Novitas Mundi: Perception of the History of Being

"A most remarkable undertaking which, while immensely erudite, transcends its own scholarship to convey the sense of a world of thought to come. I have been particularly impressed by the success with which this book takes fully into account Heidegger's notion of the history of Being -- surely one of the most provocative contentions of twentieth century philosophy -- and yet in the end provides an alternative reading of this history, one that is in certain ways more convincing and nuanced than Heidegger's own version. This is an accomplishment of the highest level."

                                               Edward S. Casey

"Novitas Mundi may be illuminated most by a comparison with Karl Barth. First, what is envisaged is a thinking that begins absolutely or with itself, or, to put it differently, with revelation. As such, it leaves behind, as no longer pertinent, doubts and questions about existence; it simply proceeds. Second, this 'catholicological' theology can be other than either thetic or antithetic because it already has, within itself, the most radical opposition to itself in the thought that its own thought is the 'sinner' who is 'saved,' the contra-thinker of the thinking. Just as Barth was able to break through the divisiveness of the decretum horribile which had determined the Calvinist doctrine of divine election, so Leahy, here, breaks through a tradition in which the ecumenical must be the uniform and the spiritual cannot be the material; both break through the tradition in which the created cannot be the redeemed."

                                                Robert P. Scharlemann

"In my judgment, Novitas Mundi is quite simply the most important work of philosophical theology published in our century."

                                                 Thomas J.J. Altizer 

This book is at once an analysis of the history of scientific philosophy with an eye to discovering the very essence of that history, and, also, a synthesis of the history of being itself. The "Prolegomena" sets out the fundamental perception of the history of being now operative in consciousness. The center of the book is comprised of a two-part "Reflection on the History of Being": Part I is an examination of the impact made on the shape of scientific philosophy by the fact of Christian faith. Aristotle, the sacra doctrina of Thomas Aquinas, and their relationship with the modern thinkers, Descartes, Kant, Hegel and Kierkegaard, are examined in this section. In Part II the history of the conception of time becomes the measure of a prospective analysis of the limits essential to the modern enterprise. Augustine, Leibniz, Husserl and Heidegger become the major figures here, and there is a specific delineation of the relationship of the phenomenologists to Kierkegaard and Hegel. Throughout the discussion, the reader is supplied with generous quotations from the primary sources. Three important appendices explicate the fact that history is now seen to actually be Being itself for the first time: the beginning of Being itself absolutely unconditioned. In "The Reality of Transcendental Historical Thinking," time, motion and change are presented as discrete elements of perception. In "The Now Existing Thought of Faith," the reader will find a special focus on the fact 'now faith thinks for itself'. The "Missa Jubilaea" is an extensive and rich development of the conception of the new substance of things seen, 'the body itself'.






Part I.A Retrospect:
Faith and Self-consciousness

Chapter 1.Aristotle: The Paradox of Good Sense
Chapter 2.Thomas Aquinas: A New Reality
Chapter 3.Descartes: A New Thought
Chapter 4.The Infinite Practical.I:Kant
Chapter 5.The Infinite Practical. II:Hegel
Chapter 6.Kierkegaard and Lessing: The Leap of Faith

Part II.The Prospect:
Introductory Presentations In The Essential History of Thought

Chapter 7.Augustine: The Knowledge of Existence
Chapter 8.Leibniz: The Ideal of The History of Being
Chapter 9.Hegel: The Absolute Truth
Chapter 10.Clarification of The Absolute.I:Kierkegaard
Chapter 11.Clarification of The Absolute.II:Husserl
Chapter 12.Clarification of The Absolute.III:Heidegger



Appendix α:The Reality of Transcendental Historical Thinking
Appendix β:The Now Existing Thought of Faith
Appendix γ: Missa Jubilaea: The Celebration of The Infinite Passover


D.G. Leahy is the author of Beyond Sovereignty: A New Global Ethics and Morality; The Cube Unlike All Others; Faith and Philosophy: The Historical Impact; and  Foundation: Matter the Body Itself.  He is formerly Research Consultant to the Skin Sciences Institute, Children's Hospital Research Foundation, University of Cincinnati.  He was tenured in Classics and has taught Religious Studies at New York University and is former Distinguished Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Loyola University Maryland.

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