Post-Secular Philosophy: Between Philosophy and Theology

By Phillip Blond | Go to book overview

8

THE THEOLOGICAL PROJECT OF JEAN-LUC MARION

Graham Ward

Let me begin by outlining the postmodern horizons within which Marion’s work is situated. The first horizon is the post-metaphysical; that is, philosophically Marion works within the critique of onto-theo-logic. In this, as Marion is aware, ‘I remain close to Derrida’ (GWB p. xxi). The second horizon is what I would identify as the theological horizon of much postmodernism—the concern with the other and the elsewhere, the concern with that which remains unresolved, remains in question, while the critique of onto-theo-logic is forever being accomplished: in fact, that which prevents there ever being a final accomplishment of the onto-theo-logical critique. For Marion, it is this transcendental trajectory which ‘develops an ahistorical “deconstruction” of the history of metaphysics. At least it claims to outline this “deconstruction” within the framework of a phenomenology that is pushed to its utmost possibilities’ (GWB p. xxii). It is this openness which forestalls the apocalyptic end of metaphysics, Derrida’s ‘promise’ or ‘yes, yes’. The first of these horizons is critical, and the second is ethical—the reinstallation of the question of the other. And we do not need to travel far into the work of Levinas, Kristeva, Irigaray or Derrida to discover the importance of this second horizon and its concomitant concern to establish a new ethics, an ethics of ethics, an analysis of love.

Marion, despite describing this second horizon in terms of ‘deconstruction’ believes that in tracing the phenomenological economy of agape his ‘enterprise does not remain “postmodern” all the way’ (GWB p. xxi). He believes that at a certain point he can move beyond postmodernity’s concern with ontological difference. He runs his pen along postmodernism’s post-secular horizon in order to indicate ‘a point of reference all the more original and unconditional’ (RD p. 303). But at this point a volte-face occurs and Marion proceeds to erase the horizon he has outlined and the postmodern project along with it. For in this volte-face Marion forecloses the postmodern questioning with an uncritical dogmatism. It is this dogmatism which marks Marion’s theological, as distinct from his philosophical, project and it is this volte-face

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Post-Secular Philosophy: Between Philosophy and Theology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgements xii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Descartes and Onto-Theology 67
  • 2 - Kant and the Kingdom 107
  • 3 - Logic and Spirit in Hegel 116
  • 4 - The Sublime in Kierkegaard 131
  • 5 - Nietzsche and the Metamorphosis of the Divine 157
  • Notes 175
  • 6 - Heidegger and the Problem of Onto-Theology 177
  • 7 - Emmanuel Levinas 195
  • 8 - The Theological Project of Jean-Luc Marion 229
  • Notes 238
  • 9 - Metaphysics and Magic 240
  • 10 - Jacques Derrida 259
  • 11 - Freud’s God 281
  • 12 - Lacan and Theology 305
  • 13 - Kristeva’s Feminist Refiguring of the Gift 318
  • 14 - Luce Irigaray 334
  • Notes 344
  • 15 - Jean Baudrillard 346
  • Index 365
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