A gBuddhistich Reinterpretation of Karl Barthfs Argument for
the Existence of God in Anselm: Fides Quaerens Intellectum1
(Bulletin of Keiwa College, No. 13, February 28, 2004)
Tokiyuki Nobuhara, Ph.D. & D.Min.
Keiwa College, Japan
There might be three major Christian attitudes toward other religions in contemporary theology: exclusivism, inclusivism in Karl Rahnerfs sense of gAnonymous Christianityh as this refers to the status of a rightful religion other than Christianity, and the transformation of inclusivism into a deeper perspective whether it is from the standpoint of Logos Christology, represented by Katsumi Takizawa and John B. Cobb, Jr.,2 or theocentrism as professed by Paul F. Knitter and John Hick3. Karl Barth is believed by many to be one of the strongest proponents of theological exclusivism. To be sure, as far as his viewpoint is concerned in Church Dogmatics I/2, Sec. 17. gThe Revelation of God as the Abolition of Religion,h 3. gTrue Religion,h this is the case. However, in Church Dogmatics IV/3, Sec. 69. gThe Glory of the Mediator,h 2. gLight of Life,h Barth makes an important turn from this position to an inclusivist attitude toward visions of reality other than Christianity. With this new attitude he now can affirm the knowledge of God as available even outside the walls of the Church; and thus he is predicated upon the capacity of Jesus Christ who transcends the limits of the sphere of the Church.
In my opinion, if Barth wanted to be thoroughly consistent here, he would have to
distinguish, as does Takizawa, the Word of God, who primordially exists gwithh every one of us at the bottom of our existence from the name of Jesus Christ as the Incarnation of the Word, and regard the former as irreversibly prior to, although inseparable from, the latter. As a consequence, Barthfs new perspective of inclusivism might undergo a radical change of scope. Christianityfs position of including the truths of other religions in its own idea of the Lord, the name of Jesus Christ, is, I believe, to be transformed into its position of being unambiguously and unreservedly included, together with other visions of reality, within the reality of the Word of God as
such or the Logos.
Unfortunately, Barthfs position regarding theological inclusivism is rather unclear. Therefore, it is admittedly beyond the reach of his theological thinking to suggest in any significant manner how to cope with the question that lies at the heart of the transformed and deeper inclusivism: In what manner or sense can we say that the Logos includes everything in the world? Is there any legitimate limit to the capacity of the Logos in the matter of inclusion? If so, what is that? In this respect, I believe we have to engage in a strictly theological delimitation of the said inclusivism.4
One of the ways in which we can most properly carry out this task, it seems to me, is to reflect upon the problem of God (or of the Word of God) in the light of the Buddhist claim that the ultimate nature of things is empty. Since the Buddhist truth-claim is an ultimate claim, as is the Christian truth-claim that God (or the Word of God) is all-inclusive, we can reasonably assume that there is at least what Langdon Gilkey calls a grough parityh between them.
The purpose of this paper is to elucidate and articulate how these two considerations of (1) the difference between two kinds of theological inclusion and (2) the necessity for the delimitation of the transformed and deeper inclusivism by comparison with Buddhist Emptiness (or absolute nothingness) are internally related to Barthfs argument in his 1931 work, Anselm: Fides Quaerens Intellectum.5 This motif, even though his straightforward denial of apologetics in Church Dogmatics, published since 1932, has long suppressed the abovementioned twofold inclination to come to the fore in contemporary Protestant theology as well as in Barthfs own thinking.
I. Preliminary Considerations: An Incongruity in Barthfs Theological Scheme
Prior to a discussion of the text of Anselm: Fides Quaerens Intellectum from the
aforementioned perspective, a word about an incongruity in Barthfs theological scheme
may be in order. For what he means by gincomparabilityh (as coterminous with gsovereignty,h gabsoluteness,h gpositiveness,h and gunmanageablenessh) is, if I am correct, basically different in scope from what he calls objectivity (Ger., Gegenstaendlichkeit which implies grelatednessh or gintelligibilityh).
