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The Force of Analogy

Robert Masson

This article outlines twenty theses for rethinking the doctrine of analogy in a postmodern context. The pivotal claim is that the paradigmatic and decisive force of analogy is to extend and create new meanings by "forcing" an affirmation of identity that fundamentally alters our fields of meanings. Thus analogy in the case of terms properly predicated of God has to do more with the conceptual moves that create changes in our fields of meanings than with recognizing a "similarity in difference" or a proportion of some sort. The argument draws on Mary Gerhart and Allan Russell's theory of metaphoric process, on David Burrell's and Gregory Rocca's studies of Aquinas, and Robert Sokolowksi's phenomenology of the "Christian distinction."

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