return to religion-online

The Theology of Altizer: Critique and Response by John B. Cobb, Jr. (editor)


John B. Cobb, Jr., Ph.D. is Professor of Theology Emeritus at the Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, California, and Co-Director of the Center for Process Studies there. His many books currently in print include: Reclaiming the Church (1997); with Herman Daly, For the Common Good; Becoming a Thinking Christian (1993); Sustainability (1992); Can Christ Become Good News Again? (1991); ed. with Christopher Ives, The Emptying God: a Buddhist-Jewish-Christian Conversation (1990); with Charles Birch, The Liberation of Life; and with David Griffin, Process Theology: An Introductory Exposition (1977). He is a retired minister in the United Methodist Church. Published by The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1970. Used by Permission. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.


Chapter 9: Thomas Altizer and the Dialectic of Regression by Daniel C. Noel


Note: Daniel C. Noel is Assistant Professor of Religion at Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania.

In an essay which served as a sort of manifesto for the theological radicalism of a few years ago, William Hamilton selected himself, Paul van Buren, and Thomas Altizer as being most representative of the "death of God" movement.1 Hamilton’s placement of Altizer centered around an appraisal of the latter’s Mircea Eliade and the Dialectic of the Sacred.2 His characterization is, in most respects, an accurate one. He notes (pp. 31-33) Altizer’s "mysticism" and dependence on Eliade, Kierkegaard, N. O. Brown, and Nietzsche. Hamilton is perhaps too quick to label as incipient Gnosticism some of the ideas Altizer has developed out of Brown, for any position which seeks to move through and beyond modernity is aiming at a synthesis which would combine a nonregressive reappropriation of what has been lost to modernity, in addition to a retention of what has been gained by it.

On the other hand, a man who has gone to some lengths to criticize "modern gnosticisms" should be brought up short when he falls into the same heresy. With this in mind, let us take a careful look at Altizer’s work.

I

The general movement of Altizer’s thought in Mircea Eliade and the Dialectic of the Sacred begins with Eliade’s distinction between the sacred and the profane, moves beyond Eliade via a vertiginous dialectic, and after scattering, tornado-fashion, seven or eight prospects in its zigzagging path, settles upon Norman 0. Brown and the Nietzsche of "Eternal Recurrence" as indices to a properly dialectical coincidentia oppositorum of the sacred and profane. Centering on the associations between Eliade, Brown, Nietzsche, and Altizer, we will seek to appraise the validity of Altizer’s proposed coincidentia in the mode of temporality, probably the most crucial one, and certainly representative of his project as a whole.

Norman 0. Brown describes Eliade’s antithesis between archaic and modern time as follows: "Archaic time is cyclical, periodic, unhistoric: modern time is progressive (historical), continuous, irreversible."4 Eliade has idealized archaic man, says Brown, "by attributing to him the power to abolish time and [Brown quotes Cosmos and History] ‘live in a continual present’" (p.277).

Brown, let it be clear, shares Eliade’s intention to abolish time with archaic man and "live in a continual present," except that he feels that Eliade’s primitivism cannot achieve this because it fails to take into account a necessary precondition: the abolition of guilt, which Brown has Freudianly undertaken.

Brown distinguishes between his "eternal Now," which is achieved by accepting the "actuality of living-and-dying, which is always in the present," and Eliade’s "continual present," which, as a flight from death, becomes a regressive attachment to "the womb from which life came" (pp. 284-285). But Brown’s distinction here invites closer scrutiny.

Regardless of how it is most successfully to be realized, is Brown’s "eternal Now" any less static, finally, than a regressively entered womb-sea of primordial timelessness? Is not Brown’s "eternal Now," no less than Eliade’s "continual present," merely the circle of static timelessness set spinning like a wheel? As William Earle has written of Nietzsche: "[The free spirit] may be fettered by fear and concern for the future, for its own death. But let it finally accept death, for the wheel of existence turns and all things recur."5 The acceptance of death as living in "the Now" is tied, either as cause or effect, to the wheel of recurrence.

