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A Genealogy of Marion's Philosophy of Religion

Apparent Darkness

Tamsin Jones

Publication Year: 2011

Tamsin Jones believes that locating Jean-Luc Marion solely within theological or phenomenological discourse undermines the coherence of his intellectual and philosophical enterprise. Through a comparative examination of Marion's interpretation and use of Dionysius the Areopagite and Gregory of Nyssa, Jones evaluates the interplay of the manifestation and hiddenness of phenomena. By placing Marion against the backdrop of these Greek fathers, Jones sharpens the tension between Marion's rigorous method and its intended purpose: a safeguard against idolatry. At once situated at the crossroads of the debate over the turn to religion in French phenomenology and an inquiry into the retrieval of early Christian writings within this discourse, A Genealogy of Marion's Philosophy of Religion opens up a new view of the phenomenology of religious experience.

Published by: Indiana University Press

Series: Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Religion


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pp. v


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. 1-12

Jean-Luc Marion’s dense and provocative writings have ignited both devotees and vehement critics. A member of l’Académie française, he has enlivened debates within and also between phenomenological and theological discourses.1 As a historian of philosophy, he is admired as one of the leading interpreters of Descartes writing today.2 Yet as a...

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1. Sightings: The Location and Function of Patristic Citation in Jean-Luc Marion’s Writing

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pp. 13-43

The purpose of this first chapter is to ascertain the places and the ways in which Jean-Luc Marion cites the church fathers, particularly with an eye to the Greek apophatic tradition and, most specifi cally, to Dionysius1 and Gregory of Nyssa. The task is quite discrete: Whom does Marion cite? How frequently? In what works? And most importantly, why? ...

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2. How to Avoid Idolatry: A Comparison of “Apophasis” in Gregory of Nyssa and Dionysius the Areopagite

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pp. 44-78

In the previous chapter I illustrated how Marion retrieves Gregory of Nyssa and Dionysius in one register, employing Gregory’s words in the service of an exposition of Dionysius and allowing one to speak in place of the other. The purpose of this chapter is to call into question a univocal retrieval of this sort and to examine the significant differences...

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3. Giving a Method: Securing Phenomenology’s Place as “First Philosophy”

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pp. 79-108

Marion’s philosophical enterprise is directed by two primary motivations: first, the desire to free phenomena from all idolatrous restraints and all conditions; and second, the propulsion to show the possibility of all phenomena appearing as proper objects of philosophical inquiry. In order to bring these two concerns together, Marion must provide a...

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4. Interpreting “Saturated Phenomenality”: Marion’s Hermeneutical Turn?

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pp. 109-129

In the previous chapter I emphasized one motivational pull in Marion’s philosophy: the search for a rigorous philosophical methodology that yields certain and universal results in order to claim a place for phenomenology as “first philosophy.” In this chapter I propose to examine a tendency in Marion’s thought that is equally strong yet pulls in a ...

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5. The Apparent in the Darkness: Evaluating Marion’s Apophatic Phenomenology

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pp. 130-154

Marion’s prose can be obscure. At times such obscurity is unavoidable. Marion plumbs the depths of dark matters: the resistance of given phenomena to objectification, the incomprehensibility of God, the long and deep apophatic traditions of Christianity. Such questions and such retrievals elude the clarity of a bright morning. Yet we must ask: What is...

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pp. 155-160

The aim of this study has been to ask how resilient the tensions in Marion’s thought are under the lens of his fascinatingly rich, yet uneasy retrieval of the Greek apophatic tradition. I argued that, despite abundant evidence of the sophistication and comprehensiveness of his knowledge of patristic writings, the Fathers too often function homogeneously as a...


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pp. 161-207

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pp. 209-228


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pp. 229-235

E-ISBN-13: 9780253005083
E-ISBN-10: 0253005086
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253355942

Page Count: 248
Publication Year: 2011

Series Title: Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Religion