Revelation as Sharing in God’s Self-Understanding as Absolute Love
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A proper understanding of revelation has to explain the possibility of sharing in God’s self-understanding without prejudice to the apophatic dimension of human participation in God’s redeeming love. In Part I, the teachings of Vatican I’s Dei Filius and Vatican II’s Dei Verbum on revelation understood as sharing God’s self-understanding as Absolute Love precedes the proposal that the nature/supernature distinction highlights the gift-character of revelation. Part II applies the analogy of light to contrast the light of faith and of prophecy with Jesus’s ineffable light of vision to explain how Jesus as paradigmatic prophet communicates God’s self-understanding as Absolute Love in human terms as an ‘outer word’, while his life, death, and resurrection make the ‘inner word’ of the Holy Spirit available to all humankind. Part III explains the shift from faculty psychology to intentionality analysis to reformulate the cognitive aspect of revelation in order to illumine the primacy of interpersonal love in human living, and the distinction between faith and belief. Part IV, with the example of St Augustine’s conversion and the insights of Raymund Schwager and René Girard, uses Lonergan’s soteriology to explain the redemptive aspect of revelation, and once again emphasizes that in receiving and understanding revelation, we still do not fully understand and know the mysterious nature of God.