Henri-Charles Puech, in his significantly titled essay, "La Gnose et le temps," makes the following statement about "wheels of recurrence": "The circular movement that ensures the maintenance of the same things by repeating them, by continually bringing back their return, is the most immediate, the most perfect (and hence the most nearly divine) expression of that which, at the pinnacle of the hierarchy, is absolute immobility." 6 In Brown’s dialectic of life and death, something has been left out of the affirmation of death. William Earle touches upon this missing element in his paraphrase of Nietzsche, quoted above: "fear and concern for the future, for its own death." (My italics.) While it may be in some sense true to say, with Brown, that the "actuality of living-and-dying" is always in the present, fear and concern for one’s own death is always fear and concern for the future, and acceptance of death is always acceptance of the future, however immediate.

With this element excluded from Brown’s dialectical affirmation of death, the "eternal Now" becomes what it is more honestly in Eliade: an Eternal Return in illo tempore, a return to eternity, a regression. What does Altizer do with these concepts?

The prospects are favorable, at points in Mircea Eliade and the Dialectic of the Sacred, for an avoidance of Brown’s regressive direction. Altizer is aware that for Brown "unrepressed life would be timeless or in eternity," and he notes that "Brown seeks a libido that is unaffected by the Oedipus complex; and this means a libido that has not murdered God, a libido that is unfallen and still in union with the sacred" (p. 174). However, Altizer excuses this regressiveness by referring to the inadequacy of Brown’s Freudian terminology. This is too charitable, for one can use the Freudian language as strictly as Brown does and still express the program for a nonrepressive, nonregressive coincidence of opposites.

If I may be permitted some italicized revisions, Altizer’s comment on Brown would look like this: Postrepressed life would be a coalescence of time and eternity, involving a libido that has been cured of the Oedipus complex, which is to say a libido that has no guilt over having murdered God, a libido that is fallen and still in union with the sacred, i.e., a libido that is in the (realized?) eschaton.

In whatever terminology it is couched, Altizer does not recognize Brown’s regression. It is, then, no surprise to see him run into the same problem. He exults over Nietzsche’s words on Eternal Recurrence in the third part of Zarathustra: "The imagery itself is cyclical, moving to and from the idea of the circle [from Rad to Ring]" (p. 185). The merry-go-round of timeless childhood beckons. Altizer senses the peril, for before he climbs aboard he says of Nietzsche that "unlike his dialectical predecessors he has isolated this immediate moment from any metaphysical relation with an order or logos that transcends it" (p. 186). But Nietzsche has also, we might add, made it eternal by isolating it from the movement of his history.

Still troubled, Altizer attempts to dissociate Nietzsche’s Eternal Recurrence from Eliade’s Eternal Return: "Briefly stated, Eternal Return transforms time into eternity" (p. 193). But we can see that that which Eliade transforms into eternity, and that which Nietzsche transforms eternity into, is not time, the future time of history, the time of entropy and the arrow, but the point, "the Now." Whether one moves from hub to spinning periphery or vice versa, one is still on the stationary carousel, and so, by now, is Altizer.

The ruthless illogic of his unintentional negation of time really catches up with Altizer in the culminating statement he offers in support of his claim that the Nietzsche he follows does not fall prey to Eliade’s regression. Note that the two movements referred to are presented as antithetical:

What the sacred myth [Eliade’s] knows as a repetition continually regenerating the "irreversibility" of profane time into the presence of a transcendent eternity, the profane myth [Nietzsche’s] knows as a repetition continually transforming the transcendence of eternity [into the "irreversibility" of a profane time? No:] into the absolute immanence of the radical profane. (P. 194.)

The forward-moving linearity of profane time has been lost here, but it is conversely evident that the logic of Altizer’s intentions, if correctly followed, would have included it (although at the expense perhaps, of Nietzsche). Altizer is on the right track when he critically remarks of Eliade that "he is unable to say Yes to the future, to envision a truly New Creation, to look forward to the Kingdom of God" (p. 195).

This is reminiscent of Brown’s statement in Life Against Death that "competition between . . . [current psychoanalysis and current neo-orthodox Protestantism] to produce an eschatology for the twentieth century is the way to serve the life instinct and bring hope to distracted humanity" (p. 233). Somehow, however, both Brown and Altizer have been fed a poison which has paralyzed their proposed utopias and turned them into neutral Nirvanas. We must move on to examine some possible antidotes.

