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Document Details :
Title: God, Particularity and Hermeneutics
Subtitle: A Critical Constructive Theological Dialogue with Richard Kearney on Continental Philosophy
Author(s): BOEVE, Lieven
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 81 Issue: 4 Date: December 2005
In a critical-constructive dialogue with Richard Kearney’s philosophical hermeneutics of religion, Lieven Boeve sketches the panorama of continental philosophy’s turn to religion, and comments on it from a theological-epistemological perspective. After some initial theological comments on Kearney’s poetics of a possible God, Boeve analyzes the intuitions, argumentation and framework of his thinking. Furthermore, he situates Kearney’s approach in relation to the proposals of other protagonists of the God-discussion, such as Marion’s phenomenology of the saturated phenomena, the negative theologies of the sublime (Lyotard and Zizek), deconstructionism’s religion without religion (Derrida and Caputo), and Milbank’s radical-orthodox overcoming of postmodern negative theologies. Afterwards Boeve evaluates Kearney’s philosophical hermeneutics (and as much so Caputo’s radical hermeneutics) as not radical enough. For a “more” radical hermeneutics of religion does not relativise the very particularity of religion to determine its truth claims but irreducibly leads to it, stressing the impossibility of a discourse dealing, beyond linguistic particularity, with otherness, transcendence, “God”. It is at this point that the Christian doctrine of incarnation, taken as a (theological-)epistemological maxim, may inspire a philosophical hermeneutics of (Christian) religion.