JOSEPH PALAKEEL, The Use of Analogy in Theological Discourse. An Investigation in Ecumenical Perspective
When Erich Przywara declared
analogy of being as the Catholic fundamental form, Karl Barth did not hesitate
to condemn it as the invention of the Antichrist and as the only sufficient
reason not to become a Catholic and proposed analogy of faith as the Protestant
counter principle. This gave rise to an intense ecumenical dispute on analogy.
Theologians rallied on both sides and, finally, the mutually excluding
alternative between analogy of being and analogy of faith was overcome
through a compromise formula of understanding analogy of being within analogy
of faith. This marks the beginning of a «new quest» for a post-modern
understanding of the role of analogy in theological discourse.
The Przywara-Barth-Balthasar debate on analogy has led to the emergence of several new analogies such as analogy of love (H.U von Balthasar), analogy of freedom (W. Kasper), analogy of advent (E. Jüngel) and analogy of man (K. Rahner). The post-modern recourse to analogy signals an ontological, epistemological and linguistic renewal of both analogy and theology in such a way that analogy is no more a principle of natural theology at the forecourt of theology, but the key hermeneutical principle of theological discourse itself. The study shows that analogy is unavoidable in theology because all theological statements are necessarily analogical: «Without analogy, no theology! Without it talk corresponding to God is as unthinkable as being corresponding to God». (E. Jüngel, Entsprechungen, 7).
JOSEPH PALAKEEL, born in 1959 at Adivaram
(Kerala, India), joined The Missionary Society of St. Thomas the Apostle,
India, and was ordained priest in 1986 after his studies at the Paurastyavidyapitham,
Kottayam, India. After a few years of priestly ministry, he continued his
studies in Rome and has obtained Diploma in Social Communication and Doctorate
in Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University. At present he is
engaged in missionary apostolate in India.
(C) PUG 1999