Schellings Rede über die Bibelgesellschaften.
This contribution to a volume on the“ultimate why-question” discusses ambiguities in Leibniz’s formulation of the question, “[. . . ] pourquoi il y a plus tôt quelque chose que rien”. This formulation poses two problems: Leibniz does not explain how to understand the concepts of “something” and “nothing”. And it is not clear, whether “something” and “nothing” are contradictory opposites, so that there is either nothing or something, or whether both concepts denote principles which are effective in the world at the same time. My analysis rests on the hypothesis that the relevant context for Leibniz’s question is the theology of creation.
Hence, the paper compares eight different approaches to “creation from nothing” (Thomists, Scotists, Taurellus, Lubinus, Timpler, Keckermann, Kircher, Knorr von Rosenroth, van Helmont). Candidates for the nihil the world was created from include absolute non-being, thoughts in God’s mind, unformed matter, imaginary space, or a self-contraction of the Divine spirit. These different approaches can be translated into different versions of the “ultimate why-question”. The paper concludes that Leibniz’s formulation contains a comparison between two Divine acts of creation, because not only “something”, but “nothing” as well owes its subsistence to the Divine will. This rises substantial questions: either God created first an imperfect entity in order to create the world as a whole, or Leibniz subscribes to an emanative understanding of creation that either levels the difference between creation and (natural) generation or is based on misunderstanding God as a material entity.
The article is devoted to the study of the theological article as a representative of theoretical theological discourse. In the article, the determinants of this kind of discourse are singled out, determinants viewed as its key features enhancing the argumentative effect.
The paper is dedicated to Hebrew phrases referring to God found in some Russian codices of the Pentateuch of the XV-XVII centuries. The author examines the origin of this phenomenon.
The article is devoted to military service of K.P. von Kaufman, famous Russian statesman of the second half of the 19th century, during the first stage of his career in 1840s–1850s. This period of his biography had not been studied in details until now. Meanwhile, just during his service in the Caucasus and participation in the Crimean War, Kaufman gained his first experience of relations with oriental peoples and states as the soldier and diplomat. That experience was very important for him later, when he had became a Governor-General of Turkestan Region (1867–1882). Valuable source of information on the “Caucasian” period of life and activity of K.P. von Kaufman are the memoirs of his contemporaries who served with him. In contrast to official documents (such as orders, service records, etc.) these notes contains details on Kaufman’s service, and much information about his talents and abilities, the personal features reflected during his “conquer and organization” of Turkestan.
The article is concerned with the notions of technology in essays of Ernst and Friedrich Georg Jünger. The special problem of the connection between technology and freedom is discussed in the broader context of the criticism of culture and technocracy discussion in the German intellectual history of the first half of the 20th century.