Gottlob Christian Storr's Transfiguration of the Kantian Letter Open Access

Alexander, Stiles Ajax (2017)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/qn59q4805?locale=en
Published

Abstract

This study complicates one part of the scholarly legend that Gottlob Christian Storr infused the Kantian letter with an Orthodox spirit. In §§17-18 of his DC, Storr positions Immanuel Kant's physico-theological and moral arguments for rational belief in God within an argument for the divine authority of Scripture--on which he suggests the reliability of the book's dogmatic statements rest. By foregrounding some versions of Kant's arguments (while hiding others) and by illegitimately drawing biblical-theological conclusions from transcendental and limited-speculative premises, the scholarly story goes, Storr made it seem as if Lutheran Orthodoxy follows from Kant's arguments for rational belief in God. I argue rather that Storr put Kant's arguments in the mouth of reason--construed as a figure in a traditional Lutheran story of transformation. In this story--told from a post-transformation perspective--reason's awareness of God is both transformed by an encounter with Word and it is a placeholder that makes a comparison between ‘pre' and ‘post' transformation visible. In this encounter with Word, reason comes to trust that the God who is able to help is also willing to help, and to trust that the God who reveals his willingness to help is also the divine Author of Scripture. Because Kant's arguments--on Kant's own terms--concern only reason's Because Kant's arguments--on Kant's own terms--concern only reason's rational belief in a God who is able to see the secrets of our hearts and are cognitive symbolic, Storr is able (while keeping within the bounds of the Lutheran dogmatics genre) to (re)present them as symbolic summaries of Scripture (i.e., as dogmatic statements) that harmonize neatly with reason's self-understanding. Storr does not cherry-pick the Kantian words that support his cause, but exploits the compatibility of Kant's heuristic language with the Lutheran heuristic. And he does not cast methodological rigor aside so much as he incorporates Kant's arguments into a Lutheran rule for hierarchically combining humanrelative modes of argumentation and measures of reliability with divine or Scripturerelative modes and measures. While he owes much to sixteenth-century thinking, Storr answers a pressing question of the late eighteenth-century: how to reliably bring together multiple modes of argumentation and measures of reliability.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents Introduction .............................................................................................................................. 1 A Scholarly Commonplace .............................................................................................................. 2 An Alternate Approach to the Commonplace ...................................................................................... 7 A Concrete Example ....................................................................................................................... 18 Spirit/Letter, Storr's Methodological Rigor, and the Place of Kant's Arguments in His Case for the Divine Authority of Scripture ........................................................................................ 29 Defensible Methods, Compelling Evidence, and Yet Still Illegitimate .......................... 32 An Unholy Amalgam? .................................................................................................................... 35 Scripture and Reliability ............................................................................................................................ 36 Citation-Annotations ................................................................................................................................... 39 Thematic Tensions, Methodology, Standpoint ..................................................................... 40 Order of Argument ......................................................................................................................... 45 Order of Exposition ....................................................................................................................... 46 A Note on Kant's Arguments for God ....................................................................................... 50 Chapter 1: Storr's Case for the Divine Authority of Scripture in its Lutheran Theological Context .............................................................................................................. 55 Introduction ..................................................................................................................................... 55 Storr's Dogmatics: Textbook and Task ................................................................................................ 55 Storr's Argument for the Divine Authority of Scripture .............................................................. 57 Scripture on Scripture .................................................................................................................. 60 Figurative Rule for Scripture on Scripture Given Immediately and in Conjunction with Verbal Revelation ......................................................................................................................................... 63 Divine Word Reconfigures Figurative Rule for Reading Scripture ......................................... 66 Rule of Configuration is Given Immediately ..................................................................................... 74 Rule of Configuration as a Rule for Distinguishing Read In and Human from Read Out and Divine ................................................................................................................................. 78 The Analogy of Faith ................................................................................................................................... 79 Accommodationism ..................................................................................................................................... 90 Human Self-knowledge and Knowledge of God ................................................................... 99 Storr's Missing Premise .............................................................................................................. 101 Conclusion ...................................................................................................................................... 105 Chapter 2 ............................................................................................................................... 107 Introduction ................................................................................................................................... 107 Teaching What Cannot Be Taught .......................................................................................... 108 Citations, Annotations, and Citation-Annotations ............................................................ 114 Stipulations .................................................................................................................................................. 114 Storr's Citation-Annotations ..................................................................................................... 116 Citation-Annotations Organize ............................................................................................................ 116 Citation-Annotations Display Sources and Justifications ......................................................... 118 Citation-Annotations and Document Comparison ............................................................ 123 Three-Document Comparison .............................................................................................................. 126 Problems with Scope and Hierarchy ................................................................................................. 134 Biblical Citation-Annotations in the Lutheran Tradition ............................................... 146 Aside: Versification ................................................................................................................................... 155 Storr's Groups of Biblical Citations .................................................................................................... 164 The Loci Method ........................................................................................................................... 173 From Grammar to Scripture on Scripture ...................................................................................... 174 From Scripture on Scripture to Dogma ............................................................................................ 175 Human-Built Wholes May Have Rational Justifications ............................................................ 179 Relationships between Multiple Modes of Argumentation ........................................... 187 Citation-Annotations in Bayle's Dictionary .................................................................................... 187 Citation-Annotations and Haug's Mysticism .................................................................................. 190 Kant's Arguments at/as the Hinge Between Reason and Biblical Theology ............ 193 The God of Kant's Arguments is Able to Do What Humans Cannot ..................................... 195 The God of Kant's Arguments is a Symbolic Expression .......................................................... 204 Conclusion ...................................................................................................................................... 206 Chapter 3 ............................................................................................................................... 207 Introduction ................................................................................................................................... 207 The Lutheran Trope of History ................................................................................................ 210 Lutheran Trope of History is Trope of Supersession ....................................................... 218 Kant's Arguments in the Lutheran Trope of History ........................................................ 220 Luther is the Historical-Linguistic Source of the Lutheran Trope of History .......... 223 Lutheran Trope of History and the University Faculties ................................................ 224 The Resulting Paradox ............................................................................................................................ 228 Two Measures of Reliability, Two Claims to Universality .............................................. 239 "Kant's Own Terms" ..................................................................................................................... 242 Conclusion ...................................................................................................................................... 247 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................ 266 Restatement of the Argument .................................................................................................. 266 Connections: Conversation and Further Development ................................................... 270 Appendix 1: Paul and the Argument for Universal Reach .................................... 274 Paul ................................................................................................................................................... 274 Am I Not an Apostle? ................................................................................................................... 287 Universal Reach ............................................................................................................................ 288 Index of Figures .................................................................................................................. 293 Works Cited .......................................................................................................................... 294

About this Dissertation

Rights statement
  • Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.
School
Department
Subfield / Discipline
Degree
Submission
Language
  • English
Research field
Keyword
Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor
Committee Members
Last modified

Primary PDF

Supplemental Files