I asked this question on the phenomenology of art, and it was suggested I read an intro to Jean-Luc Marion.

I do quite want to.

What sort of problems does reading theistic phenomenology offer an atheist?

If these are potentially insurmountable, who gives Marion an atheist treatment, especially in the context of Otherness and art?

  • i thought it was a rather neat little question
    – user6917
    Jan 2 '16 at 13:48

Marion's theistic phenomenology should pose hardly any problem, judging by this book summary:-

God Without Being, by Jean-Luc Marion

Jean-Luc Marion is one of the world’s foremost philosophers of religion as well as one of the leading Catholic thinkers of modern times. In God Without Being, Marion challenges a fundamental premise of traditional philosophy, theology, and metaphysics: that God, before all else, must be. Taking a characteristically postmodern stance and engaging in passionate dialogue with Heidegger, he locates a “God without Being” in the realm of agape, or Christian charity and love. If God is love, Marion contends, then God loves before he actually is.

Such a reading should re-locate your object of atheistic unbelief to a more conceivable place, although it won't stop you disagreeing with most of the theists you previously disagreed with. It's the development of a more useful, nuanced and uncommon view. Nevertheless, you may find it a self-emptying concept, like the Gateless Gate or even Tâo.


However, Tâo is more like negative theology, i.e. "The name that can be named is not the enduring and unchanging name."

  • thanks for the reply, i will likely take the plunge with marion... it may help to define "self emptying concept", i've sat with koans and suspect that even zen masters aren't non-buddhists. they certainly don't act like that
    – user6917
    Jan 3 '16 at 20:15

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