D. Z. Phillips' contemplations on religion and literature

This paper critically discusses D. Z. Phillips’ use of literary works as a resource for philosophical reflection on religion. Beginning by noting Phillips’ suggestion, made in relation to Waiting for Godot , that the possibilities of meaning that we see in a literary work can reveal something of our own religious sensibility, I then proceed to show what we learn about Phillips from his readings of certain works by Larkin, Tennyson, and Wharton. Through exploring alternative possible readings, I argue that, although Phillips’ discussions are of considerable philosophical interest, they undermine his claim to be deploying a purely contemplative hermeneutical method.
Keywords D. Z. Phillips  Religion  Literature  Contemplative philosophy
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DOI 10.1007/s11153-010-9273-2
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