employment, adequate housing, advanced education, leisure and recreation, childcare facilities and so on. Thus the categories of economic and social rights began to expand. In this way the language of rights gave a powerful impetus to the establishment of a comprehensive welfare state. "bile the welfare state has undoubtedly improved the lives of many people, one of its main problems today is that it now finds itself unable to pay for all these social and economic rights when economic recession comes.

(b) Humanism and Human Rights

In Human Rights Theories in Christian Perspective, Marshall traces the historical roots of our modern ideas of rights and finds a complex picture. The ideas which have most influenced our contemporary understanding of rights were formulated by seventeenth century humanists. The essential point in Marshall's critique is that humanism cannot provide an adequate justification for rights because it sees them as proceeding from the autonomous human will.l The claim that human beings are free from any limitations on their independent will apart from those to which they have agreed, is a hallmark of humanism. An unlimited or autonomous human will cannot bind itself to its own agreements, so there is, ultimately, no reason why it should not invade the freedoms of another human being. Only if human freedom is acknowledged to be limited by transcendent norms can one human being justifiably claim a right which other people must recognize. The crucial conclusion for a Christian theory of rights is that rights are safeguarded only when divinely established duties and responsibilities are acknowledged. God's law does not violate human freedom, but rather makes it possible.

(c) A Chris~ian View of Rights and Jus~ice

Let us highlight three key elements of a Christian view of justice and rights.

First, human rights are ultimately grounded in the will of God. As Marshall puts it: "these continual [biblical] claims for a situation to be righted rest not on human merit but upon the promised justice. righteousness and grace of God".2 This means that people cannot claim human rights by virtue of any intrinsic properities of human nature, but only by virtue of the unique relationship established by God with his human creatures. Further, because human rights are Godgiven rights, their content is not determined by the subjective will or desires or interests of human beings but by what God requires of human beings, by what he commands and allows. We only have rights to what God's Word calls us to do. The "inalienability" of human rights is thus not based on anything inherent in human beings apart from God, but only on the fact that God's Word cannot be broken.

Second, there are a great variety of human rights. As we noted, the term "human rights" is often used to refer to fundamental rights of the individual person. We can usefully refer to these collectively as the "right to be." While obviously essential they are not the only kind of rights which human beings have as creatures of God. For human beings are more than individuals; humans are called to live in a rich variety of relationships and communities, like marriage, family, work, schools, churches and states. Each of these relationships and communities is characterized by its own God-given task. It therefore also possesses its own range of rights. We can therefore speak of parental rights, children's rights, worker's rights, manager's rights, citizen's rights, government's rights, church's rights, and so on. General categories like ·social rights" or "economic rights· or "freedom" thus do not cap-

ture the full variety of the content of human rights. To find out what this content is, we need to identify the nature of the various relationships and communities in which they arise. For example, to find out what children's rights are, we need to ask:

"What is the calling of a family and the place of the child within Lt ?" To find out what worker's rights are we need to ask: "What is the calling of a business enterprise and what is the role of the worker within it?"

Third, we need to note the relativity of all human rights. No human rights are absolute in the sense that they alone are worthy of exclusive recognition in any situation. Rights must always be balanced against each other. Because there are many diverse kinds of rights, no one kind can be satisfied at the expense of all others. For example, the exercise of the "right to manage" a business is not absolute or exclusive, but must be weighted against the rights of employees to share in corporate decisionmaking. There are no simple ways of adjusting these various right-claims to one another. In each situation a variety of rights will need to be considered and the final outcome will depend on a mix of particular circumstances.

The "relativity" of rights does not mean that some rights can sometimes be set aside. All relevant rights in a situation must be taken into consideration in deciding how resources, power, money and other things are to be allocated.