First, for Barth, just as for Anselm, our theological thinking is necessitated by the
gincomparable, sovereign object,h God, in whom we believe. Accordingly, theology must necessarily begin in and with faith in the capacity of pulchritudo or beauty before it can involve itself with the polemical obligation of I Peter 3: 15, i.e., intelligere or probare. From the viewpoint of the possibility of theology, it appears that the same movement of fides quaerens intellectum is enabled by the self-disclosure of God in Jesus Christ. In this sense, credere is the presupposition of intelligere.
Second, when it comes to considering the gobjectivityh of God, however, Barth has
to presuppose, as does Anselm, a sort of natural theology in his own revealed theology . One such example is the idea of donum gratiae found in Anselmfs opening prayer in the Proslogion which refers, according to Barth, to the gactualization of that power to know
which was originally created in manh (see Romans 1:20). In other words, God gshowsh
Godself and makes Godself gegenstaendlich (that is, relational or intelligible) to us in terms of his objectivity (Ger., Gegenstaendlichkeit). In this case, of course, what is presupposed is the fact that in its depths the objectivity in question is the intra-Trinitarian life of God as it has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made (Romans 1: 20).
At any rate, the incomparability of God, mentioned above, would make sense only
against the background of this objectivity. However, it seems to me that Barth is not always clear about the relationship between the two notions or dimensions of the Deity; there is an incongruity here in his system. The incongruity would be contingent, in my view, upon the fact that he has not really succeeded in conceiving fully and appropriately the location of God in the universe in relation to its metaphysical background, the intra-Trinitarian objectivity or Godhead (Ger., die inner-Trinitarische Gottheit), which would tie in, at least categorically or dimensionally, with the Buddhist notion of Emptiness.
II. The Problem of the gNameh of God in Barthfs Argument: Toward a Clarification
of the Formal Parallelism Between Anselmfs Proof of the Existence of God and
Nagarjunafs Dialectic of Emptiness
Here, let me refer back to the two issues mentioned earlier in the introductory section in the light of what I have established in the previous section:
(1) Theological inclusivism of the first type is in principle based upon the Christian revelation. By contrast, the transformed and deeper inclusivism may correspond to the objectivity of God as this reflects and expresses in itself a deeper dimension of reality whence it comes, namely, the intra-Trinitarian Godhead. It may be noted that Barth begins to designate this deeper reality of Godhead in Church Dogmatics II/1, as gthe primary objectivity of Godh (Ger., die primaere Gegenstaendlichkeit Gottes) in distinction to the one we have been speaking of, that is, our knowledge of God as enabled by God.
(2) One of the major intentions in this paper is to delimit theological inclusivism in the second, deeper sense by way of tracing the objectivity of God back to its origin. The origin expresses itself within the purview of our text; only, if my hypothesis is correct, in terms of nihil. That is, I observe what is parallel with the afore-mentioned Godhead in the nihil contained in the naming of God by Anselm as aliquid quo nihil maius cogitari possit (or potest) [that than which nothing greater can be conceived] . This hypothesis needs then to be verified.
In order to verify the hypothesis, it might be methodologically and heuristically
worthwhile to attend to the fact that there is a parallelism between what is at stake
most recently in contemporary theology in terms of a new Christian theology of
religions and the composition of Barthfs argument in his book. As has already been
mentioned, theological inclusivism of the first type gives way to its transformed and
deepened type which is yet to be delimited by the ultimate metaphysical claim of
Buddhism of Emptiness. By the same token, within the purview of our text, Barth
discusses the gName of Godh and the gQuestion of the Existence of Godh from the
perspective of revealed theology and its ontological depth before entering into the
content of the gProof of the Existence of Godh in both general and specific terms based
upon Anselmfs Proslogion 2 and 3.
