Read God Without Being: Hors-Texte by Jean-Luc Marion Thomas A. Carlson Online


Jean-Luc Marion advances a controversial argument for a God free of all categories of Being. Taking a characteristically postmodern stance, Marion challenges a fundamental premise of both metaphysics and neo-Thomist theology: that God, before all else, must be. Rather, he locates a "God without Being" in the realm of agape, of Christian charity or love.This volume, the firJean-Luc Marion advances a controversial argument for a God free of all categories of Being. Taking a characteristically postmodern stance, Marion challenges a fundamental premise of both metaphysics and neo-Thomist theology: that God, before all else, must be. Rather, he locates a "God without Being" in the realm of agape, of Christian charity or love.This volume, the first translation into English of the work of this leading Catholic philosopher, offers a contemporary perspective on the nature of God."An immensely thoughtful book. . . . It promises a rich harvest. Marion's highly original treatment of the idol and the icon, the Eucharist, boredom and vanity, conversion and prayer takes theological and philosophical discussions to a new level."—Norman Wirzba, Christian Century...

Title : God Without Being: Hors-Texte
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ISBN : 9780226505411
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 284 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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God Without Being: Hors-Texte Reviews

  • Chungsoo Lee
    2018-11-25 17:51

    An alternative and indirect repudiation of Levinas, a new way of phenomenology toward being and art work. A ground breaking and phenomenological reading of the Christian Scripture--despite the abrupt transition from philosophy to theology.

  • Liz
    2018-12-08 22:09

    The distinction between Idol/Icon is massively helpful in giving new light to understanding Christianity. His lay-out of sacramental theology is innovative and helpful for the Church catholic.

  • Jacob Aitken
    2018-11-18 18:04

    Review of God Without Being: Hors-TextJean-Luc Marion’s text is a destruction and deconstruction of philosophical idols. His thesis is fairly simple but profound: discourse on “being,” that God before all else has to be (2). This is not yet the problem, however. As metaphysics developed, God become confused with being. Eventually, theologians and philosophers found that God was conceivable to the degree that metaphysics understood him. In short, metaphysics limited God (34). How then does one speak of God? Does suggesting that God is without being mean that God doesn’t exist? No, for Marion suggests that before God “is,” he gives. He comes to us in the Eucharist. Marion rightly notes that philosophical talk about God is often idolatrous. Metaphysics created God after its own image. This leads into Marion’s discussion of the “idol and the icon.” (The next 150 pages are remarkably dense.) Marion starts off well but it is hard to see how he doesn’t beg the question and also what he is actually trying to say. I like his discussion on “the icon.” At surface level it is a good meditation on Christian aesthetics. But one gets the impression that Marion is not using “icon” in the sense that the Orthodox use it. Marion says the idol’s gaze is wrong because it freezes on the watcher, but the icon is actually looking at him who is looking at me. The icon’s gaze pierces reality. Okay, I agree but how is this statement not begging the question? Marion never made it clear how the icon’s gaze doesn’t deconstruct back to the idol’s gaze. Marion later moves into a moving discussion on Christian hermeneutics. More so than most theologians, Marion is keen to the challenges that Derrida and Nietzsche pose to Christianity—and to the opportunities available. The problem is the “gap” between text and reality. One can read of the Easter “event,” but one is only reading of it. One is still removed from the event. A Christ-hermeneutics, however, bridges the gap between text and reality in the Eucharist (150). A fascinating discussion with much passion and promise, but one wishes that Marion would have spent more time on this.ConclusionThis book started off well with references to Gilson’s work on “Being” as well as other moves in Thomism. And the thesis is sound and simple enough. But even those readers who are well-read in philosophy will wonder what Marion is trying to say. This book could have easily been 80 pages long and the reader would not be at a loss. Marion spent too little time on the clear parts and too much time on the dense parts (without making them clearer).

  • Christopher Porter
    2018-11-13 22:53

    Though he has since retracted some aspects of his critique of St. Thomas, this remains an essential work in the realm of anti-Kantian phenomenology, and includes some intriguing (NT) exegetical work. The section on the "idolic/iconic gaze" and "saturated phenomena" has indelibly effected my thinking on a variety of issues. Also seminal for the post-metaphysical theologians is the section on "conceptual atheism": a genealogy of atheism that finds its genesis in the idea of god.

  • Swami Narasimhananda
    2018-11-24 02:07

    Should God exist? Should God have a form, an icon, or an idol? Marion explores the possibility of a God who would not be, who would not have a being. He sees God in agape, Christian charity, or love and obviates the need for imagining or positing the existence or being of God. He thinks that the ‘unthinkable forces us to substitute the idolatrous quotation marks around “God” with the very God that no mark of knowledge can demarcate, and, in order to say it’ (46) he crosses the ‘o’ in God and continues this notation in the rest of the book. The second edition and a translation of the original French, this book is a volume in the series Religion and Postmodernism brought out by the University of Chicago Press. In a daring postmodern spirit, the author tries to do away with a personality of God because he is concerned that ‘we manage so poorly to keep silent before that which we cannot express in a statement’ (59) Attempts to express the inexpressible creates a false image of God, who exists even before actually being. It is a pity that the author rests his arguments based only on Christian scriptures and does not refer to scriptures from other religions, such as those of the East. Had he done so, he would have come across interesting insights on God without being in those texts. With elaborate notes and references to major thinkers on religion and theology, this book is a profound study on the perception of God with an identity.

  • Earl
    2018-11-21 22:58

    If there is going to be one book that I will go back to in my formation as a student of philosophy and theology, God Without Being would be it. It provides us more or less a phenomenological description of the experience of Revelation, and explains it in great detail which is easier to follow than, say, guys like Schleiermacher.

  • Aaron Cummings
    2018-11-30 19:51

    Insightful. Provides a deep background for considering issues of liturgy, church life and politics. I'm looking forward to the everyman's edition. If JP2's Theology of the Body can become The Thrill of the Chaste, perhaps this might become, "To Be Or Not To Be: It's Not Even a Question."

  • Joe Spencer
    2018-12-10 01:41

    One of the best books I've ever read: no question.

  • Gary Collins
    2018-11-25 21:56


  • Lou
    2018-12-01 19:54

    Por la vía fenomenológica, se le encuentra a Dios justo ahí, en la distancia y despojado de todo lo que se creía que era. De la iconoclastia conceptual a la idolatria religiosa y la muerte de Dios.

  • Chris
    2018-11-30 19:41

    Solid spiritual analysis of mankind's remarkably flawed perception of metaphysical realities

  • Simone Marcelli
    2018-12-11 01:10

    La mente spinta all'estremità.

  • Stefan Djupsjöbacka
    2018-11-29 21:41

    New ways to approch the God question phenomenologically. Difficult but exciting to read.