Givenness and God: Questions of Jean-Luc Marion (Perspectives in Continental Philosophy)
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After the subject and beyond Heideggerian ontology,Marion suggests, there is the sheer givenness ofphenomena without condition. In theology, this liberationmeans rethinking God in terms of phenomena such aslove, gift, and excess. In addition to an important essayby Marion, The Reason of the Gift, and a dialoguebetween Marion and Richard Kearney, this book containsstimulating essays by ten other contributors: Lilian Alweiss,Eoin Cassidy, Mark Dooley, Brian Elliott, Ian Leask,Shane Mackinlay, Derek Morrow, John O'Donohue,Joseph S. O'Leary, and Felix à Murchadha. After the subject and beyond Heideggerian ontology, Marion suggests, there is the givenness of phenomena without condition. In theology, this liberation means rethinking God in terms of phenomena such as love, gift, and excess. In addition to an important essay by Marion, The Reason of the Gift, and a dialogue between Marion and Richard Kearney, this book contains stimulating essays by ten other contributors: Lilian Alweiss, Eoin Cassidy, Mark Dooley, Brian Elliott, Ian Leask, Shane Mackinlay, Derek Morrow, John O'Donohue, Joseph S. O'Leary, and Felix à Murchadha.
alterities is, strictly speaking, impossible: there can be no place from which both the thing and the face appear as other. Either the face is other as the thing is, or the thing is no other but an object to the gaze that finds no countergaze. There can be no question here of an overarching synthesis. What is possible, however, is to see what motivates this divergence. The issue amounts to a question concerning the interruption of being. Such an interruption is thought of by Marion as difference:
and loss, and therefore to the gift as such, only by leaving the horizon of exchange and economy. But is there any other horizon than this, and how is one to identify it? This other horizon could be discovered—if that is to be done without illusion or arbitrariness—only starting from the gift itself, or rather from the point where its phenomenon wells up just before it is dissolved into exchange, during the fragile moment where its three 112 Givenness and God ................. 11323$ $CH6
without requiring that it be dissolved into exchange. In order to appear, the gift reduced to givenness would only have to be given—no more and no less—without having to render reason for itself by coming back to a revenue and making the least return on investment. That would mean describing the gift without reconstituting the terms of exchange; that is, without the two terms that are the minimum basis for any exchange. For, if the giver were to give without a givee to acknowledge this, or if the
phenomenology and theology. Elsewhere, Givenness and God offers a suitably wide-ranging engagement with the work of a thinker whose work is renowned for its breadth, depth, and scope. As such, it represents the first collection in English dedicated to Marion’s oeuvre. Yet, despite acknowledging Marion’s status and significance, the collection is a genuinely critical encounter: none of the contributors is reluctant to identify difficulties, aporiai, or possible blind spots in aspects of Marion’s
(Acts 20:35). Gratitude is a conscious motivation, and generosity based on gratitude is a duty we learn. There is an infinite asymmetry between giving and receiving. I receive everything—the world, my very existence, every grace and blessing— but I give very little in return. One might say that giving sets the seal on one’s awareness of receiving, and attests eloquently to universal givenness. But to claim that giving is as universal and permanent an activity as receiving would be to identify all