II

First, let us wonder about this "dialectical" method which Brown and Altizer so enthusiastically employ. Brown says: "By ‘dialectical’ I mean an activity of consciousness struggling to circumvent the limitations imposed by the formal-logical law of contradiction" (pp. 318-319). He then goes on to say that "there is an important connection between being ‘dialectical’ and dreaming, just as there is between dreaming and poetry or mysticism" (pp. 320-321).

But these activities, if dialectical, are not so in the sense of "struggling to circumvent the formal-logical law of contradiction." Brown himself notes that "the dream does not seem to recognize the word ‘no’" (p. 320). Surely this is a recognition called for in a dialectic which is "struggling." Further, Brown cites Freud’s essay, "The Antithetical Sense of Primal Words" (p. 321), to imply contradictorily that the "reasonableness" of language, which he elsewhere equates with what the dialectical imagination of poetry is striving to circumvent (p. 319), is actually a subordinate quality of language. The basic character of language is dialectical only in a "natural" way, shown in the rhythmical reverberations, the loving strife, between a word’s "concrete" and "ethereal" meanings, between "vehicle" and "tenor."

In spite of these acknowledgments, Brown’s dialectic in practice is the spastic, "circumventing" one of his original definition. Fighting his own buoyancy, Brown employs a method which proceeds without the help of its strongest allies: the irrational basis of consciousness and the metaphorical basis of language.

Altizer finds the origin of dialectical thinking in the West in Heraclitus (pp. 81-82). Granting this, it also must be stressed that with Heraclitus dialectical thinking would not be struggling to overcome the law of contradiction, because reality itself was polemos, eris, enantios.7 Altizer sees with Cassirer and Heidegger that Seinvergessenheit and the logic-ization of logos came in after Heraclitus, but he insists on using a tainted dialectic which in effect assigns metaphysical primacy to post-Parmenidean concepts of contradiction. Like Brown, Altizer overlooks a resource which he has just looked over.

Language as metaphor, consciousness as resting on the unconscious, reality as Heraclitean fire: Can these three concepts provide an antidote to the regressive tendencies with which Brown’s and Altizer’s intentions have been drugged? This question may be answered if we discard the soiled term "dialectical thinking" and do some "metaphorical thinking" with three men whose words about the above-noted concepts may also offer counsel to Altizer’s Christology.

III

Owen Barfield is a British literary theorist and philologist who has extrapolated from Goethe, Coleridge, Wilhelm von Humboldt, and Friedrich Max Muller in order to argue that language is basically and naturally metaphorical.8 Reasoning from this thesis, Barfield has also had some provocative things to say about the evolution of consciousness.9

Both Brown and Altizer have, since the publication of their books discussed above, recognized the importance of this latter side of Barfield’s thought. When the editors of The American Scholar asked him what book published in the past ten years did he find himself going or thinking back to, Brown replied: "I want to name Owen Barfield’s Saving the Appearances10 Altizer writes of the same work: "I believe that this book is potentially one of the truly seminal works of our time."11

And yet, while Brown’s most recent work, Love’s Body (Random House, Inc., 1966), indicates he is familiar with Barfield’s discussions on language as metaphor, Altizer does not seem to see the necessary connection between this concept and Saving the Appearances. It is hard to understand Altizer’s oversight here, since even without reading Barfield’s primary studies of language he could make this connection by a careful reading of the last nine chapters of Saving the Appearances.12 Altizer should also be aware that Robert Funk’s development of the idea of the New Testament parables as metaphors and in turn as linguistic counterparts of the incarnation is as much a result of Barfield’s influence as Gerhard Ebeling’s.13 At any rate, it is interesting to speculate on what a thorough acquaintance with Barfield’s theory of "poetic diction" would do to Altizer’s "dialectical" method (and will do, I assume, to Brown’s).

