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God in French Phenomenology

God in French Phenomenology

God in French Phenomenology
Editors: Andreas Lind; Bruno Nobre; João Carlos Onofre Pinto
2020, Volume 76, Issue 2-3
DOI 10.17990/RPF/2020_76_2_0000

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God in French Phenomenology

Deus na Fenomenologia Francesa 

Editor Andreas Gonçalves Lind
 Editor Bruno Nobre
Editor João Carlos Onofre Pinto
Rights © 2020 Aletheia - Associação Científica e Cultural | © 2020 Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia
Publication Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia
Volume 76
Issue 2-3
Place Braga
Publisher Axioma - Publicacções da Faculdade de Filosofia


9789726973232 (Paperback) ; 9789726973244 (eBook)


0870-5283; 2183-461X

Date 2020
DOI 10.17990/RPF/2020_76_2_0000
Language Portuguese, English, Spanish, French, Italian and German
# of Pages 728
Date Added 30/07/2020
Modified 30/07/2020
Presentation Leaving aside the question concerning the existence of the external world, phenomenology focuses exclusively on the subjective experience. Having the raw phenomenon as its starting point, phenomenology attempts any kind of interpretation, privileging instead the description of the pure appearance inside the subjective consciousness. Phenomenology is not mainly concerned with what manifests itself to the subject, but rather with the pure manifestation as it is. This phenomenological notion of revelation as manifestation resonates with the theological notion of “divine revelation.” In this sense, a link between phenomenology and theology may be established, at least with respect to the essential lexicon that both disciplines share. Like theology, phenomenology gives primacy to “manifestation,” “revelation,” “appearance,” or “apparition” as fundamental notions. Given the fact that both disciplines share a similar vocabulary, although with meanings that do not completely overlap, phenomenology came to be regarded as a promising philosophical approach regarding the dialogue with theology. In this sense, it is not surprising that throughout the twentieth century until now, especially in the French context, some phenomenologists have approached the question of God in phenomenological terms. By refusing traditional metaphysics, which led, according to Heideggerian hermeneutics, to ontotheology, authors such as Emmanuel Levinas, Jean-Louis Chrétien, Paul Ricœur, Michel Henry, Jean-Luc Marion, and Emmanuel Falque, among others, abandoned the attempt to offer purely rational proofs of God’s existence. Such an approach entailed the risk of reducing God to a kind of Supreme Being whose essence would be understood basically in ontic terms. God would then be reduced to a concept or placed within an absolutely extra-phenomenal sphere, understood as the external foundation of the factic life. These contemporary authors interpret the very well-known Nietzschean assertion “God is dead” in the light of Heidegger’s hermeneutics, as the end of platonic metaphysics. Incarcerated in a kind of metaphysical bubble, there was the tendency, within the philosophical field, to reduce God to an intelligible concept that human conscience could grasp. This way of thinking seemed to presuppose that God was, in a certain way, subdued to human reason. Having been reduced to a rational concept, God would be removed from concrete subjective experience. Within this context, French phenomenologists understood the sentence “God is dead” as a kind of deconstruction or demolition of an idolatrous notion of God associated with ontotheology. Consequently, the death of the metaphysical God cleared the way for new approaches wherein phenomenology has sought to describe God’s own phenomenality. In other words, more than understanding God’s essence, or demanding a rational proof of God’s existence, authors such as Emmanuel Levinas, Jean-Louis Chrétien, Paul Ricœur, Michel Henry, Jean-Luc Marion, and Emmanuel Falque aim, above all, to describe the possible manifestation of God. In doing so, the description of the phenomenality proper to God’s manifestation, in particular, or to religious experience, in general, enters into the philosophical field. It is within this framework that one should understand the mutual influence between phenomenology and certain theologies of Judeo-Christian background that became common especially during the second half of the twentieth century to the present day, especially in the francophone atmosphere. On the one hand, phenomenology seems to offer a conceptual and methodological apparatus that allows to deepen and develop theological assertions, such the human being as capax Dei or God’s own suffering. On the other hand, the theological question concerning God’s revelation pushes phenomenology to its own limits. Therefore, phenomenology emerges as the possibility of a new encounter between philosophy and divine revelation. For this reason, it is not surprising that Dominique Janicaud criticized, at the beginning of the 1990s, the protagonists of these developments by accusing them of having operated the “theological turn in French phenomenology.” In short, Janicaud accused the new French phenomenologists of betraying phenomenology as a rigorous philosophical approach. The “theological turn” could be justified by an illegitimate grounding of pure phenomenological appearance by an extra-phenomenological foundation, such as God, which is not manifest to human experience. As such, while it may be true that this theological foundation renders intelligible the phenomenon accessible to the experience, as its condition of possibility, the “theological turn” corresponds also, according to Janicaud, to a “metaphysical turn” that undermines phenomenology. One may ask, however, whether it is indeed the case that the openness to the question of God results in the departure from the strict phenomenological domain or, rather, it is required for the full accomplishment of phenomenology itself. The debate is not yet over. In this context, it is the goal of the present issue to nourish the debate around the openness of French phenomenology to the problem of God and to the dialogue with religion, in general, and with the Christian tradition, in particular. 

