In Praise of Heteronomy

In Praise of Heteronomy : Making Room for Revelation

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Recognizing the essential heteronomy of postmodern philosophy of religion, Merold Westphal argues against the assumption that human reason is universal, neutral, and devoid of presupposition. Instead, Westphal contends that any philosophy is a matter of faith and the philosophical encounter with theology arises from the very act of thinking. Relying on the work of Spinoza, Kant, and Hegel, Westphal discovers that their theologies render them mutually incompatible and their claims to be the voice of autonomous and universal reason look dubious. Westphal grapples with this plural nature of human thought in the philosophy of religion and he forwards the idea that any appeal to the divine must rest on a historical and phenomenological analysis.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 19.05mm | 25g
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 0253026385
  • 9780253026385

Table of contents

1. Executive and Legislative Autonomy
2. Spinoza's Theology
3. Spinoza's Hermeneutics
4. Kant's Theology
5. Kant's Hermeneutics I
6. Kant's Hermeneutics II
7. Hegel's Theology I
8. Hegel's Theology II
9. Hegel's Hermeneutics
10. The Inevitability of Heteronomy
11. Heteronomy as Freedom
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Review quote

The book not only displays a richness versed in both analytic and continental philosophy of religion, but also German idealism and modern theology. This gives the book a uniquely sharp philosophical edge (that makes distinctions and stakes claims) and when combined with an imaginative and personal verve (via testimonies, poems, and novels) demonstrates for the reader that philosophy of religion need not be banal and abstract, and indeed is best understood as an always operative and lived endeavor--one that is alive and well. * Reading Religion *
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About Merold Westphal

Merold Westphal is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Fordham University
and Honorary Professor, Australian Catholic University. His most recent works include Transcendence and Self-Transcendence (IUP) and Levinas and Kierkegaard in Dialogue (IUP).
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