The most insistent supposition is that such an acquaintance would provide Altizer with a methodology consistent with his own Christological and eschatological desiderata. Altizer already must have glimpsed a correlation between these and Barfield’s "evolution of consciousness," for he paraphrases and quotes Barfield as follows:

The mission of Israel is identified as a withdrawal from participation [in Lévy-Bruhl’s sense] so as to prepare humanity for that day when it would be totally isolated from the world and yet called to the task of realizing a new unity with the world (our time). Only the Incarnation can explain [it is the only hypothesis capable of Saving the Appearances] the new and final participation lying upon our horizon: "In one man the inwardness of the Divine Name had been fully realized; the final participation, whereby man’s Creator speaks from within man himself, had been accomplished." The Word became flesh so as to make possible in the course of time the transition of all men from original to final participation.14

Barfield’s conception of the incarnation as a freeing of man, in the course of time, to say the Divine Name ("I am . . .") here coalesces with Altizer’s idea that the death of God frees us to see the contemporary reality of a continuing incarnational kenosis leading to a nonhubristic apotheosis of man.15 Barfield has achieved with his metaphorical sensitivity a pre-view of a "final participation" which is the coincidentia oppositorum Altizer was insufficiently able to apprehend with his dialectical method. At both of these points of coalescence between Barfield and Altizer, however, there lies the thought of another man: Carl Jung.

IV

In writing recently of Jung’s reputation, Floyd Matson has observed that "it is often overlooked that he has consistently turned for guidance to the future no less than to the past. . . . His emphasis, in both theory and therapy, is upon the creative potential of personality -- the distinctively human capacity which he has been content to identify by the archaic titles of ‘spirit’ or ‘soul’ -- as against the quest for scientific causality which in his view can only reinforce the ‘primitive tendencies’ of the psyche." 16

If Jung’s choice of words is not always the most felicitous, he nonetheless demonstrates that future-oriented approach which Altizer incompletely discerns as necessary for the realization of the new creation. And it is Jung, with his awareness that the logical ego-consciousness rests on an irrational and unconscious fundament, who has taken over from Heraclitus the knowledge that reality itself is of the nature of a strife of opposites. Jung has seen that psychologically this means that an overemphasis on either side of a polarity such as conscious-unconscious, or sacred-profane, will lead not to a dialectical coincidentia oppositorum but to a reinforcement or enantiodromia of the (untransfigured) other pole, that is, to an inundation or regression.17 It will be helpful to keep these Jungian motifs in mind as we explore the somewhat surprising parallels between Jung’s notion of "individuation" and Altizer’s idea of an ongoing kenotic incarnation.

Jung’s conclusions about an imperfect incarnation requiring a second birth of the divine child are probably no more heterodox than Altizer’s talk about kenosis,18 and no less valuable as contributing to a Christology for the death-of-God theology. Jung’s and Altizer’s thoughts here are, in fact, but one melody played in different keys. This is readily apparent from a reading of Jung’s Answer to Job and Philp’s Jung and the Problem of Evil, with its illuminating correspondence from Jung.

If we may be permitted to quote at some length, Jung’s position will largely explain itself. Jung writes: "From Job it is quite obvious that Jahwe behaves like a man with inferior consciousness and an absolute lack of moral self-reflection. In this the God-image is more limited than Man. Therefore He must incarnate" (Philp, p. 224). Philp addresses Jung and quotes Answer to Job:

The crowning point of your line of argument in Answer to Job is the place of individuation which you represent as the satisfying answer to Job. As the first Incarnation was, you say, imperfect, we have to wait for the Holy Ghost to produce a second birth and this in fact is described in the Book of Revelation: "Ever since John, the apocalyptist, experienced for the first time (perhaps unconsciously) that conflict into which Christianity inevitably leads, mankind has groaned under this burden: God wanted to become man, and still wants to. That is probably why John experienced in his vision a second birth of a son from the mother Sophia, a divine birth which was characterized by a coniunctio oppositorum and which anticipated the filius sapientiae, the essence of the individuation process." Allowing for the symbolism involved, this is how the second birth takes place: "The dogmatization of the Assumptio Mariae points to the hieros gamos in the pleroma, and this in turn implies, as we have said, the future birth of the divine child, who, in accordance with the divine trend towards incarnation, will choose as his birthplace the empirical man. The metaphysical process is known to the psychology of the unconscious as the individuation process. (P. 172.)