However, although all rights are relative to other rights, we can speak of a priority of certain rights over others. The various rights associated with the "right to be," such as food, shelter, and physical security are clearly more basic to human existence that the right to vote, to a choice of schools, or to rewarding work. Without the former, that latter cannot even be claimed. Cases where s~raight choices between these basic rights and other rights are necessary are rare. One such situation, however, might be

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where a government with very limited resources has to decide whether to spend them on building a new university, or alleviat ing acu te pover ty. Here the latter choice is clearly the just one. Consider another example. The right of parents to practice family planning is a legitimate right. No one should be forced either to have children or to have a specific number. But this right cannot take priority over the right to life of an unborn child. A "woman's right to choose" whether or not to have an abortion is in effect the denial of an unborn child's prior right to life. The paper "Justice for the Unborn" by the Assoc ia t ion f or Public Jus t ice develops this point further.3

By seeing human rights as expressions of the grace of God, and recognizing the reality of transcendent norms, it is no longer necessary to go the humanist route of statically grounding rights in the au tonomous hu man will. There is the flexibility then to discern the different ways rights are worked out in different relationships,

Law and Revolution

A REVIEW OF HAROLD J. BERMAN'S LAW AND REVOLUTION: THE FORMATION ~THE WESTERN LEGAL -ntAnITION (Cambridge Massachusetts and London England: Harvard University Press, 1983; 657 pages)

by Keith Pavlischek

Harold Berman's central purpose in this book is to show that not only western legal institutions and legal values but also the modern state, modern church, modern philosophy, the modern university, modern literature,

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and at particular periods of history, without being afraid of relativism.

Footnotes

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Paul Marshall, Human Rights Theories in Christian Perspective (Toronto: lCS, 1983) pp , 7-8, 13-16 Paul Harshall, Human Rights Theories in Christian Perspective (Toron to:IC S, 1983) p, 18

3 James Skillen, Justice for the Unborn (Washington, D.C.: Association for Public Justice). Available from APJ, Box 56348. Washington, D.C. 20011, U.S.A.

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Jonathan P. Chaplin holds the degree Haster of Philosophy from the Institute for Christian Studies, and is now a doctoral candidate at the London School of Economics. ICS distributes his master's thesis, "Dooyeweerd's Theory of Public Justice: A Critical Exposition" ($8.50) and a paper he coauthored with Brian Walsh, "Dooyeweerd's Contribution to a Christian Philosophical Paradigm" ($1.00).

and much else that is modern, have their origin in the period 1050-1150-not before.

The key events in this period are usually referred to as the Wars of Investiture or the Gregorian reforms. Berman calls it the Papal Revolution. It was then that Pope Gregory VII proclaimed the legal supremacy of the pope over all Christians and the legal supremacy of the clergy, under the pope, over all secular authorities. Popes, he declared, could depose emperors--and he proceeded to depose Emperor Henry IV. Civil war raged

thoughout Europe until 1122 but papal supremacy was eventually established.

To establish the revolutionary nature of these events, Berman discusses the interrelation between German folklaw and Christianity prior to the Papal Revolution. Before this time there was no class of trained lawyers, no concept of law as an object of study distinct from theology and philosophy, and no legal systea in the sense of an articulated and systemized structure of legal institutions clearly differentiated from other social institutions. Prior to the development of the legal institutions brought about by the Papal Revolution, legal procedures were heavily dependent upon ritual and symbol reflecting the unconscious ideas and mythical thought of the peoples. While Berman contends that the folklaw was a legal order and displayed a "legal dimension of social life" (p.80), it nevertheless was radically different from the way we conceive of it. "Law was conceived as a mediating process, a mode of communication, rather than primarily as a process of rule-making and decisionmaking" (p.78). In short, prior to the eleventh cen tury, law did no t exist in Western Europe as a distinct system of regulation or a distinct system of thought that was differentiated from tribal, local or feudal custom.

While recognizing the positive effects of Christianity on the folklaw of the European peoples, he doesn't want to overemphasize its influence prior to the Papal Revolution. He notes that viewed in the abstract, "the conflict between the Christian world view and the Germanic was incredibly sharp: caritas agains t honor t mercy agains t fate, a peaceful and harmonious natural order against an order haunted by demonic forces, eternal salvation against sacred temporal values associated with kinship and kingship. But the conflict in world views was not carried over into social action" (p.75). Christianity, prior to the eleventh century, took an essentially passive position in social and legal institutions and reforms. The Chris-

tian world view did challenge the ultimate sanctity of custom, including the ultimate sanctity of kingship, lordship. kingship relations, and the ultimate sanctity of nature (with its magical elements). But the Church only challenged the ultiaate sanctity of these things, without denying their sanctity altogether. In fact, the church actually supported the sacred institutions and values of the folk. They created an eternal/temporal dualism in which the temporal was depreciated in relation to the eternal but was not otherwise directly affected. It was indirectly affected but the basic structure of the folkla~ remained unaltered until the Papal Revolution.

