Givenness and God: Questions of Jean-Luc Marion

Givenness and God: Questions of Jean-Luc Marion

Givenness and God: Questions of Jean-Luc Marion

Givenness and God: Questions of Jean-Luc Marion

Synopsis

After the subject and beyond Heideggerian ontology,Marion suggests, there is the sheer givenness ofphenomena without condition. In theology, this liberationmeans rethinking God in terms of phenomena such aslove, gift, and excess. In addition to an important essayby Marion, The Reason of the Gift, and a dialoguebetween Marion and Richard Kearney, this book containsstimulating essays by ten other contributors: Lilian Alweiss,Eoin Cassidy, Mark Dooley, Brian Elliott, Ian Leask,Shane Mackinlay, Derek Morrow, John O'Donohue,Joseph S. O'Leary, and Felix A Murchadha. After the subject and beyond Heideggerian ontology, Marion suggests, there is the givenness of phenomena without condition. In theology, this liberation means rethinking God in terms of phenomena such as love, gift, and excess. In addition to an important essay by Marion, The Reason of the Gift, and a dialogue between Marion and Richard Kearney, this book contains stimulating essays by ten other contributors: Lilian Alweiss, Eoin Cassidy, Mark Dooley, Brian Elliott, Ian Leask, Shane Mackinlay, Derek Morrow, John O'Donohue, Joseph S. O'Leary, and Felix A Murchadha.

Excerpt

Dermot A. Lane

It is a pleasure for me as President of Mater Dei Institute to welcome the publication of this collection of essays celebrating the work of Jean-Luc Marion. Most of the papers were first delivered in the Mater Dei Institute, a college of Dublin City University, in January 2003, at a conference attended by Marion. It was Marion’s first visit to Ireland, and it was most appropriate that a college specializing in religious education should host the occasion: after all, Marion has not only been central in the “turn toward the theological” in recent French phenomenology, but has also generated massive interest within theology itself.

What is outstanding about Marion’s writings is the way he provokes his readers to go beyond ontology, beyond onto-theology, beyond ontological difference, so that they can begin to think in a way that is liberated from the confines of traditional metaphysics. In phenomenology, this liberation means thinking “after the traditional subject” and “after” Heideggerian ontology; beyond both of these, Marion suggests, we have the sheer givenness of phenomena without condition. In theology, this liberation means rethinking God: not as a conceptual “idol,” and not through the heavy metaphysical language of “Being” or substance or essence, but, instead, in terms of phenomena such as love, gift, and excess.

Further, from a theological point of view, what is particularly significant about Marion’s multifaceted project is the way it seeks to go . . .

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