Finally, Altizer should want to applaud what Philp criticizes here in Jung:

I think, too, that the dogmatic interpretation which you give of the Incarnation is very narrow. You insist that it was not a real Incarnation because of the Virgin Birth of Christ and the Immaculate Conception of Mary, but I have the conviction that -- without realizing it -- you are working this out to fit in with another part of the structure you wish to erect, and that this particular way of looking at the Incarnation of Christ is necessary so that there will be room in your reconstruction for the continuing Incarnation which finally, you believe, is to culminate in the Christification of many through the process of individuation. (P. 163.)

Jung’s melody is, in a more Catholic transposition, the same unorthodox one that Altizer plays in a Protestant key. Similarly, like Barfield’s reading of the incarnation as a prefiguration of "final participation," Jung’s way of looking at the incarnation is a hypothesis for "saving the appearances," which to Jung are the psychologically empirical "facts" of religious evolution. And while we are drawing parallels, there are several others which it will be fruitful for us to expose at this juncture.

Jung is related to Barfield not only by virtue of what he has to say about the incarnation but also in respect of his call for a "withdrawal of projections." This latter is essentially consonant with Barfield’s call for a "withdrawal from [original] participation" in representations which have become detached from us, and have thereby, with our tendency to hypostatize them, become "idols." The possibility is negligible that Jung’s term "projection" indicates a lack of agreement with Barfield that there was a time when man did not merely project onto but participated in his umwelt. Of the "euhemeristic" view of mental evolution which culminates in an understanding of "the whole metaphysical world [as even originally] a psychical structure projected into the sphere of the unknown," Jung writes:

The danger of this viewpoint is an exaggerated scepticism and rationalism, inasmuch as the original "supreme powers" are seemingly reduced to mere representations. This leads to a complete negation of the "supreme powers (Scientific Materialism)" (Philip, pp. 242-243.)

Here again the melody is the same; but the keys are, this time, Jung’s German Romantic background, with its emphasis on the chthonic, and Barfield’s English Romantic background with its stress on the perceptual.19

Barfield may be linked to the later Heidegger (to bring a third "antidote" into the interstices of these observations) by the place of importance they accord to language. Barfield’s insistence on the more-than-utilitarian implications of regarding language as metaphoric is matched by the later Heidegger’s statement that language is the "house of Being." Barfield’s "poetic diction" parallels the later Heidegger’s call for a true "naming of the Gods" which would be a poetic, rather than metaphysical, "dwelling on the earth." The similarity of their uses of etymology as an anti-positivistic language-clarifier is likewise revealing.20

The later Heidegger, in his turn, can be related back to Jung as a sort of nondirective Jungian therapist of Being, who, entering into "proximity to the source," lets Being be. Likewise, it is Jung, who so often has been accused of "reifying" the unconscious, who says of it:

It is the source of all sorts of evils and also on the other hand the motherground of all divine experience and -- paradoxical as it may sound -- it has brought forth and brings forth consciousness. Such a statement does not mean that the source originates, i.e., that the water materializes just in the spot where you see the source of a river; it comes from deep down in the mountain and runs along its secret ways, before it reaches daylight. When I say: "Here is the source," I only mean the spot where the water becomes visible. The water-simile expresses rather aptly the nature and importance of the unconscious. (Philp, pp. 12-13, my italics.)

In this unphilosophical phrasing of the matter we see a vivid demonstration that in his conception of the unconscious Jung no more intends a "simple locating" than does the later Heidegger in his search for being.

V

It is ironic that in his unpublished doctoral dissertation, in two subsequent articles,22 and in Mircea Eliade and the Dialectic of the Sacred (none of which displays an acquaintance either with Answer to Job or the Philp volume), Altizer has persisted in calling Jung a modern Gnostic whose work amounts to an undialectical world-negation and a flight into a discarnate eternity.

Jung is aware of such charges, and he meets them head-on:

The people calling me a gnostic cannot understand that I am a psychologist, describing modes of psychical behaviour precisely like a biologist studying the instinctual activities of insects. He does not believe in the tenets of the bee’s philosophy. When I show the parallels between dreams and gnostic fantasies I believe in neither. (Philp, p. 239.)