In his discussion of the Papal Revolution itself Berman is intent on demonstrating two points. First, that it was of a revolutionary character and, secondly, that it was the foundation for the rise of the modern state and modern legal systems. He considers it revolutionary for it embodies the characteristics of all modern revolutions (the Reformation and the English, American, French, and Russian revolutions). Indeed, it "introduced into Western history the experience of revolution itself" (p.llS). It was revolutionary in its totality (political, socioeconomic, and c u L tural and intellectual), rapidity, violenc~ (in the form not only of class struggle and civil war but of wars of expansion), and duration. (Its effects were felt over two or three generations during which the underlying principles of the revolu tion were reconfirmed and reestablished through necessary compromise of an initial utopian vision.) Moreover, it was similar to future revolutions in seeking legitimacy in a fundamental law. a remote past, and an apocalyptic future. And finally, it produced a new system of law.

Out of this upheaval emerged the Western legal tradition. Berman's central thesis is that "modern Western political science, including Western theories of the state and of law, are rooted in the struggle between the

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opposing faLces of the Papal Revolution" (p.27S).

The rise of a system of law was necessary for the Western church to maintain its new visible, corporate, legal unity under the papacy. Moreover, the disembedding of canon law from theology and liturgy, and its systemization and rationalization were needed as a source of legitimacy and a means of control by the central ecclesiastical authorities. It was also needed as an effective symbol of the separate corporate identity of the clergy as a whole. But the need for legal systems was not merely practical. There was also a moral and intellectual need.

Where earlier formulations had been concerned with the relation between earthly and heavenly spheres of Christian living, the theorists of the Papal Revolution were concerned with the problems between the ecclesiastical and lay authorities in the earthly sphere itself. The ch~rch as a visible, corporate political and legal entity was still to wield the spiritual sword. But that sword was to control life not only in the next world but also a large part of this one, including administration of church property, activities of clerics, family relations, business morality, and anything else which could be brought under the heading of morality or belief. Prior to that time the chu rch had lacked the concepts of sovereignty and of independent lawmaking power that are fundamental to modern statehood. But in the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries the Western church achieved a legal identity independent of emperors, kings, and feudal lords. The Papal Revolution gave birth to the modern Western "state," a "state" that paradoxically was the church itself.

After Gregory VII the church took on most of the distinctive characteristics of the modern state. It claimed to be an independent hierarchical authority. Its head, the pope, had the right to legislate. It executed laws through its administrative hierarchy, through which the pope ruled as

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a modeLn sovereign Lules thLough his representatives, and it interpreted laws through a judicial hierarchy culminating in the papal curia in Rome. Besides exercising the legislative, administrative, and judicial powers of a modern state it adhered to a rational system of jurisprudence, imposed taxes, conferred citizenship and could deprive one of citizenship (through exco mmunication). The Papal Revolution made Christianity into a political and legal program. The church became a rechtstaat..

Yet, Berman realizes that this assertion needs to be qualified. To call the church of the Papal Revolution a modern state seems strange since the principal feature of the modern state as distinct from the ancient and the German-Frankish state is its secular character. These ancient and GermanFrankish states were religious states in which the supreme ruler was responsible for maintaining religious dogma (and was also often himself considered a divine or semi-divine figure). Paradoxically, it was the church that broke with this conception. Berman states that "the elimination of the religious function and character of the supreme political authority was one of the principal objectives of the Papal Revolution" (p.114).

While the Papal Revolution did not usher in a "separation of church and state" in the modern sense, it did lay the foundation for the subsequent emergence of the modern secular state. And when it did emerge, it had a constitution similar to that of the papal church minus the church's spiritual function as a community of souls concerned with eternal life. In other words, by the very act of distinguishing spiritual and temporal authorities, the Papal Revolution contributed to their eventual separation.

This situation created a legacy of tensions between secular and spiritual values within the church, state, and society. On the one hand the church was a spiritual community which also exercised temporal functions and whose constitution was in the fo r m of a

modern state. The secular state, on the other hand, had the character of a state without ecclesiastical functions. But it was in the odd position of having dominion over subj e c ts who also constituted a spiritual community living under a separate spiritual authroity. Yet, it was the very tensions between these two institutions t~at -left a legacy of governmental and legal institutions, both ecclesiastical and secular, for resolving the tensions and maintaining an equilibrium throughout the sys tern:' Ou t of this tension arose distinctly modern legal systems.

