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Title: Superiority beyond Interiority
Subtitle: Augustinian Thoughts on the Companionship of Philosophy and Theology
Author(s): DESMOND, William
Journal: Louvain Studies
Volume: 44    Issue: 3   Date: 2021   
Pages: 200-215
DOI: 10.2143/LS.44.3.3289764

Abstract :
Do philosophy and theology need each other? In the way modern philosophy has tended to define itself, namely, as autonomous, as self-determining thought, the need is denied, indeed rebuffed. If philosophy demands to be self-determining, it tends not to be receptive, in the first instance, and in the last, to what is other to itself. But if philosophy, as I think, is metaxological, that is, as essentially defined by its offering a logos of the metaxu, philosophy is what it is in relation to its significant others. Do philosophy and theology need each other? In a certain sense, yes. The need is not a dyadic relation in which each might engage the other but not enter intimately into the life of the other. Nor is it simply dialectical, if we define this in the modern way as philosophy including the theological in its own self-determining thinking. The need is metaxological, in that both our being religious and philosophical are intimate others in a porous between where what is most original and ultimate is to be diversely engaged. If philosophy and theology do need each other, the need is a companioning one. Companions can be themselves, and yet if they are bound together, they may need each other but not always out of need alone. If companions break bread together, it is their shared need of what is beyond them both that binds them. I want to say something about this companioning, with special reference to the Augustinian itinerary from the exterior to the interior, from the inferior to the superior (Enarratio in Psalmum, 145).

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