HUMAN EXISTENCE: Contradiction and Hope by Walter Strolz

HUMAN EXISTENCE: Contradiction and Hope

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Perhaps the basic fact of human existence today is that there are no longer ""facts,"" in the sense of the term as signifying an uncontestable, or at least irrefutable, datum of observation or experience. Man is acknowledged, by theologians and philosophers as well as by scientists, to live in a provisional world; he is, in the expression of Dr. Strolz, now ""homeless man."" These eleven esssays attempt to clarify the human attitudes and experiences characteristic of that provisional existence, of the existential contradictions inherent in man's pendulum-like swing from despair to hope, from insecurity to confidence, and back again. The author is concerned primarily with the religious and biblical aspects of the question: Pascal and the boundaries of scientific knowledge; atheism, from Descartes to Kafka: Bultmann and the demythologizing of the Bible; Job, the paradigm of the pious man in revolt; Johann Hamann and the experience of biblical truth; etc. He does not pretend, however to offer a new image of man and God; his purpose is merely to remind the reader that indeed there is nothing new under the sun and that the basic experiences of human intellectual life persist through historical change. Therein lies the link from one generation to the other and, hopefully, the chain of continuity which makes possible the interpretation of the present in the light of the past. There is little new in these essays, but Strolz' perception and erudition make the old truths palatable even though his idealism cannot render them digestible.

Pub Date: Nov. 2nd, 1967
Publisher: Univ. of Notre Dame Press