Time/History, Self-disclosure and Anticipation: Pannenberg, Heidegger and the Question of Metaphysics

Sophia 50 (1):113-133 (2011)
This essay examines Wolfhart Pannenberg’s defense of metaphysics’ foundational importance for philosophy and theology. Among all the modern philosophers whose claims Pannenberg challenges, Martin Heidegger’s discourse against Western metaphysics receives the major portion of criticism. The first thing one concludes from this criticism is an affirmation of a wide intellectual gap that separates Pannenberg’s thought from Heidegger’s, as if each stands at the very opposite corner of the other’s school of thought. The questions this essay tackles are: is this seemingly irreconcilable difference between Pannenberg and Heidegger fully justifiable? What if there is a reading of Panneberg’s and Heidegger’s view of metaphysics that can reveal deeper similarities between the two thinkers than the first reading of Pannenberg’s criticism of Heidegger allows us to see? It then answers these questions by showing that both thinkers actually share a common emphasis on the concepts of ‘time/history’, ‘self-disclosure’ and ‘anticipation’, and their reliance on these notions reveals that Heidegger’s and Pannenberg’s approaches to the phenomenon of understanding and to metaphysical ontology are not fully contradictory but rather hold noticeable hermeneutical similarities
Keywords Pannenberg  Heidegger  Metaphysics  History  Self-disclosure  Anticipation  The idea of God
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DOI 10.1007/s11841-010-0209-1
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