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Phenomenology and Religion: New Frontiers PDF

340 Pages·2010·6.71 MB·English
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Phenomenology and Religion: New Frontiers Edited by Jonna Bornemark & Hans Ruin SÖDERTÖRN PHILOSOPHICALSTUDIES 8 phenomenology and religion: new frontiers –––––– södertörn philosophical studies 8 2010 södertörn philosophical studies 8 Phenomenology and Religion: New Frontiers Edited by Jonna Bornemark & Hans Ruin södertörn philosophical studies 8 Södertörn University 2010 Södertörn Philosophical Studies 8 ISSN 978-91-86069-16-2 © The authors Graphic form: Johan Laserna Cover painting/sculpture: Agnes Monus, Solve et coagula Distribution: Södertörn University Library S-141 89 Huddinge Phone: + 46 (0) 608 40 00 E-mail: [email protected] Contents Introduction jonna bornemark & hans ruin 7 On the Border of Phenomenology and Theology laszlo tengelyi 17 Suhrawardi, a Phenomenologist: Ipseity jad hatem 35 Max Scheler and Edith Stein as Precursors to the “Turn to Religion” Within Phenomenology jonna bornemark 45 Through Theology to Phenomenology, and Back to Anthropology? Heidegger, Bultmann, and the Problem of Sin christian sommer 67 Paul Ricoeur, Solicitude, Love, and the Gift morny joy 83 God — Love — Revelation: God as Saturated Phenomenon in Jean-Luc Marion’s Phenomenology of Givenness rosa maria lupo 105 Auto-Immunity or Transcendence: A Phenomenological Re-consideration of Religion with Derrida and Patočka ludger hagedorn 131 Gilles Deleuze: A Philosophy of Immanence fredrika spindler 149 Supposed God is There: Derrida between Alterity and Subjectivity marius timmann mjaaland 165 The Future of Emancipation: Inheriting the Messianic Promise in Derrida and Others björn thorsteinsson 183 Tradition and Transformation: Towards a Messianic Critique of Religion jayne svenungsson 205 Beyond? Horizon, Immanence, and Transcendence arne grøn 223 On Immensity marcia sá cavalcante schuback 243 Prayer, Subjectivity, and Politics ola sigurdson 267 Saying the Sacred: Notes Towards a Phenomenology of Prayer hans ruin 291 Bibliography 311 Index of Names 327 Index of Concepts 331 Authors 335 Introduction In a famous letter from Edmund Husserl to Rudolf Otto from 1919, Husserl comments on the strange effect that his phenomenological philosophy seems to have on the religious orientation of his students, it makes ”protestants out of catholics and catholics out of protestants.”1 The phenomenological mode of thinking seems to opens up a space of reflection in which religious themes and concerns obtain a new philosophical weight and urgency, so as to bridge or at least make problematic the apparently strict separation between reason and faith. In Husserl’s own intellectual development these two strands are already clearly intertwined, yet rarely thematized as such. In another letter from 1919, he even confesses that his own move from mathematics to philosophy ran parallel to and was inspired by his conversion from Judaism to Christianity, and in private conversations he is to have said that he saw his philosophical work as a path toward God.2 The God mentioned in his philosophical writings is often a philosopher’s God, a metonym for absolute rationality and intelligibility, as well as a name for a radical transcendence. But he saw the possibility of a renewed understanding of religion not in the construction of a rational theology, but rather in a radicalized exploration of interiority, through a return to the “inner life”, as he writes in a letter to Wilhelm Dilthey on this matter. Thus he also ends his Cartesian Meditations with a quotation from Augustine, “in the interiority of man dwells truth.” Against the standard image of orthodox phenomenology, as a philosophy of purified rationality and as a “rigourous science,” we should instead be aware of the way in which the remarkably fecund 1. The letter is published in Das Maß des Verborgenen. Heinrich Ochsener zum Gedächt- nis, eds. Curt Ochwadt and Erwin Tecklenborg, Hannover, 1981, 159. 2. Adelgundis Jaegerschmidt, ”Gespräche mit Edmund Husserl: 1931–1936” in Stimmen der Zeit, 56. 