In the present and next sections of this paper, accordingly, I shall deal with the problems of the gNameh and gExistenceh of God, as@they are discussed by Barth in his book in Ch. II, A. gThe Presupposition of the Proof,h preliminarily by reference to the formal and material parallelism between Anselmfs thought and Nagarjunafs. In this sense, this whole paper is still provisional and preparatory in character. It intends to provide a methodological-cum-heuristic instrument by which to analyze and re-intepret Buddhistically Barthfs main argument for the gExistence of Godh as developed in Ch. II, B. gThe Development of the Proof (Commentary on Proslogion 2-4).h6
PD The Name of God
Barth first attends to the Name of God by noticing that in this name Anselm is gunder this prohibition: he can conceive of nothing greater, to be precise, ebetter,f beyond God without lapsing into the absurdity, excluded for faith, of placing himself above God in attempting to conceive of this greaterh (AFQI, 77). For Barth (as he argues with and for Anselm), the Existence of God is given, in other words, as an article of faith, and this Existence of God, accepted in faith, is now to be recognized and
proposed on the presupposition of the Name of God likewise accepted in faith and is to be understood as necessary for thought. In this sense, the Name of God, as an article of faith, gives rise to thought 7(intelligere)?to use Paul Ricoeurfs famous phraseology in The Symbolism of Evil. It follows that for Anselm the only tenable epistemological principle is this: Nullus intelligens id quod deus est, potest cogitare quia deus non est [No one who understands what God is can think that God does not exist].
It is important to note that Barth regards this epistemological principle as developed in the actual procedure of the gProof of the Existence of Godh by Anselm in the following three senses:
 @Starting from this point of the Credo, the other thing, the Existence of God,must make itself?not credible (it is that already)?but intelligible. Thechoiceof this particular point, the discovery of this particular Name of God, was the@first step along the path that was to commit him to the development of the@Proof.
 @That it had a vital significance for him follows just as much from the@manner in which he reports his discovery in the Prologue as from the manner
in which he defended it later against Gaunilo.
 We can be certain: at all events this first step does not lead away from theconstraint of specifically theological thinking but rather leads right into it; it concerns the choice of the concrete limit which so far as this question is concerned appears to make knowledge possible. (AFQI, 78)
First, Anselmfs epistemological principle has had its initial step in the fact, as mentioned in the Prologue of the Proslogion, that he has intuitively discovered the aforesaid Name of God after a long search, many a digression, and even despair, as mentioned in the Prologue of the Proslogion. The Name is thus presupposed both in Prosl. 2-4 regarding the proof of the existence of God (in terms of its necessity) and in Prosl. 5-26 regarding the proof of the nature of God (in terms of its perfection and unique originality). Second, the epistemological principle, as attested above, is critically operative throughout what Anselm himself calls gunum argumentumcad astruendum, quia deus vere est et summum bonumh (a simple argumentcto demonstrate that (1) God truly [really] exists, that (2) He is the Supreme Good), which is carried out in the Proslogion and the Reply to Gaunilo. Third, the epistemological principle corresponds to the core of the right theological thinking: that it is conditioned by the prevenient and co-operating grace of God (cf. AFQI, 37).
2. A Threefold Formal Parallelism Between the Name of God and Nagarjunafs Argument
Here it might be worth noticing that there is a sort of parallelism, at least in terms of their respective formal characteristics, between the epistemological principle in question and the Buddhist epistemological principle of Emptiness, as it is radically reformulated and articulated anew upon the basis of the Prajnaparamita logic of contractions by the great Mahayanist reformer Nagarjuna (ca. 150-ca. 250 C.E.) in his magnum opus, The Madyamaka Karikas. This parallelism, as I perceive it, is threefold in nature.
