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Love's Transcendence and the Problem of Theodicy

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Since the problem of theodicy concerns all dimensions of human existence and cannot be reduced to a logical problem of consistency, it cannot be solved by means of a theodicy, a rational defense of (the belief in a good and powerful) God before the tribunal of human reason. But how can we deal with ‘the wound of negativity?' The work at hand explores responses that do not end up in a theodicy. Instead of asking after the origin and sense (or non-sense) of evil and suffering, it considers God's (non)phenomenality, the dialectics of God's givenness and hiddenness. Neither God nor evil is given ‘as such;' rather, God and evil are determined for someone as something within specific contexts of experience. How does God appear in human life, and how is his phenomenal presence or non-presence related to the ambiguities of our lives? In the center of the book, Kierkegaard's and Rosenzweig's answers, their reasons for having no reason to defend God and their ethics of love are discussed ‘between' German idealism and French phenomenology. Both of them follow Kant's practical turn of the problem of theodicy, oppose Hegel's theodicy through history and anticipate Levinas' idea to look for the traces of God's transcendence in human movements of self-transcendence. Moreover, they have remarkable contributions to the current debates on ‘metaphysics of presence' and ‘onto-theology' - debates dealing with the limits of Husserl's and Heidegger's phenomenology. In dialogue with Levinas, the presence of God's love is in question, in dialogue with Derrida God's presence as a gift, and in dialogue with Marion the gift of God's presence as a so-called ‘saturated' self-giving phenomenon. In conclusion to these discussions, theology is developed as semiotic phenomenology of the Invisible.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTübingen
PublisherMohr Siebeck
Number of pages437
ISBN (Print)9783161495618
StatePublished - 2008
SeriesReligion in philosophy and theology

ID: 4096877