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Metaphysics as sociability


In his Introduction à la Théologie chrétienne, Claude Tresmontant presents to us a summarised account of the possibilities of “religious” belief: he does so by distinguishing between religions of immobility and religions of change (see Riemann). These two types yield three types of religion and three ways of looking at metaphysics:



Religions of immobility
Religions of change

1. Metaphysical religions

2. Natural religions
3. Religions of individuality and sociability
“Being is one; truth is the oneness of being. The multiplicity of beings is an appearance, an illusion” (1974: 24, my translation) “the absolute being is multiple, the sort of matter which the physicist studies, the atoms, the molecules” (1974: 24)


"the Hebrew or biblical tradition of thought professes a faith of a personal type. The human being is not an illusion, an appearance, but has an ontological consistence. It is not called on to reabsorb into a primordial unity of being. It is called on to subsist, in a community" (1974: 27)



Type 1. is a metaphysical description of metaphysics, as being is different from the way it is naturally experienced, hence 'supernatural'. Type 2. is a natural description of metaphysics, as being turns out to be matter. Type 3, on the other hand, describes the Hebrew tradition as personal and communal, and therefore provides an individualised and social representation of metaphysics.

work cited

Tresmontant, Claude. Introduction à la Théologie chrétienne.  Paris: Seuil, 1974.

daniel.candel@uah.es | ©2008 Daniel Candel Bormann