First, for Nagarjuna, the principle of Emptiness (Skt., Sunyata), in the sense that gall things are empty,h is presupposed throughout the twenty-seven Karikas and culminates in the insight that gEmptiness is itself empty.h This insightradically relinquishes the Hinayanist dichotomy between Nirvana and Samsara. In the Hinayana or Theravada Buddhistsf vision of reality there still remains a final dichotomy; and this dichotomy lies between the attainment of Nirvana by the realization of the egolessness of the so-called individual (Skt., pudgalanairatmya), concomitant with a thoroughgoing analysis of the so-called self or atman into its constituent dharma or element, and the phenomenal world of Samsara which consists in the arising of the dharma constituting personality in dependence on causes and conditions (that is, pratitya-samutpada or dependent co-origination). Nagarjuna's insight into guniversal emptinessh or the gemptiness of all dharmash (sarvadharmasunyata), however, lures us into the vision of the sameness of all dharma
(sarvadharmasmata). Now, as Theodore Stcherbatsky emphatically remarks, gthere is
not a shade of difference between the Absolute and the phenomenal, between nirvana and samsara.h8 This whole procedure of the proof of guniversal emptinessh by Nagarjuna is shot through with both a persistent logical gpathh and an extra-logical gfirst step,h intuition, just as is Anselmfs proof of the existence of God.
Second, for Nagarjuna, the principle of Emptiness is an epistemological instrument that is thoroughly critical. Since it is critical of everything, including itself, and since it culminates, as we observed above, in the insight that Emptiness is itself empty, it takes into account what Nagarjuna terms the gnecessities of speechh (sabdam upadaya prajnaptih) in the Madyamaka Karikas XXIV: 18; XXII: 11. It follows that all elements--including sense data, consciousness, feeling, volitions that were declared by the early Hinayana Schools (esp. the Sautrantika) as ultimate realities--become relative and normal, and relativity (sunyata) itself is but a nominal gmiddle pathh to approaching reality. Thus for Nagarjuna, the principle of Emptiness discloses itself as the middle path in criticizing both a mere worldliness, in the sense of materialism or nihilism, and a mere other-worldliness, in the sense of the Hinayanist clinging to Nirvana or eternalism. In its methodological capacity, this principle is profoundly akin to the way in which the gincomprehensibility of Godh constitutes for Anselm such an article of faith as gives rise to knowledge (intelligere), rather than that skepticism of the possibility (maintained by Anselm) of the knowledge of God which is professed by Gaunilo in his critique of Anselmfs argument.
Third, for Nagarjuna, the principle of Emptiness is the constraint upon his thinking in such a way that it drives him to conclude that Nirvana is the phenomenal world as it is viewed from the perspective of Emptiness emptying itself as an objectifiable reality. Logically speaking, the constraint of Emptiness drives us to negate all the alternatives of the four-cornered dialectic (catuskoti) in the following manner: (1) Nirvana is not an Ens (bhava or a particular existing entity); (2) Nirvana is not a non-Ens (abhava or a non-existent entity); (3) Nirvana is not both an Ens and a non-Ens together; and (4) nor is Nirvana a negation of both an Ens and a non-Ens together (see CBN, 97-99).
Thus, finally, precisely by virtue of the constraint of Emptiness qua negativity we arrive at the full affirmation of Samsara, the world of dependent co-origination (pratitya-samutpada) in its suchness. Here it is of uttermost importance to recognize, with Yokichi Yajima, that it is one and the same world of dependent co-origination once totally negated that is finally affirmed.9 If we are not awakened to this truth owing to our objectivistic thinking, we perhaps should have our noses yanked, as Dogen urges, after the manner in which Shakyo yanked Seidofs nose in order to let him know that universal emptiness (Jpn., kokuu) is gin our entire body, skin, flesh, bones and marrow.h10
3. An Analysis of Gaunilofs Argument against Anselm by Means of the Parallelism
Here Gaunilofs differences from Anselmfs position concerning the incomprehensibility of God will be considered (other issues, discussed in the original larger paper11 whose abridgment the present essay constitutes, are omitted here). Barth ascribes the epistemological validity of the conception of God in the Proslogion to its peculiar limitation. For Gaunilo, the quo maius cogitari nequit and the word Deus are both epistemologically invalid because each of them is mere vox. According to Barth, this is because Gaunilo has overlooked the fact that this vox should not be identified with Anselmfs gterm of God which is to some extent intelligibleh (vox gDeush aliquatenus intelligibilis). Whereas the content of the vox gDeush is, for Gaunilo, only of a noetic and not of an ontic nature, for Anselm the Name of God has had in itself the normative principle of theological epistemology, qua prayer, such as in:"Non tento, Domine, penetrare altitudinem tuamcsed desidero aliquatenus intelligere veritatem tuam" (Lord, I do not attempt to comprehend your sublimitycbut I yearn to understand some measure of your truth).
