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Document Details :
Title: Listening in the Night
Subtitle: Jean-Louis Chrétien's Critique of Martin Heidegger
Author(s): BENJAMINS, Jacob
Journal: Louvain Studies
Volume: 41 Issue: 1 Date: 2018
This article seeks to understand the experience of God’s absence through the metaphor of the night, as it is described in two different phenomenological contexts. On the one hand, the principle of correspondence dictates the meaning of the night in Martin Heidegger’s work. On the other hand, Jean-Louis Chrétien critiques Heidegger’s notion of correspondence through his depiction of the excess of the call over the response. The difference between correspondence and excess is the central philosophical debate at the heart of this article, however, the differences are not determinately adjudicated via phenomenology. Rather, the article suggests Chrétien’s phenomenology of excess better prepares us to encounter the ‘night’ as it is depicted in poetry and mystical theology. The excess of meaning offered in the metaphor of the night reveals limitations within Heidegger’s account of poetry. These limitations are contrasted with an enduring theological insight, namely, the more we hear within the call on our lives, the greater our deficiency. Amidst the experiences of God’s absence this inadequacy might be seen as a gift.