To Know as I Am Known: The Communion of the Saints and the Ontology of Love

To Know as I Am Known: The Communion of the Saints and the Ontology of Love

by Mark McLeod-Harrison


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The doctrine of the communion of the saints is central in the spiritual lives and theology of millions of Christians. However, it has been neglected by much recent philosophical scholarship. ‘To know as I am known’ addresses this oversight by offering a contemporary analysis of this venerated doctrine. By taking two related puzzles inherent in the doctrine itself, McLeod-Harrison explores and reflects on not only the communion of the saints but also on the ontology of love.

Divided into five parts, this book provides an account of human nature and sin, before suggesting a way of thinking of love that is rooted both in the doctrine of the Trinity and in the thought of several contemporary analytic thinkers along with Dostoyevsky, Eckerd, Royce. While the integral issues of the doctrine are related to the “why-be-moral” problem, McLeod-Harrison shows that the challenges of the doctrine arise from the unique nature of agape (divine love). Thus, the communion of the saints comes through the challenges intact with a plausible interpretation of saintly motivation and human solidarity.

Born out of 20 years of thought, this essential and sophisticated reflection serves as an important contribution to the field of the philosophy of religion that will inspire and engage students, scholars, and Christians, alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781622734757
Publisher: Vernon Art and Science
Publication date: 09/12/2018
Series: Series in Philosophy of Religion
Pages: 278
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.58(d)

About the Author

Mark S. McLeod-Harrison PhD is Professor of Philosophy at George Fox University. He is the author of Rationality and Belief in God; Make/Believing the World(s): Toward a Christian Ontological Pluralism; Repairing Eden; Apologizing for God; The Resurrection of Immortality; and Image, Incarnation, and Expansivism; along with a book of poetry, and dozens of journal articles. He has been thinking about the doctrine of the communion of the saints for 20 years. This book flows out of those 20 years of thought. He is the husband of Susan McLeod-Harrison and father of three children, one of whom is grown and married. He is now engaged in writing philosophically about the Christian doctrine of sin in light of evolution and the so-called "species problem."

Table of Contents



Part I Introduction

Chapter 1 The Doctrine

Chapter 2 Biblical Roots

Chapter 3 Challenges

Part II Metaphysical Reflections on Sinning and Sainthood

Chapter 4 Constitutive Properties I

Chapter 5 Constitutive Properties II

Chapter 6 The Constitution of the Human Person I

Chapter 7 The Constitution of the Human Person II

Part III Love, Altruism, and Self-Interest

Chapter 8 Morality, Altruism, and Love

Chapter 9 Altruism and Self-Interest

Chapter 10 The Nature of Love

Part IV Building Blocks

Chapter 11 Personal Fission, Self-Interest, and Altruism

Chapter 12 On Living Two Lives as One

Chapter 13 Solving Royce’s Problems

Part V A Theory of the Ontology of Love

Chapter 14 Transparency and the Ontology of Love

Chapter 15 Christian Ontological Humility

Chapter 16 Images and the Image of God

Chapter 17 Concluding Remarks

Appendix: Some Minor Challenges

Works Cited


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