Towards a theology of language: A philosophical analysis of the theological desire to give expression in the secular world

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Charles E. Winquist


Philosophical, Secular, Theology of language

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | Philosophy | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


I . This dissertation is a comprehensive and critical study of the other in and of language that the history of Western thought manifests.

II . The hypothesis that stands under the analysis of the other in and of language in the history of Western thought is the following: (1) The value placed on existence depends on the adequacy of modes of representation to integrate affects into concepts. (2) The value placed on existence depends, therefore, on the adequacy of our interpretations, our readings, our critiques, our evaluations of the work of scholarship--of an insufferable quest for knowledge.

III . The schematism of the work is that of a genealogy in that: (1) It is a tracing back of the other in and of language through the ideas of it that have prevailed in and motivated the history of Western thought. (2) It is a comprehensive evaluation of this history. (a) it shows how this history is often synonymous with a devaluation of existence. (b) it suggests how a theological understanding of the desire to know as a desire to give expression in a secular world can overcome the devaluation of existence triggered by thinking. (c) the overcoming in question is not an overcoming by faith alone, or the product of a whimsical imagination. Rather, it is a promise: the promise that to speak a theological desire is better than not to speak this desire.


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