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By Carl F. Starkloff

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Extra resources for A Theology of the In-Between: The Value of Syncretic Process (Marquette Studies in Theology, #33.)

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God is the ruler of the space and time that we experience through our senses; the Logos respects the testimony of sense but transcends it (108-109). Out of Socratic self-knowledge grows an anthropology that views the human as micro-cosmos. Humans possess the ability to be microcosms because they are in the image of God; human nature is understood as a synthesis of Platonic, Stoic and Aristotelian world views joined to the Christian (121125). Humans are gifted with reason, free will and immortality as the essential content of the image of God, but for these theologians this is arrived at only through faith in the resurrection (134).

This brings to a completion our brief summary of the medieval European syncretic process, both in its spontaneous syncretism and its scholarly synthesis. However, we should not totally neglect the period of disintegration of the scholastic synthesis in the fourteenth century, if for no other reason than that this leads us into what Gilson called “The Modern Way” (Gilson, 1957 Part 11). In William of Ockham we meet a scholar who tired of the later scholastics’ sterile repetition of earlier formulae and their fruitless speculations.

The power of the Germanic kings figures prominently in this history, since it combines the words for sacred king reiks with the word theudans (tribal chief ), as in “Theodoric” (174). This would explain, of course, how and why Theodoric might put to death so revered a figure as Boëthius, because he represented a rival culture as well as a rival theology. While in essence this royal encroachment on ecclesiastical authority might seem little different from Graeco-Roman caesaropapism, its application in the north would create a system still more distant from the Roman center.

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