Mystery and Method: The Other in Rahner and Levinas

By Michael Purcell | Go to book overview

Same -- a kingdom also inhabited by the subject -- and so of compromising, not only God and neighbour in their relation to the subject, but also God and neighbour in their relation to each other. Rahner, however, affirms the difference between God and neighbour when he writes that God is not thought of as one object among others but, as "other than the Other," is "always given as the subjectively and objectively all-bearing ground of experience, a ground which is beyond this world" (ibid. 244). Whereas Levinas fears ontological identity, Rahner affirms ontological difference and an analogical understanding of being. It is to the understanding of Being that we must now direct our attention.


ENDNOTES
1
Foucault identifies the same in the various forms of negative theology and recognises in their speaking of the absence of God a "thought from the outside." Hölderlin's poetry, he says, "manifested the shimmering absence of the gods and pronounced the new law of the obligation to wait . . . for the enigmatic succour of 'God's failing.'" Hölderlin had discovered that "the gods had wandered off through a rift in language as it was in the process of losing its bearings" ( Foucault 1990, 17).
2
Levinas writes, "Avec Heidegger, dans le mot être s'est réveillée sa "verbalité", ce qui en lul est événement, le "se passer" de l'être. . . . C'est à cette sonorité verbale que Heidegger nous a habitués" ( Levinas 1982, 34).

Heidegger himself links logos and phonè when he reflects on the concept of the Logos in Being and Time. He writes, "[w]hen fully concrete discoursing (letting something be seen) has the character of speaking [Sprechens] -- vocal proclamation in words. The logos is ϕωνη, and indeed, ϕωνη μετα ϕαντασια' -- an utterance in which something is sighted in each case" ( Heidegger 1962, 56).

3
Kevin Hart recalls the encounter between Dante and Adam ( Paradiso, Canto XXVI, 106) in which prelapsarian Adam is presented as a "model of perfect understanding" ( Hart 1989, 3), the master of language who recovers intentions directly and enjoys immediate knowledge within the limits set by God, and without any hermeneutical difficulty; he stands outside language, the determiner of language who himself escapes those determinations. Adam, however, desired immediate knowledge outwith the God-imposed limits, and fell. The significance of this fall, however, was not only its moral trespass, but also its "trespass of the linguistic sign" (ibid.), which thereafter is forever mutable. Postlapsarian Adam "is no longer the master

-294-

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Mystery and Method: The Other in Rahner and Levinas
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Introduction xii
  • Endnotes xxxiii
  • 1. Method 1
  • 1.7 Summary 56
  • Endnotes 59
  • 2 Philosophical Origins 119
  • Endnotes 121
  • 3. Questioning Presence 129
  • 3.5 Summary 166
  • Endnotes 169
  • 4. Subjectivity and Alterity 171
  • 5. Desiring the Other Or, the Prevenience of Grace 223
  • 5-5 Summary 246
  • Endnotes 248
  • 6 the Sacramentality of the Face, Or, Sacramental Signification 251
  • Endnotes 294
  • 7. Being Ethical 297
  • Endnotes 333
  • 8 the Mystery of the Other 335
  • Endnotes 357
  • Bibliography 359
  • Index 383
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