epistemology, teleology and ontology

The von Hildebrands, along with Sartre and de Beauvoir, were having a leisurely walk, and a rousing debate. “God wants us to live by faith and reason”, argued the orthodox Catholic von Hildebrands. “There’s no god, just radical freedom and despair”, replied their existentialist friends. People from St. John of the Cross to Dostoyevsky have reminded us that what one is, he sees in others and in life in general. The two couples were so far apart, while standing side by side. They continuously befuddled each other, Dietrich and Alice, Jean Paul and Simone.

I’ve always been quite obsessively smitten with theology and philosophy. I don’t think the von Hildebrands were ever friends with Sartre and De Beauvoir but they were contemporaries. Alice von Hildebrand is the only one who’s still alive.



  1. Larry, I think this line is a winner and applicable to many more situations than just the one found in your story, ” The two couples were so far apart, while standing side by side. ”



  2. Larry, You’ve given us a lot to think about in this piece. What I sometimes tell those who think very differently is that we have to agree to disagree. Well written and God Bless You. 🙂 —Susan


  3. Hi Larry, thanks for all the likes on my site! I’ve learned from your post here, thanks. I’m refreshing and moving forward at moment in many ways… especially with theology reading. On a deeper note, I’m sensing the congruences between the Franciscan eremitic inspiration behind H (given the family connect with the Minims, a friar community dedicated to poverty and eremitic renewal), and the focus on death and aloneness in S – in a way that at the base, when all the rest is stripped bare, a common ground might be found between the atheist intuition of the via negativa, in absence, and the theist intuition of the via positiva, in presence. With your reading I’m curious what you might see here, given the outward and ‘apparent contradictions’ between the works of these seekers…? blessings, pace e bene, JR


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