Document: D.F.M. Strauss, Being Human in God’s World (Bloemfontein, South Africa: University Press, 1998).

Excerpt: From time immemorial human beings were perplexed by the mighty complexity of the world we live in. Although a sense of wonder and awe accompanied the human consciousness almost throughout the gradual development of understanding ourselves and reality, the adventurous fascination of being human increasingly ventured to grasp rationally the nature and meaning of reality –including the mystery of the human being.

Since the rise of the various special sciences this concern more than often became a victim of an overestimation of the capabilities of rational concept formation. Eventually it turned out that this rationalistic legacy is not itself founded in reason, but (as Karl Popper realized) in a faith in reason. Ultimately we here discern the fact that both philosophy and the special sciences are rooted in a direction-giving life-and-world-view. Similarly, the special sciences are, both in terms of their history and in terms of the basic questions operative in them, dependent upon all-embracing philosophical perspectives – a main concern throughout this book.

It is remarkable that amidst the wide range of questions and problems confronting understanding the world, the mystery of being human itself constantly demands scrutiny and reflection – the reason why Chapter 2 treats the uniqueness of humankind in more detail.

Only against this background can we proceed by engaging ourselves in an analysis of the remarkable interrelatedness of things, events and properties within the rich structural diversity evinced by created reality. Due to the fact that our analysis constantly stumbles upon issues which play a dominant role in the history of philosophy and the special sciences, those readers interested in diverse special sciences may frequently encounter unexpected relevant perspectives. The growing cultural climate of disintegration and fragmentation particularly emphasized by what is currently known as postmodernism made it necessary to give special attention to in the last chapter, where the pre-modern roots of post-modernity are elucidated!

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Being Human in Gods World – D.F.M. Strauss.pdf