It is to be noted here that the revelatory truth, as this inheres in the Name of God, functions as an epistemological constraint upon Anselmfs theologizing, thus enabling him to reaffirm?this time in terms of gunderstanding,h as well as in terms of gfaithh?the Existence of God as the actual source (arche) of all existences. This is extremely akin, at least formally, to the way in which Nagarjuna, solely due to his satori of Emptiness, comes finally to the point where one can, and even should, affirm the world of Samsara, or of dependent co-origination, because the constraint of Emptiness is thereby upon onefs thinking of Emptiness throughout.
Notwithstanding the threefold parallelism that has been demonstrated thus far,
there is nevertheless one big difference between Anselmfs theology of the Name of God
and Nagarjunafs dialectic of Emptiness. Whereas for Anselm, theology is concerned to
understand God to some extent (aliquatenus) by means of the Name of God, the dialectic of Emptiness drives Nagarjuna to negate utterly everything, including Emptiness itself. In other words, whereas the former is valid in the realm of gsomethingh (aliquid), the latter concerns the realm of gabsolute nothingnessh (in the sense of the negation of Emptiness, a double negation).
How should we, then, think of the relationship between the two modes of thinking, Anselmfs aliquid and Nagarjunafs gabsolute nothingnessh? The tentative answer, which is predicated upon a Buddhistic reinterpretation of the Name of God (aliquid quo nihil maius cogitari possit), is as follows:
(1) God is only to be conceived as loyal to nothingness (nihil).But this does not mean that God is loyal to or surpassed by something greater than Godself. The truth instead is that nothingness to which God is loyal is nihil, not aliquid, and is, as such, the Godhead, gGod beyond Godh?to use Paul Tillichfs expression.
(2) But because God is loyal to nihil in the realm of nothingness whosethoroughgoing articulation we can find in the Buddhist dialectic of Emptiness, therefore, quite paradoxically, God is the only one aliquid in the universe who can be conceived of as supreme in the realm of something, in that God evokes in us creaturely loyalty to Him and to our relationship to the nihil. Not even nothingness has this power, this supremacy in the realm of something. Only God has it. Or, more accurately, God is it.
III. The Question of the Existence of God in Barthfs Argument: Toward a Clarification
of the Material Parallelism between Anselmfs Proof of the Existence of God and
Nagarjunafs Fourfold Negation in the Matter of Nirvana
1. The Question of the Existence of God
It is worth our special attention that the meaning of the concept gexistenceh is, as Barth scrutinizes, clarified in the old book, Monologion, in a peculiar manner. The three phrases essentia, esse, existens sive subsistens (that is, essence, to be, and existing or subsisting) are compared with one another, and it is said that they are interrelated as lux, lucere, and lucens (that is, light, to shine, and shining) (AFQI, 101). Barth takes up this threefold configuration of Anselmfs theological ontology in order to elucidate the special import of the question of the Existence of God in his scheme of thought. His own interpretation of the configuration is that:
Essentia means potentiality (potentia), esse the reality (actus) of an objectfs existence. But it is called existens sive subsistens in so far as it exists, that is?it is best to keep to the negative definition?in so far as it is an object not just in human thinking or for human thinking. (AFQI, 90)
Now, Barth goes further to place alongside the aforecited interpretation of the Monologion passage, what he hears in the Proslogion and in the Answer to Gaunilo about the concept of Existence. What matters here is Anselmfs distinction between aliud rem esse in intellectu (for a thing to be in the understanding) and aliud intelligere rem esse (understanding that this thing exists). It is in the second sense of gesseh that Anselm refers to the artistfs work in these words: et habet in intellectu et intelligent esse (he has it in his understanding and he understands [judges] that what he has painted exists).
