Words of Life

Words of Life: New Theological Turns in French Phenomenology

Fordham University Press’ Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy
Edited by: Bruce Ellis Benson and Norman Wirzba
Publisher: Fordham University Press | On the web
Year: 2010
ISBN: 9780823230723

Words of Live cover 200 x 300Words of Life is the sequel and companion to Phenomenology and the “Theological Turn,” edited by Dominique Janicaud, Jean-Francois Courtine, Jean-Louis Chrétien, Michel Henry, Jean-Luc Marion, and Paul Ricoeur. In that volume, Janicaud accuses Levinas, Henry, Marion, and Chrétien of “veering” from phenomenological neutrality to a theologically inflected phenomenology. By contrast, the contributors to this collection interrogate whether phenomenology’s proper starting point is agnostic or atheistic. Many hold the view that phenomenology after the theological turn may very well be true both to itself and to the phenomenological “things themselves.”

In one way or another, all of these essays contend with the limits and expectations of phenomenology. As such, they are all concerned with what counts as “proper” phenomenology and even the very structure of phenomenology. None of them, however, is limited to such questions. Indeed, the rich tapestry that they weave tells us much about human experience. Themes such as faith, hope, love, grace, the gift, the sacraments, the words of Christ, suffering, joy, life, the call, touch, listening, wounding, and humility are woven throughout the various meditations in this volume. The contributors use striking examples to illuminate the structure and limits of phenomenology and, in turn, phenomenology serves to clarify those very examples. Thus practice clarifies theory and theory clarifies practice, resulting in new theological turns and new life for phenomenology.

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Table of Contents

Introduction | Bruce Ellis Benson

Part I: Reflections on the Theological Turn
1. Continuing to Look for God in France: On the Relationship Between Phenomenology and Theology | J. Aaron Simmons
2. Being without God | Jeffrey Bloechl
3. The Appearing and the Irreducible | Jean-Yves Lacoste
4. “it / is true” | Kevin Hart

Part II: Jean-Luc Marion
5. The Phenomenality of the Sacrament—Being and Givenness | Jean-Luc Marion
6. The Human in Question: Augustinian Dimensions in Jean-Luc Marion |  Jeffrey L. Kosky
7. The Poor Phenomenon: Marion and the Problem of Givenness | Anthony J. Steinbock

Part III: Michel Henry
8. Michel Henry’s Theory of Disclosive Moods | Jeffrey Hanson
9. Can We Hear the Voice of God? Michel Henry and the Words of Christ | Christina M. Gschwandtner
10. Radical Phenomenology Reveals a Measure of Faith and a Need for a Levinasian Other in Henry’s Life | Ronald L. Mercer Jr.
11. The Truth of Life: Michel Henry on Marx | Clayton Crockett

Part IV: Jean-Louis Chrétien
12. The Call of Grace: Henri de Lubac, Jean-Louis Chrétien, and the Theological Conditions of Christian Radica Phenomenology | Joshua Davis
13. Between Call and Voice: The Antiphonal Thought of Jean-Louis Chrétien | Joseph Ballan
14. Chrétien on the Call That Wounds | Bruce Ellis Benson
15. Embodied Ears: being in the World and Hearing the Other | Brian Treanor
16. The Witness of Humility | Norman Wirzba