Andreas Gonçalves LindBruno Nobre, and João Carlos Onofre Pinto, “Presentation – God in French Phenomenology,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia76, no. 2–3 (2020): 521–26,


Part I: Phenomenological Perspectives on the Question of God


Carla Canullo, “La fenomenologia e il Dio in questione. Note su una querelle (francese) contemporanea,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 529–52,


Danielle Cohen-Levinas, “Le premier Dire. Retrait, trace et an-archie,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 553–66,


Jérôme de Gramont, “Marges – de La Phénoménologie,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 567–90,


Antonio Di Chiro, “Pensare Dio al Di Là Dell’essere. Sulla ‘Svolta Teologica’ Della Fenomenologia Francese,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 591–620,


Ricardo Mejía Fernández, “¿Es posible Dios en el naturalismo de Merleau-Ponty? Discusiones fenomenológicas,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 621–38,


Alice de Rochechouart, “The (Im)Possibility of God’s Name. Levinas, Derrida, Marion,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 639–60,


Part II: The Experience and the Celebration of the Sacred


J. Aaron Simmons, “New Phenomenology and Open Theism: A Thought Experiment,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 663–88,


Jeffrey Bloechl, “The Life and Things of Faith. A Partial Reading of Jean-Yves Lacoste,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 689–704,


Manon Sanchis, “Vie au monde et vie coram Deo chez Jean-Yves Lacoste,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 705–12,


Part III: In Dialogue with the Phenomenology of Givenness


Catherine Pickstock, “The Phenomenological Given and the Hermeneutic Exchange: Which Holds Priority?,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 715–28,


Paul Gilbert, “Dire l’indicible en phénoménologie ?,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 729–60,


Francesca Peruzzotti, “Donation, gratuité, louange. La possibilité d’un rapport libre à Dieu dans la philosophie de Jean-Luc Marion,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 761–88,


Piotr Karpiński, “Theology of Jean-Luc Marion as Hermeneutics of the Eucharist,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 789–806,


Part IV: Phenomenology of Life Challenged


Yves Meessen, “Une relecture de l’auto-affection henryenne en christianisme,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 809–20,


Jean-Sébastien Strumia, “La phénoménologie de vie de Michel Henry au défi de la théologie,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 821–42,


Daniel dos Santos, “Michel Henry: una filosofía debilitada a partir de su formulación del cristianismo,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 843–56,


Andrew Sackin-Poll, “Michel Henry and the Resistance of the Flesh,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 857–80,


Part V: Emmanuel Falque: Crossing the Border between Philosophy and Theology


Emmanuel Falque, “Kénose trinitaire et limites de la phénoménologie,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 883–902,


Martin Koci, “Phenomenology and Theology Revisited: Emmanuel Falque and His Critics,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 903–26,


Andreas Gonçalves Lind and Bruno Nobre, “(De)Dramatizing Atheist Humanism: Henri de Lubac and Emmanuel Falque in Dialogue,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 927–54,


Part VI: New Approaches beyond Classical Phenomenology


Miguel García-Baró, “Tesis centrales para la iniciación en el supremo misterio,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 957–72,


Michael Barber, “Richard Kearney’s Anatheism and the Religious and Theoretical Provinces of Meaning,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 973–1008,


Emmanuel Gabellieri, “Entre phénoménologie et théologie. Pour une « metaxologie »,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 1009–52,


Emmanuel Tourpe, “Autant de manifestation, autant de médiation. Pour une phénoménologie radicale de Dieu,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 1053–72,


Part VII: At the Margins of Phenomenology


Dominique Lambert, “L’Action de Maurice Blondel. L’actualité de sa critique du réductionnisme,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 1075–90,


Rolf Kühn, “Mystik und jouissance als „ex-sistenter“ Gottesbezug bei Jacques Lacan. Im Vergleich mit der Radikalisierten Phänomenologie als „Lebensmystik“,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 1091–1136,


Ciro Adinolfi, “Dio tra onto-fenomenologia ed etica nel pensiero di Jean-Paul Sartre,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 1137–58,




Bodo Herzog, “Philosophie des Ökonomischen Menschenbilds,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 1161–86,


In Memoriam


Emmanuel Tourpe, “In Memoriam. Jean-Louis Chrétien (1952-2019),” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 1189–90,


Philippe Capelle-Dumont, “La parole, l’absolu et la promesse chez Jean-Louis Chrétien,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 1191–98,


Book Reviews


João Paulo Costa, “Book Review - Falque, Emmanuel. Triduum philosophique.Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 2016.,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 1201–8,


Andreas Gonçalves Lind, “Book Review - Tourpe, Emmanuel. Donation et réciprocité. L’Amour, point aveugle de la philosophie. De Visu. Paris: Hermann Éditeurs, 2020.,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 1209–14,


Andreas Gonçalves Lind, “Book Review - Canullo, Carla. O Quiasmo da Tradução. Metáfora e Verdade. Traduzido por Íris Fátima da Silva Uribe e Luis Uribe Miranda. Anhangabaú - Jundiaí, SP: Paco Editorial, 2020.,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 1215–20,


Marcelo Fabri, “Book Review - Ribeiro Júnior, Nilo. Sabedoria da carne – Uma filosofia da sensibilidade ética em Levinas. São Paulo: Edições Loyola, 2019.,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 76, no. 2–3 (2020): 1221–26,



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