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The One and The Many By RJ Rushdoony

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The question of where ultimacy lies should be central to the Christian. It is easy to see the social implications of allowing priority to fall to either the one or the many. This volume examines in-depth the Christian solution to the problem of the one and the many – the Trinitarian God. Only in the godhead is this dilemma resolved. Only in the Trinity does there reside an equal ultimacy of unity and plurality. Rushdoony examines the history of Western thought from the standpoint of the one and the many and demonstrates clearly that the most astute thinkers were unable to resolve this philosophical conflict. What is needed now is a complete return to the Trinitarian view of God and its implications for a Christian social order.


Selected Quotes

“The question which haunts the dialectical culture is this: how to have unity without totally undifferentiated and meaningless oneness? If all things are basically one, the differences are meaningless, divisions false, and definitions are sophistications, in that the tyranny, or destiny, of oneness is the truth of all being. But, if all things are basically many, and if plurality is ultimate, then the world dissolves into unrelated particulars and becomes, as some thinkers insist, not a universe but a multiverse, and every atom is in a sense its own law and being. The first leads to the breakdown of differences and the liberty of atomistic individualism and particularity; the second is the breakdown of fundamental law into nihilism and the retreat of men and their arts into isolated and private universes.” (page 22)

“In orthodox Trinitarian Christianity, the problem of the one and the many is resolved. Unity and plurality are equally ultimate in the Godhead. The temporal unity and plurality is on a basis of equal validity. There is thus no basic conflict between the individual and the community. The individual lives in community, and the community flourishes as the individual finds himself and grows in terms of consistently Christian faith. Instead of a basic philosophical hostility between individual and government, believer and church, person and family, there is a necessary co-existence. Neither the one nor the many is reducible to the other. They cannot seek obliteration of the other, for it involves self-obliteration. The Augustinian and Calvinistic faith, by its hostility to subordinationism, holds, if developed, the possibilities of true social order, and, to the extent that Augustinianism and Calvinism have been followed, Western culture has developed both freedom and order.” (page 16)

“The essence of the ancient city-state, polis, and empire was that it constituted the continuous unity of the gods and men, of the divine and the human, and the unity of all being. There was no possible independence in a society for any constituent aspect. Every aspect of society was a part of the all- absorbing one. Against this, Christianity asserted the absolute division of the human and the divine. Even in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, the human and the divine were in union without confusion, as Chalcedon so powerfully defined it. Thus, divinity was withdrawn from human society and returned to the heavens and to God. No human order or institution could claim divinity and therefore claim to represent total and final order. By de-divinizing the world, Christianity placed all created orders, including church and state, alike under God. By denying divinity to all, and by reserving divinity to the triune God, all created orders were freed from one another and made independent of each other and together interdependent in their dependence on God. Church and state were alike required to be Christian, but neither was able to be total Christian order.” (page 124)

“The universe, time, and man had been created by God, and the time of their end would eventually come, when time should be no more, But, meanwhile, history is important precisely because it is determined by the omnipotent and sovereign God and is an area of valid secondary causes rather than fortuitous events. Because the universe and history are created by the triune, absolutely self-conscious and self- sufficient God, it is totally predestined and governed by Him, since nothing can be unknown to Him or exist apart from His decree. Hence, the world of time and space cannot be an atomistic and meaningless world of independent particularity. Neither can it be a world with its own independent universals and plans, because it was created in total accord with and in terms of the plan or the universal of God. The one and the many, the universals and the particulars, cannot exist in history in independence of God or in independence of one another. They are interdependent upon one another since they are from a common and equally ultimate creative act, and hence they are both derivative from His decree. In God, the One and the Many are equally and absolutely ultimate. History, therefore, is completely meaningful.” (pages 183-184)

(Empty Tomb Books is indebted to Dr. Gary North for the selection of these quotes.)


