At stake for both Levinas and Blanchot, then, is how to mark a nondiscursive excess within discourse without erasing or reducing it. How should one read and write the other in the same without reducing the other to the same?
Critics in recent years have discussed an "ethical moment or turn" characterized by the other's irruption into the order of discourse. The other becomes a true crossroads of disciplines, since it affects several aspects of discourse: the constitution of the subject, the status of knowledge, the nature of representation, and what that representation represses (gender, power). Yet there has been a tendency to graft the other onto paradigms whose main purpose is to reassess questions of identity, fundamentally in terms of representation; the other thus loses some of its most crucial features.
Through close readings of texts by Heidegger, Levinas, and Blanchot the book examines how the question of the other engages the very limits of philosophy, rationality, and power.
The essays in this volume focus on some of the topics that are shaping recent continental philosophy of religion, including self and other, evil and suffering, religion and society and the relation between philosophy and theology. Contributors are Pamela Sue Anderson, Maeve Cooke, Richard A. Cohen, Fred Dallmayr, Hent de Vries, William Franke, Anselm K. Min, Michael Purcell, Calvin O. Schrag, Merold Westphal, Edith Wyschogrod and the editor Eugene Thomas Long.
Yet, challenging the mistrust of reason that pursuit is precisely engaged in what is undertaken here. Our forty–year elaboration of the ontopoiesis/phenomenology of life as first philosophy/phenomenology in its unravelling of the metamorphic deployment of the logos of life has laid the foundations for the retrieval of the metaphysical vision.
Here the classic concerns of philosophy are not negligently dismissed but are ciphered afresh in the light of innumerable perspectives and insights brought to philosophical attention in a New Enlightenment by advances in the sciences of life and of human apprehension.
Strikingly enough pursuit of the greatest enigma of all, namely, that of the All enhancing Divine, is revived in the revelation that the logos informing life is the Fullness of God. In the Fullness being revealed in the infinite intricacies of the operations of the Logos of Life, we find the plenitude of God’s experiencing man.
In times when the prevailing critique of reason casts aspersions on the quest for God through reason, the full revelation of the logos brings to the entire human experience the infinities of God.
In logos omnia
Transcendental-phenomenological reflections move us to consider paradoxes of the “transcendental person”. For example, we contend with the unpresentability in the transcendental first-person of our beginning or ending and the undeniable evidence for the beginning and ending of persons in our third-person experience. The basic distinction between oneself as non-sortal and as a person pervaded by properties serves as a hinge for reflecting on “the afterlife”. This transcendental-phenomenological ontology of necessity deals with some themes of the philosophy of religion.
In this Book 2 we discuss chiefly one’s normative personal-moral identity which stands in contrast to the transcendental I where one’s non-sortal unique identity is given from the start. This moral identity requires a unique self-determination and normative self-constitution which may be thought of with the help of the metaphor of “vocation”. We will see that it has especial ties to one’s Existenz as well as to love. This Book 2 claims that the moral-personal ideal sense of who one is is linked to the transcendental who through a notion of entelechy. The person strives to embody the I-ness that one both ineluctably is and which, however, points to who one is not yet and who one ought to be. The final two chapters tell a philosophical-theological likely story of a basic theme of Plotinus: We must learn to honor ourselves because of our honorable kinship and lineage “Yonder”.