Material Spirit: Religion and Literature Intranscendent (Perspectives in Continental Philosophy)
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The essays in this collection examine philosophical, religious, and literary or artistic texts using methodologies and insights that have grown out of reflection on literature and art. In them, them phrase "material spirit" becomes a point of departure for considering the continuing spectral effects of religious texts and concerns in ways that do not simply call for, or assume, new orrenewed forms of religiosity.
The writers in this collection seek to examine religion beyond traditional notions of transcendence: Their topics range from early Christian religious practices to global climate change. Some of the essays explore religious themes or tones in literary texts, for example, works by Wordsworth, Hopkins, Proust, Woolf, and Teresa of Avila. Others approach in a literarycritical
mood philosophical or para-philosophical writers such as Bataille, Husserl, Derrida, and Benjamin. Still others treat writers of a more explicitly religious orientation, such as Augustine, Rosenzweig, or Bernard of Clairvaux.
Experience, esp. chaps. and . . Husserl looks at the matter from the other side: for him, the one who makes the epochē is like a religious convert. See The Crisis of European Sciences, § . . Maurice Blondel, “The Letter on Apologetics,” in The Letter on Apologetics and History and Dogma, . . See Eberhard Jüngel, God as the Mystery of the World: On the Foundation of the Theology of the Cruciﬁed One in the Dispute between Theism and Atheism, . Jüngel’s sense of experiencing
“aesthetic credo” in this pivotal episode, a credo that involves “the integration of the spiritual theme with the sensual theme, which includes the love for the mother in the celebration of Venice.” Proust chose ultimately to highlight the “interpenetration between Venice and his mother, between the angel’s light and the body,” and this choice endured until the ﬁnal typescript, inviting us to consider the trip to Venice “as an apotheosis of the madeleine and paving-stone episodes.” For
very process of writing and reading, of conﬁguring and reﬁguring—is the one highlighted in the phenomenological analyses of Merleau-Ponty, Kristeva, and Ricoeur. And it is with this ﬁnal modality, I suggest, that we encounter an opening of the world of the text beyond itself—both forward to the posttextual world of the reader and backward (by way of implied regress from character to narrator to author) to the pretextual world of the writer. This acknowledgment, however tentative and mediated, of
things”—a stance that foreshadows Silvia Benso’s contemporary “postanthropologocentric” ethics of things in general, whether crafted, manufactured, or naturally occurring. Bringing Heidegger’s thinking of things as gatherings of the fourfold of earth, sky, gods, and mortals into a mutually corrective conversation with Lévinas’s thinking of ethics as the “dimension within which a nonviolating encounter with the other can come to pass,” Sylvia Benso passes beyond both Heidegger and Lévinas in
himself and in even more obliquely, secretly, showing that the same thing can be said about Derrida. The conspicuous excesses in Derrida’s deconstruction of Marx, the obsessive repetitions, anticipations, retrospections, and circlings back to similar points, the constant postponing refrain that says he is not doing the full reading of The German Ideology that would be necessary, indicate that Derrida cannot get Marx out of his head because he knows without knowing it that “Karl Marx, c’est moi.”