Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Marion on the (im)possibility of negative theology.

Jenq, Jacob Moh Yii (2014) Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Marion on the (im)possibility of negative theology. Masters thesis, University of Wales, Trinity St David.

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Abstract

In a series of discussions culminating in a conference organized by Villanova University, Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Marion argue the impossibility of negative theology. For Derrida, negative theology operates via “denegations” that lead to a hyper-theology affirming God as hyperousious. “Mystical theology” embodies this hyper-movement and, so, is no longer apophatic. For Marion, negative theology is not self-sufficient but ushers the hyperbolic and pragmatic mode of knowing God by unknowing or “denominating” God. Mystical theology is a “theology of absence”, a higher apophasis that overcomes both affirmation and negation. However, Derrida understands mystical theology as a discourse of presence. It promises union with God, a teleological fulfilment of presence that is more ontological than apophatic. Marion disagrees, arguing for the possibility of a presence exceeding ontology: The “Saturated phenomenon” (Revelation), where intuition of presence exceeds and disqualifies all concepts and intentions. Presence exceeds knowledge; it precedes being. As such, Marion’s phenomenology welcomes all phenomena. Derrida finds this problematic. As their discussion on “the Gift” shows, Marion’s phenomenology makes room for revelation as an appearing of the divine itself. Derrida questions if this is still phenomenology that welcomes the other as tout autre, absence. Beginning with Heidegger’s destruktion of ontotheology (Introduction), this discussion subsequently analyzes the respective arguments of Derrida and Marion on the possibility of negative theology (sections 1 and 2). Their arguments reflect the points mentioned above. These are evaluated in light of the conference round-table discussion, “On the Gift” (Conclusion). The conclusion evaluates Derrida and Marion’s discussion as an ideal enactment of the tension between philosophy and theology – a tension that Heidegger identifies as inherent in ontotheology.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Series: Carmarthen / Lampeter Dissertations;.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Derrida, Jacques, 1930-2004., Marion, Jean-Luc, 1946-, Negative theology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
Depositing User: John Dalling
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2014 08:46
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2016 16:11
URI: http://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/349

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