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Metaphysics: The Creation of Hierarchy is a comprehensive and detailed study of individuation reveals the theological nature of metaphysics.
Adrian Pabst argues that ancient and modern conceptions of "being" - or individual substance - fail to account for the ontological relations that bind beings to each other and to God, their source. On the basis of a genealogical account of rival theories of creation and individuation from Plato to 'postmodernism,' Pabst proposes that the Christian Neo-Platonic fusion of biblical revelation with Greco-Roman philosophy fulfills and surpasses all other ontologies and conceptions of individuality.
The result is a stunning new treatment of metaphysics and human ontology that promises to reorient the discussion around Christian theological expression.
"This book does nothing less than to set new standards in combining philosophical with political theology. Pabst’s argument about rationality has the potential to change debates in philosophy, politics, and religion." (from the foreword)
This comprehensive and detailed study of individuation reveals the theological nature of metaphysics. Adrian Pabst argues that ancient and modern conceptions of "being" or individual substance fail to account for the ontological relations that bind beings to each other and to God, their source. On the basis of a genealogical account of rival theories of creation and individuation from Plato to postmodernism,’ Pabst proposes that the Christian Neo-Platonic fusion of biblical revelation with Greco-Roman philosophy fulfills and surpasses all other ontologies and conceptions of individuality.
Adrian Pabst is lecturer in politics at the University of Kent,Canterbury, United Kingdom, and fellow of the Centre ofTheology and Philosophy. He is the editor of many volumes,most recently The Crisis of Global Capitalism: PopeBenedict XVI's Social Encyclical and the Future of PoliticalEconomy. This is his first monograph.,
John Milbank (from foreword)
-- University of Nottingham
"This book does nothing less than to set new standards in combining philosophical with political theology. Pabst's argument about relationality has the potential to change debates in theology, philosophy, and politics."
-- University of Manchester
"I have waited for Adrian Pabst's Metaphysics for a long time, and, my goodness, it does not disappoint. The range of its material and the breadth of its historical scope are breathtaking, and Pabst's analysis is as sharp as frost and just as penetrating. At the moment political theology is fashionable, but this book does not just examine something fashionable; I predict it will become a classic and lead the current trend in a new direction. It needs to be read by theologians, but I want it to be read also by political scientists because for many of them the necessary metaphysical foundations of the political will be profoundly unsettling; so too will its theological gravitas. At the book's theological core is a vision of relationality that is -- and can only be -- a vision of God. If we need anything today that can transform our political landscapes, it is that vision."
-- Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge
"In this marvelous book Adrian Pabst gives perhaps the fullest account to date of why Christianity is closely allied to Platonism and why this alliance came unnaturally unstuck, with disastrous consequences for the realm of practice as well as the realm of thought. . . . This is a significant work."
-- Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
"This erudite and lucid work presents an engaging, ambitious, and persuasive defense of the priority of relation over substance. It offers rich resources for those concerned with the contested place of metaphysics and its contemporary renewal, for those interested in the fertile space between metaphysics and theology, and for those engaged with the no less urgent problems of political theology."
-- University of Cambridge
"This bold new study argues for the pivotal importance of the Christian doctrine of creatio ex nihilo and the theology of participation in the development of western metaphysics and political thought, and explores their subsequent degeneration and decline when, in modernity, these teachings were forgotten or discarded. A clarion call to recover the economy of love, grounded in the gift, and a welcome new voice in political philosophy."
-- Boston College
"Metaphysics challenges both metaphysicians and theologians to find a more effective way of working together in a revivification of some Trinitarian religious life in the world, under what it calls a new imperative of relationality, to counteract the absolutization of individuality. . . . This is a book that should interest not only metaphysicians and theologians but also all those who find themselves cut off from any need to transcend their human condition as isolated individuals caught in a struggle for survival."
-- Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, University of Tasmania
"An extraordinary survey of Western metaphysical doctrine from a political-theological perspective. Pabst . . . takes the current debate about theology and metaphysics to a new level, while exploring how conceptions of relationality and individuation impact on how we conceive the political. No scholar or student of theology, philosophy or politics could fail to benefit from reading this book. It is a brilliant contribution."
"To find a weakness in this book is no easy task. [Pabst] has done a truly fine job in structural, scholarly, argumentative, and creative terms. With each chapter I found myself rethinking ancient and modern thinkers anew, reevaluating my previous assessments. . . . The book is a very good read and takes seriously both the scholarly and creative commitments of philosophy and theology."
Reviews in Religion & Theology
"I have no doubt that Pabst really is on to something important, both metaphysically and politically, in his Metaphysics. His fulsome treatment of ancient and medieval thinkers from several traditions is more than impressive, and his explanation of the primacy of relationality profound."
Anglican Theological Review
"A book that will incite in its readership not only the need to think more deeply about the interface between theology and politics but more importantly to realize the sheer (even exhaustible) plentitude of the Triune identity of God for all questions about human existence."