Table of Contents


I. THE ONE AND THE MANY
1. The Nature of the Problem 1
2. Attempts at a Solution 3
3. The Trinitarian Answer 8
4. The Unitarian Failure 10
5. Faith and Science 14
6. Political Perspectives 15
7. Implications for Education and Freedom 18
8. The Question of Authority 19

II. THE GROUND OF LIBERTY
1. Introduction 21
2. Liberty and Dialectics 22
3. The Enlightenment 26
4. The Crisis 28
5. The Libertarian Failure 29
6. The Christian Answer 31
7. Law and Liberty 33

III. THE CONTINUITY OF BEING
1. Egypt 36
2. Mesopotamia 45
3. Persia 53
4. The Chain of Being 55
5. The Bible and the Concept of Being 58
6. Being and Society 60

IV. THE UNITY OF THE POLIS
1. Greece: The Humanist’s Homeland 63
2. Greek Science and Philosophy 65
3. The Chaos-Order Dialect 67
4. The Esoteric State 70
5. The Polis as Cosmos 72
6. The One and the Many 74
7. Socrates and Plato 78
8. Aristotle 83

V. ROME THE CITY OF MAN
1. The Priority of the State 90
2. Cicero and the Rule of Reason 92
3. Julius Caesar 102
4. Chaos Cults 104
5. Cicero and Revolution 106
6. Cicero and the State 107
7. Caesar and the New State 109
8. The New Perversity 112
9. Marcus Aurelius 115
10. Commodus 119
11. Last Hopes in Chaos 121

VI. CHRIST: THE WORLD DE-DIVINIZED
1. War Against the Gods 124
2. Mysticism 126
3. Gnosticism 128
4. Christianity and the Family 129
5. Abortion 135
6. Emperor Worship 138
7. Creation and History 142
8. History and God 146
9. Constantine the Great 148
10. Arianism 152
11. Nicaea 154
12. Constantinople I 156
13. The Orthodox Faith vs. Heresies 158
14. Ephesus 159
15. Chalcedon 161
16. Pelagianism and Asceticism 164
17. Depreciation of Matter and History 170
18. Augustine and the Pelagians 173
19. The Church as the New Rome 175
20. Later Councils 177
21. The One and the Many 183

VII. THE RETURN OF DIALECTICAL THOUGHT
1. Boethius 185
2. Scholasticism 187
3. Aquinas’ Task 188
4. Thomistic Dialecticism 189
5. Noetics and Ethics 192
6. Common Ground in Being 196
7. The One and the Many in Aquinas 198
8. The State 199

VIII. FREDERICK II AND DANTE: THE WORLD RE-DIVINIZED
1. Medieval Civilization 202
2. Frederick II 206
3. Dante 210
4. Dante’s View of the State 212
5. The Witness of The Divine Comedy 217
6. Pope John XXIII 224
7. Pope Paul VI 226

IX. THE IMMANENT ONE AS THE POWER STATE
1. Castiglione 230
2. Machiavelli 236

X. THE REFORMATION: THE PROBLEM REDEFINED
1. Luther 243
2. Against Erasmus 248
3. Luther and the One and the Many 251
4. Calvin 252
5. Calvin on Law and Love 262
6. Richard Hooker 264

XI. UTOPIA: THE NEW CITY OF MAN
1. Humanism and Utopia 266
2. Thomas More 269
3. Francis Bacon 272
4. Campanella 274
5. Hobbes, Locke, Harrington 275

XII. AUTONOMOUS MAN AND THE NEW ORDER
1. Descartes 277
2. John Locke 285
3. Berkeley 289
4. Alexander Pope 291
5. La Mettrie 293
6. Hume 293
7. Rousseau 297
8. Immanuel Kant 298

XIII. WAR AGAINST THE BEYOND
1. Hegel 305
2. Feuerbach 314
3. Max Stirner 315
4. Karl Marx 321
5. Nietzsche 324
6. Sartre 331
7. Wittgenstein 340
8. Marcuse 344
9. Hammarskjold 347

XIV. THE CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE
1. Modernism 350
2. Van Til 352
3. At the End of an Age 363

APPENDIX: OBSERVATIONS ON THE END OF AN AGE
1. The End of an Age 364
2. The Religious Foundations of Culture 371


Product Details

Item #: 0001
Title (short): The One and the Many
Title (full): The One and the Many: Studies in the Philosophy of Order and Ultimacy
Author(s): Rousas John Rushdoony
Number of Pages: 375
Edition: First Edition
Copyright: 1971
Printing: Unspecified (1978)
Style: Paperback
Publisher: Thoburn Press
ISBN-10: None
ISBN-13 None
Library of Congress Catalog Card #: 73-139854
Electronic Version: http://chalcedon.edu/research/books/the-one-and-the-many-studies-in-the-philosophy-of-order-and-ultimacy-2/
Dimensions: 8.3” X 5.3” X 1.0”
Weight: 1.0 lb
Shipping Weight: 1.5 lb
Price: $12.50

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