The irony is that far from amounting to a kind of neo-Gnosticism, Jung’s thought -- together with that of Barfield and the later Heidegger -- could help prevent Altizer from producing, malgré lui, a dialectic of regression.23

The valuable aspect of a primitivism such as Eliade describes is that with rituals, guides, witch doctors -- with, in short, "outside help" (help from outside the self) -- one can achieve a periodic or sequential or momentary coincidentia by regressing into the womb-sea of the archaic with someone nearby to pull one out. Rescue, then, is a momentary rebirth, and regression which is not final becomes regenerative.24

Always in this momentary rebirth there must be a rescuer or a rescuing agent: Ariadne’s thread, Dante’s Virgil, the pattern traced on the floor of the palace at Knossos for ritual dancing, the emblem on the doorway of the temple, the design in the ground outside the sacred cave, the ritual solution of a puzzle, etc. The examples can be quite diffuse, but, personified or otherwise, the pre-enactment of or guide to the successful (rescued) regression seems a universal aspect of a long pre-death-of-God stage of religious evolution.

But with the death of God (the biggest of the problem solvers) there can no longer be any outside help of a directive kind. Christianly, "conversion experiences" (one or many) give way to "becoming Jesus." Outside help must now be introjected as self-help, and the self must become the rescue, the ritual, the thread, etc. Preeminently, this means that redemption is within.

In Philp’s work on Jung, the author quotes these words from Amy Allenby’s Jung’s Contribution to the Religious Problem of Our Time:

Consequently, modern man is no longer able to leave it to the medicine man or to the Christ-figure to achieve the transcending of the opposites on his own behalf. He has, in a sense, to become his own healer, he has to win the crystal or the alchemical lapis for himself. . . . This profound experience has been called by Jung "the process of individuation." (Philp, p. 181.)

Two points must be quickly made about Jungian individuation as self-help. In the first place, it is a gain over the periodic regression and rebirth (with help) process of pre-death-of-God religions. In the sporadic syntheses of the latter, there always lurked the danger that rescue would be ineffectual or too late. (Pip is rescued too late by the Pequod and is thereafter unintelligible; rebirth can be miscarriage.) Furthermore, and this relates to the second point, individuation, seen as becoming one’s own redemption, is not periodic or sporadic but ongoing and continual.

Second, the suspicion that the concept of individuation is considered by its proponents a "state" or finished process is countered precisely by the realization that individuation as self-help, in conjunction with the future-orientation of Jung’s thought, means that the goal is in the going. This applies whether the goal is a coincidentia oppositorum. a "final participation," or a new creation.

This "on-going" quality of the individuation process has been brought out most suggestively by the American Jungian Ira Progoff, who writes:

In the act of doing the work that leads to the development of persons, the intimation of reality that is the driving image behind it makes reality present, just as Mecca becomes present in the midst of a pilgrim’s journey. In this sense, too, wholeness of personality is not a goal that is off in the future; it is a condition of being that becomes present in the course of the work that seeks it.25

"Mecca as the road" also means that here we have no imperialistic or messianic hubris that proclaims itself as having "arrived."

If the Mecca of Altizer’s thought is a Garden reentered without vomiting the apple -- that is, if he intends no regressive dialectic -- then in the perspective of the "on-goingness" made possible by the continuing incarnation we can see his goal as a go-ing. Remembering this, and with the aid of the resources proposed above, is it possible that, more than anyone emerging on the American scene, it is Thomas Altizer who can lead us theologically "down the Garden path"?

 

Notes

1. William Hamilton, "The Death of God Theology," The Christian Scholar, Vol. XLVIII (Spring, 1965), p. 28, n. 3. Subsequent references to this article will appear in the text.

2. Thomas J. J. Altizer, Mircea Eliade and the Dialectic of the Sacred (The Westminster Press, 1963). Subsequent references in the text.

3. Thomas J. J. Altizer, "The Challenge of Modern Gnosticism," The Journal of Bible and Religion, Vol. XXX (Jan., 1962), pp. 18-25.

4. Norman 0. Brown, Life Against Death (Vintage Books, Inc., 1959), p. 274. Subsequent references in the text.

5. William Earle, "The Paradox and Death of God," in William Earle, James M. Edie, and John Wild, eds., Christianity and Existentialism (Northwestern University Press, 1963), p. 82.

