Only a person with a broad and advanced mastery of the history of Western thought could have written a study of such simultaneous scope and depth. The book challenges the current view that personalism is primarily an early 20th-century phenomenon. What was needed was a first-rate historian of ideas, and one willing toinvest a decade in the project. These are the most philosophically important, and by addressing them, the contrast between absolute and personal idealism may, I think, be more sharply drawn. Personalism is understood today as the name of an important current in twentieth-century thought which, inspired by the Christian and humanistic traditions of the West, has sought to deepen our understanding of the meaning and value of human personhood.
It is argued that these should be seen as a continuation of the earlier European movement. The book is at once richly informative and analytically incisive. Fortunately for us, such a scholar eventually appeared. In Chapter Two he discusses the epistemological aspects of the personalist critiques of modern rationalism, absolute idealism, and pantheism, and the personalist alternative in terms of a personalist conception of the subject. The Journal of Theological Studies Oxford Academic J an O lof B engtsson's mission is to retrace the history of modern personalistic philosophy and to show that it needs to be rewritten if justice is to be done to the achievements of the philosophers of the continental European movement that emerged in the late eighteenth century but also for the sake of our understanding of the intellectual and cultural meaning and relevance their thinking has for our world today. That said, if the book whetted one's appetite and sent one off to the originals, it would have succeeded in its purpose. The history of personalism has, however, been poorly understood.
Only a person with a broad and advanced mastery of the history of Western thought could have written a study of such simultaneous scope and depth. The book is at once richly informative and analytically incisive. It is argued that these should be seen as a continuation of the earlier European movement. The beginnings of specifically personalistic thought are traced to F. The development of idealistic personalism in Britain by A. In a book that takes the American personalism of Borden Parker Bowne as the paradigm of personalism, it is surprising that we find no separate substantive treatment of that personalism whose early origins and development is precisely the goal of the book to trace.
The discussion of Jacobi, Schelling, and Lotze is particularly noteworthy; and with this discussion the development of both European and Anglo-American personalism must hereafter be seen in a new light. Not surprisingly, the most obvious example is found in Ferreira's statements about the absolute itself. A more thorough discussion would need to consider not only the changes in British absolutism from Green over Caird to Bradley and Bosanquet, but also the successive stages of the development of German post-Kantian idealism between Kant and Hegel, in the various responses to and criticisms of Kant, in Fichte, and in Schelling. Personalism's insights into the nature of personhood have broad implications for our view of ethics, politics, education, and religion. Pringle-Pattison is but a late example of this, and he focused only on some of them. Although these writers disagreed with Hegel on numerous issues, they were committed to his general conception of the absolute.
It is important to keep in mind here that, as I show in the third chapter of my book, The Personal Absolute, the early idealistic personalists are themselves absolutists in the sense that they accept a general conception of the absolute—only they regard it as personal in nature. We can distinguish between substance personalism and relational personalism. It is a revised and expanded version of a doctoral thesis and has all the advantages without the usual defects of that genre. Chapter 3 shows how the dialectic of evil and forgiveness fulfils Hegel's thought on recognition and misrecognition. It might be useful for a teacher of an introductory course on these topics as a handy textbook, or for students seeking a quick introduction. He sets out to show that personalism as we know it today is essentially a late version and development of their ideas the influence of which has been obscured as often as not by the chief progenitors having had a major role in some other better-known current of thinking of their time.
Jacobi and the later F. Fortunately for us, such a scholar eventually appeared. Hegel's theory of recognition can be read as an attempt to conceive united life in terms that accommodate and affirm the ethical significance of the modern subject. Fortunately for us, such a scholar eventually appeared. This chapter summarizes the main results reached in Chapters 2 to 4, drawing general conclusions from them with reference to the current historical accounts discussed in Chapter 1.
Personalist findings about the nature of a person have important consequences for our views in ethics, politics, education and religion. Early personalism was modern in its espousal of the value of the person as self-actualizing and self-determining subject but also traditional in situating the person in the context of objective values and transcendence. Jan Olof Bengtsson has completed the book many other scholars awaited and sincerely hoped someone else would write. His method is to start by taking the American school of personalism as his paradigm because he considers scholars perceive it to be the most representative form of this mode of thinking. Only a person with a broad and advanced mastery of the history of Western thought could have written a study of such simultaneous scope and depth.
As regular readers of The Pluralist are aware, there appeared in 2008 an issue devoted to Jan Olof Bengtsson's The Worldview of Personalism. The fuller story of personalism's history was delayed largely because the research required to unearth it would have to be done in Europe and England and by a person fully fluent in at least English, German, and French. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. The history of personalism has, however, been poorly understood. There are many kinds or forms of personalism.
Lotze, such Swedes as N. Likewise, it shares in the general contemporary critiques of Enlightenment rationalism and the current revival of interest in Jacobi Radical Orthodoxy and the later Schelling secular postmodernism. The beginnings of specifically personalistic thought are traced to F. The E-mail message field is required. Bowne, are shown to fit broadly the positions of much earlier continental European and Scandinavian philosophers and theologians.