Prolegomena to Charity

Prolegomena to Charity

Prolegomena to Charity

Prolegomena to Charity


In seven essays that draw from metaphysics, phenomenology, literature, Christological theology, and Biblical exegesis,Marion sketches several prolegomena to a future fuller thinking and saying of love's paradoxical reasons, exploring evil, freedom, bedazzlement, and the loving gaze; crisis, absence, and knowing.


… Love, perfect and reinvented measure, marvel
ous and unforeseen reason …

Arthur Rimbaud

We all think we know a good deal, or at least enough, about love, if only because, in the final analysis, we live, breathe, and are in it. For everything in our world, when its daily actuality reduces to what, in the end, it truly gives us, is summed up by questions of love and hate. But this atmosphere permeates us so originally that we question ourselves in only a very mediocre fashion about its uneasy primacy. the tendency is to conclude that because love goes without saying, it therefore goes along without us. At our best, we keep an eye on it at a distance, as long as we are able to remain outside its reach; and only if we find ourselves forced by the tumult of passions do we go and take a closer look. But at our normal cruising speed we have neither the need nor the urgency to think love, to question it, to respond to it. Love, like youth, must pass away. and if, nevertheless, we must speak of it, the popular song always seems more adequate than the best novels. Soon, everything falls back into order—nothing more to say of love, nothing more to expect from it.

Like most wastelands, this wasteland of love is in no way natural—it is the result of our decision, or at least our inertia.

Arthur Rimbaud, Oeuvres Complètes, Illuminations, “Génie,” ed. A.
Rolland de Renéville (Paris: Pléiade, 1963), p. 205.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.