For the remainder of the book Berman details the theological basis of the Western legal tradition, the expression of that tradition in canon law, and its pluralistic expressions in secular law including feudal, manorial, mercantile, urban, and royal law. Altogether this depth and breadth constitutes a remarkable amount of historical detail and analys is. An adequa te su mmary is simply impossible, and so I will focus on a few of the broader issues that Berman addresses.

One central point is that certain theological doctrines and understandings as mediated through scholastic dialectical methodology formed the basis for the Western conception of law and legal systems. -The belief in a God of justice who operates a lawful universe, punishing and rewarding according to principles of proportion, mercifuly mitigated in exceptional cases, corresponded to the belief in a complex social unity, Christendom, in which the dialectic of interacting realms and polities was regulated by the similar kind of justice-based-onlaw and law-based-on-justice, with mercy playing an exceptional role" (pp.196-7). This conception was maintained through the Reformation. For despite their attack on the legalism of the Roman Catholic Church, God remained, for the Reformers, a God of justice. Hence, the body of ecclesiastical and secular law was carried over into the "modern state."

However, Berman believes that the West, to its detriment, has lost the foundation which supports its legal superstructure.

With the [post reformational] transfer of the principal lawmaking and law-enforcing functions to the sole jurisdictions of the national state, the foundation was laid for the separation of jurisprudence from theology and u1 ti mately for the complete secularization of legal thought. This did not occur at once, since the predominant system of beliefs throughout the West remained Christian. It is only in the twentieth century that the Christian foundations of Western law have been almost totally rejected.

This twentieth-century development is a historical consequence of the Western belief, of which St. Anselm (1033-1109) was the first exponent, that theology itself may be studied independently of revelation. Anselm had no intention of exalting reason at the expense of faith. Yet once reason was separated for analytical purposes, the two began to be separated for other purposes as well. It was eventually taken for granted that reason is capable of functioning by itself, and ultimately this came to mean functioning without any fundamental religous beliefs whatever.

By the same token, it was eventually taken for granted tha t law, as a product of reason, is capable of functioning as an instrument of secular power, disconnected from ultimate values and purposes; and not only religious faith but all passionate convictions came to be considered the private affair of each indivudual. Thus not only legal thought but also the very structure of Western legal institutions have been removed from their spiritual foundations, and those foundations, in turn, are left devoid of the structure that once stood upon them. (pp.197-8)

Berman believes we are on the verge of

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a turning point that goes deeper than all the revolutionary crises of the past. It is a crisis that is challenging "the whole [Western) tradition as it existed since the late eleventh century" (p.87). His thesis also contradicts the usual periodization of Western history. He challenges the division of Western history into periods of Classical Antiquity, the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, and the Modern period. He claims that the sharp division between the latter two tends to obscure the continuity of the past millenium. This historical distortion is the result of several factors.

One is the exaggerated nationalism of the nineteenth century. Nationalist historiographers tended to downplay the common features of Western civilization in favor of the unique features of their own legal system. Legal historiography has also suffered from religious fallacies (both Protestant and Catholic), which have obscured the continuity between the Catholic Niddle Ages and post-Reformation Europe. Similarly the Enlightenment fallacy which discovered a Renaissance contemporaneous with the Reformation, and the Marxist fallacy which discovered a Rise of Capitalism contemporaneous with the Renaissance and Reformation, obscured both the continuity between the medieval and the modern and also the discontinuity between the periods before and after the Gregorian Reform of the Catholic Church in the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries. This blurring of the continuity of the last millenium serves to obscure the fact the "the West is experiencing the end not only of Modern Times but also the entire millenium of which Modern Times forms one-half" (p.538).

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finally. Berman is arguing for a broader concept of law than has often been put forward by social theorists. Law is more than simply domi nat ion, a means of effectuating the will of the lawmaker (Marx). It is also an expression of moral standards as understood by human reason (natural law theory). But again this is only partly true for it is also an outgrowth of custom, a product of the historically rooted values and norms of the community (the historical school of legal philosophy). Berman wants a view of law that combines all three perspectives, and so he charges each school With being reductionistic and overly simplistic. In addition to a call for a rediscovery of the foundations of Western jurisprudence, he is calling for a more holistic legal philosophy.