7 jonna bornemark & hans ruin philosophical development initiated by Husserl already at the outset also sought to free new avenues for thinking the religious and its relation to the philosophical. Both in the work of Max Scheler and in Edith Stein, as well as in the great efforts of Martin Heidegger in his early years to establish a critical dialogue with Lutheran theology and its Pauline roots on the basis of his analytic of facticity, we can see how this original impetus led to developments which have transformed the way we can think about the religious and its reciprocal relation to philosophy, in ways which still remain to be fully articulated. The special relation between phenomenology and religion was highlighted and brought into focus in more recent times through a critical book published by Dominique Janicaud in 1991, The theological turn of French phenomenology3. Referring to the phenomenological work of, notably, Jean-Luc Marion, Michel Henry and Emmanuel Levinas, Janicaud argued that contemporary French phenomenology in its move toward the phenomenon of the inapparent was about to abandon the methodological atheism that he saw as a defining characteristic of its original ethos. Some years later Jacques Derrida and Gianni Vattimo organized a symposium around the question of religion which led to the publication On religion, which in itself contributed greatly to the renewed interest in religious and theological concerns from the point of view of phenomenological and deconstructive analyses, notably in the work of John Caputo and Hent de Vries, among others.4 In the decade following this publication there has been a rise of interest in the constellation “phenomenology and religion”, from the point of view both of philosophers and of theologians and religious scholars. In May 2008 the philosophy department at Södertörn University in Stockholm hosted an international conference on the theme “New Frontiers: Phenomenology and Religion.” On one level its purpose was to bring together scholars from all of these fields to survey the present interconnectedness of phenomenology, post-phenomenology (deconstruction), and theology around the understanding of the 3. Le tournant théologique de la phénoménologie français, Paris: Éditions de l’Éclat, 1991; Phenomenology and the “Theological Turn”: The French Debate, trans. Bernard G. Prusak, et al., New York: Fordham University Press, 2000. 4. La religion, Paris: Seuil, 1996. 8 introduction religious as such, its experience and articulation. It was also an experiment in a new kind of intellectual dialogue between philosophy and Christian theology which especially in the Swedish situation was something quite novel. But the core of the problematic had to do with the critical articulation of religious experience, as exemplified mostly, but not exclusively, to the Judeo-Christian tradition. In naming the encounter “New Frontiers” the question of limits and borders was highlighted. The point of the contributions and discussions was not to secure and establish borders, but rather to negotiate, displace, and explore new borders and border zones. In the face of a rising religious fundamentalism, it is more important than ever to develop the means of a critical and self-critical rationality that can bring to articulation the fundamental existential, linguistic and spiritual predicaments of the human subject in a non-exclusive sense. Herein lies the great promise and possibility of phenomenology, that it can through its very questioning of a realist or naturalist metaphysics, open itself to the articulation of such limit experiences. Among the key themes in such an exploration is the dichotomy of immanence and transcendence, which obtains a central place in Husserlian phenomenology, and which continues to be renegotiated throughout the continued development of phenomenological and post-phenomenological philosophy. If phenomenology is the study of immanence, of that which presents itself to consciousness, what role can transcendence play in a phenomenological analysis? Is not transcendence, both in its realist and its metaphysical and theological sense, precisely that which phenomenology can not handle? Or is it in fact only through a consistent phenomenological analysis that the true meaning and significance of transcendence can be interpreted? The move from a positing and constituting subjectivity and its correlated object to a subjectivity which understands itself ultimately as the recipient of being as gift and event is not simply a move away from orthodox phenomenology, but a movement within its own interior logic, which at the same time transforms some of its basic categories. But the critical discussion of the ultimate legitimacy of these transgressive movements in the direction of the radically transcendent and other, is precisely what defines contemporary phenomenological research, which comes forth very clearly in several of the contributions. 9

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