Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.3 W

Summary of text [comment] page 80

[Our current Lebenswelt exhibits a wide variety of symbolic orders.

We might distinguish them as ‘specialized languages that make sense of the world’ (sensible construction) in contrast to ‘specialized languages that inspire us to social construction’. This dichotomy matches the distinction between naturalism and theism.

This is a false dichotomy.


The ‘languages that make sense of the world’ are no longer obviously referential.


Just try to image a thing using purely spoken words.

Try to point to a thing with spoken words.

Tell me how your spoken words index your body.

Compare spoken words to pantomime and manual-brachial gestures. Hand-talk words were iconic and indexal. They were intuitively referential. That is not the case for spoken words. Even the most familiar speech-alone words do not intuitively image or point to their referent. Instead, reference is projected into word-sounds.

In our current Lebenswelt, meaning, presence and message are projected into our speech-alone words.]