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Document Details :

Title: God as friend
Subtitle: Vattimo's challenge to Catholic theology
Author(s): VOSMAN, Frans
Journal: Bijdragen
Volume: 61    Issue: 4   Date: 2000   
Pages: 412-436
DOI: 10.2143/BIJ.61.4.565624

Abstract :
Vattimo pleads for God as a friend instead of being Lord over human beings. God’s friendship comes with his kenosis, God becoming man. Kenosis is at the very center of Christian belief. God’s title ‘Lord’ is linked to metaphysics, a way of thinking that turns out to be violent, according to Vattimo. ‘Weak thinking’ should be deployed in stead of it. This implies accepting fully and wholeheartedly secularization, with love and friendship as the only valid limit to secularization.
In this article Vattimo’s concept of love and friendship, present in his essay Belief is criticized. The author agrees with Vattimo in his critique – along with Nietzsche – of types of metaphysics, asks however if the concept of friendship as used by Vattimo is consistent with his own ‘weak thinking’, beyond hermeneutics.
The thesis is that Vattimo does not draw the necessary conclusions out of his weak thinking and sticks to a modern in stead of a late modern way of thinking. How could a Christian view on caritas amicitiae, love’s friendship not imply courageous faith in God, this friend that has give his life for his friends? The author uses the theology of a modern thinker, Fénélon, as a diagnostic device to show that Vattimo sticks to modern categories.

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