Keith Pavlischek holds tile Master of Philosophical Foundations degree from the Institute for Christian Studies, and the Master of Theology degree from Westminster Theological Seminary. He is now a doctoral student in the religion department at the University of Pittsburgh.

Harold J. Berman is a professor in the School of Law at Emory universi-ty in Atlanta, Georgia, where he moved in 1985 after serving as James Barr Ames Professor at Harvard Law School. John Witte, Jr., who was a speaker at the recent ICS conference on "The Legacy of Herman Dooyeweerd," wrote a thesis under Prof. Berman's supervision at Harvard Law School and is now studying with him at Emory University.

Thesis Notes

Functionalism Revisited: A Study of the Functionalist Approach to International Relations

Abstract of a doctoral dissertation by Justin D. Cooper

This thesis re-examines functionalism in order to clarify its character, intent, and implications for reflection on world order. Its advocates present functionalism as a method for establishing international organizations. Yet their argument entails an approach with wide-ranging political assumption which are only partially articulated. Therefore, this study analyzes the functionalist approach in order to explicate its underlying conceptual and normative framework.

In comparison to realism, which assumes state sovereignty, and idealism, with its idea of world government. it is sho~~ that functionalism is a distinctive approach which rejects the conventional state model of political organization. Past commentators of functionalism have criticized it in terms of a misunderstanding of politics and therefore have not fully grasped its assumptions regarding a new form of political authority which is a functional alternative to the state.

The analytical framework of functionalism is presented as a combination of reform liberalism, Fabian socialism and pluralism which is transposed to the international setting. building on the progressive Enlightenment tradition begun by Kant and modified by St. Simon. Functionalism reinterprets St. Simonis positivistiC view of science

in a pragmatic fashion, thereby assigning science a central but experimentally-delimited role in the gradual development of a peaceful world polity and community.

In terms of this framework the functionalist argument is examined to show that its four major steps present a process of change in society and government, which leads to the new type of politics, political authority, world political system and world community, and in which science not only occasions such change but ultimately becomes its artificer, shaping political organization and creating community.

The study concludes with a mixed assessment of functionalism. Functionalism addresses important political issues related to the impact of technology and the need for and nature of political community and public authority at the supranational level. Nevertheless, the conceptual framework which it presupposes is flawed by a faith in the transformative power- of science, which distorts its view of politics and the state and ultimately undermines its humanistic intentions. Therefore, it is concluded that functionalism cannot serve as a framework for further reflection on world order.

Justin D. Cooper is an alumnus of the Institute for Christian studies who completed his Ph.D. degree in the Political Economy Department of the u n i v e r s i t q of Toronto in 1985. He teaches political science at Redeemer College, Hamilton, Ontario.

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TIlE IIA.1'URE OF MIRACLE AND THE MIRACLE OF IIATOU: A STUDY OF THE THOUGHT OF J. B. DIFJfEK CONCERNING CREATION AND KlRACLE by Chris Gousmett

Abstract of a Master's Degree Thesis

Two of the most prominent themes in current theological reflection are those of creation and miracle. The first has returned to prominence in recent years with the realisation that only by emphasising the goodness of God's creation can we escape from devaluing the world around us in both daily life and piety. The second has achieved prominence with the burgeoning charismatic movement which has had an impact on virtually every church.

Given these factors, this thesis is an attempt to come to grips with the contributions concerning nature and miracle made by the reformational move:nent. The most significant and influential discussion of these themes is that of J H Diemer, whose work Nature and Miracle (Wedge, 1977), is a partial translation of the Dutch book Natuur en Wonder.

From analysis of Diemer's prolific writings (a total of 53 items, not counting reprints and translations) it is apparent that the biggest single influence on Diemer's view of creation and miracle is the thought of Augustine. Not only does Diemer frequently refer to Augustine's ideas with great approval, the framework for his thought is also adopted almost unchanged from Augustine. Diemer can best be described as a twentieth century Augustinian.

Not only does the influence of Augustine come through directly in Diemer's work, also present are the influences of Kuyper, Bavinck, Woltjer and Dooyeweerd, who are the modern mentors Diemer followed most closely. Thus Diemer's Augustinian preferences are reinforced by the work of these other men, who were also strongly under the influence of Augustine's thought.

