A Phenomenology of Christian Life: Glory and Night

A Phenomenology of Christian Life: Glory and Night

A Phenomenology of Christian Life: Glory and Night

A Phenomenology of Christian Life: Glory and Night

Synopsis

How does Christian philosophy address phenomena in the world? Felix Murchadha believes that seeing, hearing, or otherwise sensing the world through faith requires transcendence or thinking through glory and night (being and meaning). By challenging much of Western metaphysics, Murchadha shows how phenomenology opens new ideas about being, and how philosophers of "the theological turn" have addressed questions of creation, incarnation, resurrection, time, love, and faith. He explores the possibility of a phenomenology of Christian life and argues against any simple separation of philosophy and theology or reason and faith.

Excerpt

Philosophical reflection begins with what is given. However, philosophical beginnings are uncertain and deeply ambiguous: philosophy begins with that which has already begun and yet attempts to incorporate all other origins into itself. Historically, philosophy arose ‘out of’ a Greek way of being-in-the-world, informed by Homer and Hesiod. It attempted to find in the logos a way of justification to which such being-in-the-world would by an inner necessity need to submit itself. Philosophy, however, began again, in the sense here understood, with Christianity. Again, it sought to incorporate a prior beginning, this time that of the being-in-the-world of scripture. This attempt left a residue, which led eventually to a disciplinary break (unthinkable in classical Greek philosophy) between philosophy and theology, just as the first beginning of philosophy had resulted, as Nietzsche shows in the Birth of Tragedy, in a break between philosophy and poetry. Certain phenomena, essential to the Christian being-in-the-world, remained philosophically unjustifiable, that is, unrecognizable and unaccountable, and hence only valid under the auspices of faith and religion. This book attempts to explore that residue, to think that which disrupts and disturbs philosophy and leads philosophy beyond its Greek beginning.

If philosophy began again in reflecting upon the Christian way of being-inthe-world, this beginning did not mark any radical break with its Greek origins. This failure had fundamental and paradoxical effects: there has been no originally Christian philosophy in the past two millennia—at most Christian trappings on Greek thought, as Max Scheler puts it. Many of the foremost Christian thinkers have been anti-philosophers, para-philosophers, snipping so to speak from the sidelines. in certain moods Paul, Origen, Tertullian, Augustine, Luther, Pascal, and Kierkegaard form a necessarily eclectic tradition of such para-philosophy. This place of Christian thought in the European tradition should make us pause. For all the undoubted influence of Christianity on that history, the paradigmatic place of Greek conceptuality remained for long periods unshaken. Greek conceptuality is fundamentally Platonic. Despite the influence of Aristotle, the Stoics, and other strands of Greek thought, at the core of all metaphysics worthy of the name is Plato, such that for Greek philosophy Whitehead’s oft quoted remark about philosophy being a series of footnotes to Plato is justified. As I will show in this book, there are fundamental reasons concerning the self-understanding of the early Christian church fathers for the fact that Christianity did not es-

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.