Philosophy and the turn to religion
If religion once seemed to have played out its role in the intellectual and political history of Western secular modernity, it has now returned with a vengeance. In this engaging study, Hent de Vries argues that a turn to religion discernible in recent philosophy anticipates and accompanies this development in the contemporary world. Though the book reaches back to Immanuel Kant, Martin Heidegger, and earlier, it takes its inspiration from the tradition of French phenomenology, notably Emmanuel Levinas, Jean-Luc Marion, and, especially, Jacques Derrida. Tracing how Derrida probes the discourse on religion, its metaphysical presuppositions, and its transformations, de Vries shows how this author consistently foregrounds the unexpected alliances between a radical interrogation of the history of Western philosophy and the religious inheritance from which that philosophy has increasingly sought to set itself apart. De Vries goes beyond formal analogies between the textual practices of deconstruction and so-called negative theology to address the necessity for a philosophical thinking that situates itself at once close to and at the farthest remove from traditional manifestations of the religious and the theological. This paradox is captured in the phrase adieu ( a dieu), borrowed from Levinas, which signals at once a turn toward and a leave-taking from God -- and which also gestures toward and departs from the other of this divine other, the possibility of radical evil. Only by confronting such uncanny and difficult figures, de Vries claims, can one begin to think and act upon the ethical and political imperatives of our day.
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absolute adieu affirmation analytic Angelus Silesius apocalyptic apophatic aporetic aporia Avoid Speaking called Christian concept context cultural Dasein death deconstruction Derrida notes Derrida writes determination dieu discourse divine Dufrenne Emmanuel Levinas eschatology Essays essence ethics example existential analysis experience fact factical faith formal indication fundamental gift Heidegger Heidegger's Heideggerian historical Husserl Ibid idolatry impossible infinite interpretation Jacques Derrida Jean-Luc Jean-Luc Marion Jean-Luc Nancy Kant Kant's Kantian kenosis language least Levinas Levinas's logic of presupposition Marion Martin Heidegger matter meaning messianicity metaphysics modality mode motif mystical negative theology notion oneself ontic ontological ontotheology originary ousias paradoxical Paris Patocka perhaps phenomenology phenomenon philosophy PhRL political possible prayer precisely proper pure question radical reading reason relation religion religious remains responsibility revealability seems sense simply singular so-called Specters of Marx structure thought tion tradition trans transcendental turn University Press word