Because many of the concepts in Augus-

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tine's view of creation and miracle are derived from his interpretation of Scripture in the light of neo-Platonic and Stoic philosophy, many unbiblical ideas are present in Diemer's thought. His view of time and eternity, the nature of .. the beginning" and the "days" of Genesis 1, his logicistic view of creation order, his strong supra-lapsarianism, and his monistic approach, all mar his view of creation and miracle to such an extent that in the opinion of the author his overall approach is to be rejected. Though his framework is unacceptable, his careful analysis and concern to be faithful to the biblical givens mean that there is much we can learn from Diemer's work.

In the last chapter of the thesis an attempt is made to address the problem of creation and miracle anew. The fruitful insights developed by Diemer, together with more recent biblical research on the topic, are used to formulate a framework for understanding time, eternity, the fall into sin, the problem of free-will and determinism, cosmic redemption in Christ, and miracles as the signs of redemption which point towards the coming of God's kingdom.

In miracles redemption is made explicit to us, pointing out God's glory and power, as well as demonstrating both the "nature of the renewal to be found in the eschaton, and the certainty that it will come. A brief historical survey of the significance of views of creation for political theory concludes the thesis. Here it is seen that only the emphasis on grace as the restoration of a fallen creation, leading it to its culmination--a concept found primarily in reformational thought--can provide a political theory which is able to break through the conservative-liberal-socialist impasse of modern society.

Chris Gousrnett received the M.Phil.F. degree from the Institute for Christian Studies in 1985. Gousrnett's address is 86 Queen Street, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Book Notes

Thomas A. Spragens, Jr., The Irony of Liberal Reason, University of Chicago, 1981. Reviewed by Gary Duim.

The Irony of Liberal Reason is a synoptic and spirited critique of the history of Liberal political' theory. The strength of Spragens' interpretation is his recognition that the political ideology of Liberalism is inseparable from modern scientific rationalism The ideals of Liberalism were founded on a rationalistic epistemology which made Reason the new god of society and the mediator of truth. Descartes and Locke gave us the new methodology for discovering reasonable truth. Liberalism originally aspired to apply this method to find the truths of values and society. But when this method failed to deliver, Liberalism turned to irrationalism. This is the dangerous "irony" of Liberalism.

Liberalism's attempt to derive a science of politics from the methodology of modern rationalism is aptly called "moral Newtonianism." Spragens charts the devolution of this Lockean hope into the "technicism" of Rousseau's Legislator and Bentham's .Keeper of the Panopticon. The Liberal faith that Reason will yield infallible moral facts by illuminating the "good," and that rational people will allow such knowledge to direct their wills, ends in the engineering of society by those that "know." Power politics can easily replace all the fine Liberal ideals since the social scientist "knows" what is best for those who are his objects of analysis.

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Spragens also identifies another major strand in the devolution of Liberalism, which he dubs "value non-cognitivism." Reason is not held on to as society's salvation as in technicism. Rather, it is admitted that Reason

cannot after all tell us anything about societal values so we should find something else on which to found them. Spragens shows how Hume's skepticism followed logically from the inadequacies of Lockets own theory. Hume then attempted to refound values on "custom," as did Burke. But Spragens criticizes their attempts as irrational along with more recent liberal value-relativists who appeal to "preference" and "will."

At root Spragens diagnoses the "quiet demise of Liberal Reason" as resulting from the logically flawed assumption that the new Enlightenment methodology of Reason was compatible with ideal conceptions carried over from the Classical tradition of "logos-rationality." The Liberal ideals of equality, tolerance, justice and freedom have been effectively banished as either pre-scientific, or merely unscientific, because they became dependent on the new god of Reason for their legitimacy. Thus relativism has become the fallback position of our Liberal society. So positivist pluralism, for example. founds toleration on a total lack of normativity. Right becomes intense preference, and justice the balancing of interests. Spragens believes that civility is maintained in our society only because classical bases of order still exist, though their status 1s only "residual and subrational."

Spragens concludes by offering a start to "picking up the pieces" of Liberalism. Ironically, he argues that we can learn how to make politics a rational enterprise by observing how the natural sciences have been so successful. But he does not attribute their success to logical demonstration, rigor or methodology_ Rather, it happens because of the interplay of the dialectics of consensus, authority, and

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freedom in the search for useful "r rurhs ...