2. A Proposal for the Material Parallelism between Anselmfs Argument for the Existence of God and Nagarjunafs Fourfold Negation in the Matter of Nirvana
As mentioned earlier, Anselmfs argument for the Existence of God consists of three stages: essentia, esse, and existens sive subsistens. In order to arrive at the third stage of Godfs existence, one has to negate the stages of essentia and esse as these belong to an object (in our case, God) in such a way that its existence is presupposed in an act of thinking. For insofar as it is conceived, it is conceived as existing. Thus and only thus one is able to get in touch with the stage of ex-sistens or sus-sistens applied to an object characterizing it simultaneously as emerging (ex-sistens) from the inner circle of abstract existence in thinking (cf. AFQI, 90-1).
This same process of negating the "ultimate reality as existing in thought only" we can find in Nagarjunafs fourfold consideration of Nirvana in terms of negativity. In both cases the final culmination of the process of negation is absolute affirmation, whether of the Existence of God in Anselmfs argument or of the world of dependent co-origination in Nagarjunafs.12 It is precisely in this respect that a material parallelism between the two systems exists.
Notwithstanding the material parallelism mentioned above, since Anselmfs goal is the proof of the Existence of God while, on the other hand, Nagarjunafs being the
absolute affirmation of pratitya-samutpada from the perspective of Emptiness, in the sense that Emptiness gish pratitya-samutpada, there is a difference between them. The former refers to the religious ultimate, God, but the latter speaks of themetaphysical ultimate, Emptiness.
Yet, this difference is of a peculiar character, in the sense that the crux of the former goal, God, is loyal to the crux of the latter goal, Emptiness, if the Buddhistic reinterpretation of the Name of God (aliquid quo nihil maius cogitari possit) is tenable here at all. That is, the difference leads us now to affirm the perspective of the complementarity of the Christian God and the Buddhist Emptiness. If so, it means that only by virtue of the Buddhist category of Emptiness have we arrived at the delimitation of the transformed, deeper inclusivism based upon the universal Logos.
This delimitation, however, does not simply call for a passing over to the Buddhist realm, Emptiness. It also asserts the integral importance of the vision of God as the principle of loyalty in the universe; and with this vision of God in mind we come back to the Christian realm afresh.13 Thus, the vision consists of the two-fold significative function (as remotive and constitutive): namely, God, on the one hand, is loyal to nothingness (nihil, qua nihil); however, on the other hand, God is the only One in the universe who can and does paradoxically evoke loyalty in us creatures. In itself Nothingness or Emptiness, on the contrary, does not evoke loyalty in us because it has no empirical basis for doing so. However, it does evoke loyalty in us only when it is primordially characterized as God.14
1 This is a paper originally delivered at the 2nd Buddhist-Christian Studies Conference on gBuddhism and Christianity: Toward the Human Future,h at Graduate Theological Union and University of California, Berkeley, U.S.A., August 10-15, 1987. In revising the original paper to produce this final text I am indebted to Professor Allan Blonde and Professor Sanford Goldstein, my colleagues at Keiwa College, for their valuable critical suggestions.
2 See Tokiyuki Nobuhara, gPrinciples for Interpreting Christ/Buddha: Katsumi Takizawa and John B. Cobb, Jr.,h Buddhist-Christian Studies, 3, 1983, 63-97.
3 See Tokiyuki Nobuhara, gNobuhara on Knitter, No Other Name?: A Critical Survey of Christian Attitudes Toward the World Religions,h Buddhist-Christian Studies, 5, 1985, 205-213.
4 This motif of exploring the delimitation of inclusivism as combined with the Logos is proposed in my article: gA New Possibility for Logos Christology Through Encounter with Buddhism: Tillich and Takizawa Critically Considered and Compared,h Bulletin of Keiwa College, No. 7, March 30, 1998, 91-118; No. 8, March 30, 1999, 107-137.
