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analogy


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In common modern usage the word signifies a resemblance or similarity between objects of discourse. More technically analogy is a linguistic and semantic phenomenon which occurs when one word bears different but related meanings, as in the expressions a healthy diet and a healthy complexion. In theology it helps to explain how one can significantly refer to God by means of words more usually used of people. Thus one can meaningfully say that ‘God is wise’ and ‘Solomon is wise’, even though the wisdom of God is incomprehensible. The use of analogy in talking about God allows us to employ arguments about Him which abide by common rules of logic and proceed by means of terms for which there is already some (non-theological) meaning. The recognition that our discourse about God can be analogical is a corrective to anthropomorphism or any tendency to imply that God is the same kind of thing as any nameable creature.

Subjects: Religion


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