9593 - Towards a Post-modern Philosophy of Religion: Advanced Problems in Contemporary Continental Theory - With the death of any transcendent source of meaning or value beyond language and the realisation that in the final analysis concepts are only metaphors and logical arguments are little more than a well-constructed narratives, the possibility of religious authority has been thrown into question. As there is no room in the post-modern worldview for absolutes or essences, for a primal ground or origin of meaning (be it God, the author, or the transcendental signified), the future of theology understood as the science of absolutes and essentials remains problematic and uncertain to say the least. However, does the same hold true for “religious experience” itself? This seminar addresses this question and argues that it is central to the very thought that has rendered classical theology uncertain. It undertakes a reading of the seminal texts of some of the main authors in twentieth century continental thought from the perspective of what they have to say about “religious experience”: Nietzsche (God is Dead and the Superman), Georges Bataille (Atheology and a mysticism without God), Heidegger and Jean-Luc Marion (God without Being), Emmanuel Levinas (the ethics of the Other), and Jacques Derrida (in the Name of God and l’avenir (future) of religion without religion).
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