Spragens' book is very useful and interesting for anyone concerned wi th the history, dynamic and essence of Liberalism. The religiously-loaded nature of the Liberal quest for certainty is fully recognized. But Spragens remains himself a Liberal insofar as the values and ideals of Liberalism are concerned. It is only the rationalistic way of arriving at these ideals that is critiqued.

Gary Duim is a graduate student in political theory at the Institute for Christian Studies.

Chemistry, A Gift of God is a new student manual written by Dr. Russell Maatman, Professor of Chemistry at Dordt College. It has the dual purpose of presenting Christian perspective for the study of chemistry and of providing pedagogical help for students studying first-year college/university general chemistry. It is published by Dordt college Press, Sioux Center, Iowa 51250.

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Invitation to Contributors

We invite readers to send us material we can consider printing in Anakainosis dealing with Christian insight into academic and social issues. We are looking for (1) short original papers giving ideas you are working on, (2) short reviews of the work of others. including reviews and review articles on books and published journal articles, and (3) news about current research and publications that other readers might be interested to learn a bou t.

The editors want to communicate fresh insights on the cutting edge of Christian scholarship. One of the special features of our small paper is its international readership. so we have opportunities to have an international discussion forum.

audience, to respond to articles pr inn-d in each issue. l\:otices of upcoming conferenccs, current research projects or published works rna}' !>t. submitted for publication to facilitate exchange of this kind of information.

Material from this newsletter may not be quoted or reproduced without the prior permission of the author or of the man~bing editor. Statements of fact or opinion appcaring in ANAKAJNOSIS do not imply the endorsement of the editors or the publishers. An correspondence and articles for publication should be addressed to the Managing Editor, clo ICS at the above address. Copy deadlines are the first of February, May, August and November,

ANAKAINOSIS is published quarterly in March. [um-, September and December by the Institute for Christian Studies. 229 College 51.. Toronto. ant. M5T 1R4 (Canada). Subscription rates are $]5 (Canadian) for 1 year, $45 [('r 3 years.

freedom in the search for useful "r rurhs ...

Spragens' book is very useful and interesting for anyone concerned wi th the history, dynamic and essence of Liberalism. The religiously-loaded nature of the Liberal quest for certainty is fully recognized. But Spragens remains himself a Liberal insofar as the values and ideals of Liberalism are concerned. It is only the rationalistic way of arriving at these ideals that is critiqued.

Gary Duim is a graduate student in political theory at the Institute for Christian Studies.

Chemistry, A Gift of God is a new student manual written by Dr. Russell Maatman, Professor of Chemistry at Dordt College. It has the dual purpose of presenting Christian perspective for the study of chemistry and of providing pedagogical help for students studying first-year college/university general chemistry. It is published by Dordt college Press, Sioux Center, Iowa 51250.

AI':AKAINOSJS Managing Editor:

Robert E, Vander Vennen

Associate Editors: Mark Roques and David Woods

Issued quarterly

Annual subscription $15. A~KAINOSIS is an academic newslettercum-discussion forum which is intended to bo,. a vehicle for informal academic discussion. Readers are welcome to test out th"ir papers and theses on ANAKAINOSlS

Invitation to Contributors

We invite readers to send us material we can consider printing in Anakainosis dealing with Christian insight into academic and social issues. We are looking for (1) short original papers giving ideas you are working on, (2) short reviews of the work of others. including reviews and review articles on books and published journal articles, and (3) news about current research and publications that other readers might be interested to learn a bou t.

The editors want to communicate fresh insights on the cutting edge of Christian scholarship. One of the special features of our small paper is its international readership. so we have opportunities to have an international discussion forum.

audience, to respond to articles pr inn-d in each issue. l\:otices of upcoming conferenccs, current research projects or published works rna}' !>t. submitted for publication to facilitate exchange of this kind of information.

Material from this newsletter may not be quoted or reproduced without the prior permission of the author or of the man~bing editor. Statements of fact or opinion appcaring in ANAKAJNOSIS do not imply the endorsement of the editors or the publishers. An correspondence and articles for publication should be addressed to the Managing Editor, clo ICS at the above address. Copy deadlines are the first of February, May, August and November,

ANAKAINOSIS is published quarterly in March. [um-, September and December by the Institute for Christian Studies. 229 College 51.. Toronto. ant. M5T 1R4 (Canada). Subscription rates are $]5 (Canadian) for 1 year, $45 [('r 3 years.