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Document Details :

Title: Immediacy and Incarnation
Subtitle: Critical Annotations to Religious Consciousness as Affection in Max Scheler and Michel Henry
Author(s): MOONEN, Christoph
Journal: Bijdragen
Volume: 66    Issue: 4   Date: 2005   
Pages: 402-414
DOI: 10.2143/BIJ.66.4.2004377

Abstract :
In this article, two phenomenologists are considered who both view the relation between religion and subjectivity as an affective one: M. Scheler and M. Henry. According to Scheler, the specific religious field deals with the personal appropriation of an objective modality of value. Even though he reproaches F. Schleiermacher for perpetrating a ‘Bedürfnistheologie’, there is doubt whether his own alternative is not susceptible to a similar tendency of immediacy. In the case of Henry, this tendency is striking. His plea for a completely immanent self-experience seems to remove divine incarnation from transcendence. Therefore it is suggested that the possibility of God’s self-revelation requires a different kind of subjective comprehension, namely by rethinking a cogital reserve in subjectivity. In his attempt, the author briefly formulates an existential-phenomenological framework in which religious pathos can claim its proper, but ambiguous place. To that end, he deconstructs two perspectives: (i) that of any ‘gnostic’ immediacy in which the natural capacities of man, on the one hand, and transcendence, on the other, spontaneously intertwine, and (ii) any radical hermeneutics in which the necessity of a linguistic mediation tends to fall back on contextual self-satisfaction.

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