6. Henri-Charles Puech, "La Gnose et le temps," quoted in Mircea Eliade, Cosmos and History: The Myth of the Eternal Return, tr. by Willard R. Trask (Harper & Brothers, 1959), p. 89, n.59.

7. See Philip Wheelwright, Heraclitus (Atheneum Publishers,

1964), p. 140.

8. See especially Owen Barfield, Poetic Diction: A Study in Meaning (McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1964), and his "The Meaning of the Word ‘Literal,’" in L. C. Knights and Basil Cottle, eds., Metaphor and Symbol (Butterworth & Co., Ltd., 1961).

9. See Owen Barfield, Saving the Appearances: A Study in Idolatry (Faber & Faber, Ltd., 1957).

10. Norman 0. Brown, Letter in "The Revolving Bookstand," American Scholar, Vol. XXXIV (Summer, 1965), p. 478.

11. Thomas J. J. Altizer, Review of Owen Barfield, Worlds Apart: A Dialogue of the 1960’s (Wesleyan University Press, 1963), in The Journal of Bible and Religion, Vol. XXXII (Oct., 1964), p. 385.

12. Even more recently, Altizer has acknowledged indebtedness to Barfield in one place and has striven to "meet Barfield’s challenge" in another. However, his continuing to seek a "dialectical vision" and especially his reaffirmation of the selfsame Nietzschean doctrines we have criticized above show that Barfield’s linguistic insights have yet to make any impact upon him. See Thomas J. J. Altizer and William Hamilton, Radical Theology and the Death of God (The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1966), pp. 120, 148; and Thomas J. J. Altizer, The Gospel of Christian Atheism (The Westminster Press, 1966), pp. 12, 147-157.

13. See Robert W. Funk, "The Old Testament in Parable," Encounter, Vol. XXVI (Spring, 1965), pp. 261-262, n. 72; and his "Saying and Seeing: Phenomenology of Language in the New Testament," The Journal of Bible and Religion, Vol. XXXIV (July, 1966), pp. 197-213. These points are expanded upon in Robert W. Funk, Language, Hermeneutic, and Word of God (Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc., 1966).

14. Altizer, Review of Barfield, p. 385.

15. See Thomas J. J. Altizer, "Creative Negation in Theology," The Christian Century, Vol. LXXXII (July 7, 1965), pp. 864-867.

16. Floyd W. Matson, The Broken Image: Man, Science and Society (George Braziller, Inc., 1964), pp. 208-209.

17. H. L. Philp, lung and the Problem of Evil (Rockliff Publishing Corporation, 1958), pp. 114-115. Subsequent references in the text. Quotations are used by permission of Barrie & Jenkins, Ltd.

18. To find out just how far Altizer is from orthodoxy on this point of ken6sis, see F. W. Beare, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Philippians (Harper & Brothers, 1959), pp. 73-88, and the appended note, "The ‘Kenotic’ Christology," by Eugene R. Fair-weather, pp. 159-175.

19. See René Wellek, "German and English Romanticism: A Confrontation," in his Confrontations (Princeton University Press, 1965), pp. 3 -- 33.

20. A relevant presentation of the relations between Barfield and the later Heidegger is the essay by John J. Mood, "Poetic Languaging and Primal Thinking," Encounter, Vol. XXVI (Fall, 1965), pp. 417-433.

21. Thomas J. J. Altizer, "A Critical Analysis of C. G. Jung’s Understanding of Religion," unpublished doctoral dissertation (University of Chicago, 1955).

22. Thomas J. J. Altizer, "Science and Gnosis in Jung’s Psychology," Centennial Review (Summer, 1959), and his "The Challenge of Modern Gnosticism."

23. What I have said about the relation of Altizer to his threefold "antidote" may also be applied, mutatis mutandis, to Brown. Even with regard to Jung, whom Brown joins Altizer in anathematizing, I would be prepared to defend the proposition that should the traveler follow Brown’s redrawing of Freud’s pioneering map, he would proceed from Vienna to Bollingen.

24. See Geoffrey Peterson, "Regression in Healing and Salvation," Chicago Theological Seminary Register, Vol. LV (Feb., 1965), pp. 16-21.

25. Ira Progoff, The Symbolic and the Real (The Julian Press, 1963), p. 215.

Viewed 118758 times.