Experience and the Absolute: Disputed Questions on the Humanity of Man

Experience and the Absolute: Disputed Questions on the Humanity of Man

Experience and the Absolute: Disputed Questions on the Humanity of Man

Experience and the Absolute: Disputed Questions on the Humanity of Man

Synopsis

Does the philosophy of Martin Heidegger represent the emergence of a secular anthropology that requires religious thought to redefine the religious dimension in human existence? In this critical response, Lacoste confronts the ultimate definition of human nature, the humanity of the human. He explores that definition through an analysis of the absoluteas a phenomenological datum.Lacoste establishes a conception of human nature that opens possibilities for religious experience and religious identity in view of Heidegger's profound challenge. He develops a phenomenology of the liturgy, and subjects the categories of experience,place,and human existenceto careful examination. Making a strong case for the affective nature of religious experience, he sides with Schleiermacher against Hegel in associating religion with affectivity rather than logic. Such affectivity, he claims, can be more rational than reason as framed in Hegelian logic.

Excerpt

The work I publish here is without doubt nothing more than an attempt to introduce a concept, and to do so at the cost of a displacement in meaning. It is a question of speaking of man, of the Absolute, and of putting their potential encounter into the terms of the language of experience—the superficially banal intention of “religious anthropology.” This adjective and this noun are nonetheless absent from this text, and this absence is entirely deliberate, (a) To name from the very outset the contemporary philosopher who has given me a little more to think than others, I subscribe entirely to the words of Heidegger (in appendix 10 to “The Age of the World Picture”), according to whom: “Anthropology is an interpretation of man that already knows at bottom what man is, and cannot therefore ask what he is.” Thus this work is not an anthropology (be it philosophical or theological matters little, for, as we will see, the supposed border between these two kinds of knowledge tends to disappear in the present work, which is dedicated to drawing up, perhaps on too great a scale, a map of the outer limits of this field). It is certainly not for reasons of style that I deemed it necessary to speak of the “disputatio de homine,” but in order not to use a lexicon linked to a conceptuality I would prefer to avoid as much as possible. To speak of the “humanity of man” as a reality and a problem, even if the word humanity does appear here and there, is not to practice anthropology. (b) This is not, symmetrically, an inquiry into “religion,” and still less a study . . .

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

Oops!

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.