The Experience of God: A Postmodern Response

By Kevin Hart; Barbara E. Wall | Go to book overview

8
A Response to Jean-Yves Lacoste

JEFFREY BLOECHL

Liturgy and Coaffection: Jean-Yves Lacoste’s title makes the reasonable suggestion that we attempt to think the relation with God together with thinking about the relation with other people, and more precisely at the level of mood and feeling. As his text unfolds, we are also required to heed the conditions defining the context for this exercise. In Lacoste’s work, this means, above all, recognizing the greater emergence of what we might call the secular dimension of our humanity,1 but also dealing with new and sophisticated forms of thought willing to ground themselves entirely there. His approach to this twofold challenge is bent specifically toward what is sometimes called philosophical anthropology, which has recently become the provenance of thinkers no longer interested in the possibility of a religious dimension there. Formulated positively, Lacoste is concerned to reassert an argument for the religious dimension of our humanity, but without ignoring the depth and sophistication of analyses that do not properly acknowledge the human relation with God. This places a great deal of Lacoste’s work, including an important strand of “Liturgy and Coaffection,” close to a problem that certain theologians and philosophers of religion have kept on the agenda, at least in France, since the late nineteenth century. In his thesis that human nature, for each and all of us, includes an openness toward God, we hear an echo of Henri de Lubac’s great and controversial Surnaturel. But in Lacoste’s willingness to hold the religious (or supernatural)

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