Theology without Persons? Theological Anthropology and Kevin Hector’s Therapeutic Theory of Language Use

Dr. Glenn Butner, Jr., PhD

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Kevin Hector develops a therapeutic theory of language to assuage modern concerns about applying correspondentist/essentialist language to God. Hector proposes a norm-based theory of language use rooted in mutual recognition.

This exploratory paper identifies two problems arising from Hector’s failure to develop a sufficient theological anthropology that explains how a human can consistently speak of God.

First, the broken trajectory problem demonstrates that successive acts of mutual recognition cannot guarantee continuity of meaning. Second, the divergent trajectories problem demonstrates that mutual recognition may not persist over time.

These problems are the first step toward revising Hector’s proposal by including a theological anthropology.

The full-text of this paper can be downloaded for FREE by clicking hereIt is part of an ongoing EPS web project focused on a Philosophy of Theological Anthropology.