A pregnant silence : contemporary apophaticism and virtues ethics.


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This dissertation surveys and critiques the ethical consequences of the contemporary revival of apophaticism. It examines representative examples of a continuum of contemporary apophatic thought—primarily Jacques Derrida, John Caputo, Richard Kearney, Jean-Luc Marion, and Denys Turner—and assesses the ethical implications of the accounts themselves as well as the compatibility of their accounts with virtues ethics. It concludes with a study of Bonaventure and argues that his Christocentric Exemplarism allows him to harmonize the tensions between both the apophatic and cataphatic and between the relationship of apophaticism with virtues ethics. I suggest that the centrality of humility in Bonaventure’s thought offers rich resources for the contemporary theological reconsideration of metaphysics and ethics.



Apophaticism. Negative theology. Postmodernism. Virtues ethics. Jacques Derrida. Jean-Luc Marion. Denys Turner. Bonaventure. Christocentric Exemplarism. Hierarchy.