Verdad divina y lenguaje humano

 -Jesús Polo Carrasco

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In this work the author presents the positive doctrine on the four principal problems which are intimately related with the theme "divine truth and human language". He uses a method which is both positive and speculative and follows the main documents of the Magisterium, especially those of Pope Paul VI, step by step. At the same time he outlines the internal reasoning which is the basis of the teaching of the Magisterium on this matter.

In the first part which is entitled "our knowledge of revealed truth", the author answers the following question: how can we have objective knowledge, although in a limited form, of revealed truth which we receive in human terms and concepts? He highlights the need to have recourse to the analogy of being and of human cognition, and subsequently points out the step from the "analogia entis" to the "analogia fidei". The author shows clearly that not all philosophical frameworks are suitable receptacles for divine Revelation and that certain claims of "theological pluralism" are in the last analysis cases of pluralism in matters of faith. Foreseeing the possibility of timeworn accusations he analyzes the attitude of the Magisterium towards aristotelian philosophy, St Thomas' philosophy and towards philosophy in general.

The second part, entitled "the truth of the infallible formulae of the Magisterium", establishes the classical distinction between the terms used by the Church and meaning which she has given to same. He recalls the need for christians to speak "juxta certam regulam loquendi" (St. Augustin). The conclusion is that the formulae of faith, with the meaning given to them by the Magisterium, are true and immutable, and are suitable for expressing the truth to all men in all times. He naturally analyzes the text of Pope John's discourse on the opening of the 2nd Vatican Council, on the bases of the authentic interpretation given by Paul VI and the declaration "Mysterium Ecclesiae".

In the third part, entitled "the connexion between basis and form", he strives to solve the problems caused by the proponents of the structuralist theory who strip language of all objective meaning. The author distinguishes between structuralism as a method, pointing out its limits as a method, and the way structuralism is abused by some exegetes and historians of dogma. He makes brief reference to a related topic; that of the more correct translation of the words of St Vincent of Lerins, which have been frequently used by the Magisterium (sed in suo duntaxat genere, in eodem scilicet dogmate, eodem sensu, eademque sententia).

In the fourth part he analyzes the theme "as close as possible to the truth revealed". He recalls the distinction between chronological proximity and cognitive proximity, which some authors ignore. He then shows how greater authenticity is not restricted to primitive texts of greater chronological proximity, but rather, given the charisma of inspiration, the homogeneous development of Dogma and the infallible assistance which the Magisterium enjoys, he shows how in fact the opposite in the case: the later expressions are as authentic as the earlier, and as well as that the later ones are more explicit and more complete gnoseologically.


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