5 Karl Barth, Anselm: Fides Quaerens Intellectum: Anselmfs Proof of the Existence of God in the Context of his Theological Scheme, trans. Ian W. Robertson (London: SCM Press, 1960). (Hereafter cited as AFQI.)
6 This same intention was pursued within the wider context of comparing Anselm, Nagarjuna, and Whitehead in my article: gHow Can Principles Be More Than Just Epistmological Or Conceptual?: Anselm, Nagarjuan, and Whitehead,h Process Thought, No. 5, September 1993, 89-102.
7 Paul Ricoeur, The Sybolism of Evil (Boston: Beacon Press, 1967), pp. 347-357.
8 Theodore Stcherbatsky, The Conception of Buddhist Nirvana, with Comprehensive Analysis and Introduction by Jaideva Singh (New York: Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1978), p. 56. (Hereafter cited as CBN.)
9 See Yokichi Yajima, Kuu no tetsugaku (Philosophy of Emptiness) (Tokyo: NHK Books, 1983), pp. 226-43.
10 Dogen Zenjifs Shobogenzo: The Eye and Treasure of the True Law, Vol. I, trans. Kosen Nishijima and John Stevens (Sendai, Japan: Daihokkaikaku, 19759, p. 130.
11 See Tokiyuki Nobuhara, gA eBuddhisticf Reinterpretation of Karl Barthfs Argument for the Existence of God in Anselm: Fides Quaerens Intellectum: Toward a Global Theology. A Further Elaboration: Part Ih (unpublished). This is a revised and enlarged version of the paper preliminarily presented at the Annual Meeting of American Academy of Religion/Western Region held at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California, March 20-22, 1986. Much of Sections II and III is new. I read the Introduction and Section I only there. (Hereafter cited as BRKB.)
12 As to a comparative study of the two cases of negative logic, see my original larger paper, BRKB, 31-49.
13 What is expressed in this sentence is at the core of my idea of a theology of loyalty which I have developed more fully in an article entitled gSunyata, Kenosis, and Jihi or Friendly Compassionate Love: Toward a Buddhist-Christian Theology of Loyalty,h Japanese Religions, 15/4, July 1989, 50-66.
14 In writing this last sentence of the present work I am indebted to my mentor John B. Cobb, Jr.fs following passage: gBut Whitehead believes that in actuality, although creativity is completely without any character of its own, it is never experienced apart from a primordial ordering of the infinite array of the forms or pure potentialities. This ordering is directed to the realization of novel intensities of feeling in the actual instances of creativity, that is, in such creatures as ourselves. Thus what is wholly without character in itself has been primordially characterized by a decision that orders what is possible for the sake of all creatures. Whitehead calls this character of creativity the Primordial Nature of God. There is no creativity not characterized by this Natureh (Beyond Dialogue: Toward a Mutual Transformation of Christianity and Buddhism, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1982, p.126).
Cobb has creatively used the notion of the Primordial Nature of God in parallel with the Amida Buddha as the Sambhogakaya in the capacity of gthe Dharmakaya as characterized by wisdom and compassionh (p. 127), thus cultivating a new avenue toward an effective dialogue with Pure Land Buddhists from a Whiteheadian-Christian perspective. In my case, the notion of the loyalty of God in its remotive and constitutive signification is pivotal in relating the status of God in the universe to the Whiteheadian creativity as comparable to Buddhist Emptiness. It may be the case that the Whiteheadian notion of God as the gprimordial character of creativity which is utterly devoid of character and actualityh and the gdirectivity toward the realization of novel intensities of feeling in ush are respectively correlative to my idea of Godfs loyalty to Emptiness and Godfs evocation of loyalty in us. It has been a joyful experience to complete this essay while ascertaining the truth of my insight by studying Barth Anselm, and Nagarjuna together.
December 10, 2003