New York: Fordham University Press (2010)
Words of Life is the sequel and companion to Phenomenology and the "Theological Turn," edited by Dominique Janicaud, Jean-Francois Courtine, Jean-Louis Chrétien, Michel Henry, Jean-Luc Marion, and Paul Ricoeur. In that volume, Janicaud accuses Levinas, Henry, Marion, and Chrétien of "veering" from phenomenological neutrality to a theologically inflected phenomenology. By contrast, the contributors to this collection interrogate whether phenomenology's proper starting point is agnostic or atheistic. Many hold the view that phenomenology after the theological turn may very well be true both to itself and to the phenomenological "things themselves." In one way or another, all of these essays contend with the limits and expectations of phenomenology. As such, they are all concerned with what counts as "proper" phenomenology and even the very structure of phenomenology. None of them, however, is limited to such questions. Indeed, the rich tapestry that they weave tells us much about human experience. Themes such as faith, hope, love, grace, the gift, the sacraments, the words of Christ, suffering, joy, life, the call, touch, listening, wounding, and humility are woven throughout the various meditations in this volume. The contributors use striking examples to illuminate the structure and limits of phenomenology and, in turn, phenomenology serves to clarify those very examples. Thus practice clarifies theory and theory clarifies practice, resulting in new theological turns and new life for phenomenology. The volume showcases the work of both senior and junior scholars, including Jean-Luc Marion, Jean-Yves Lacoste, Kevin Hart, Anthony J. Steinbock, Jeffrey Bloechl, Jeffrey L. Kosky, Clayton Crockett, Brian Treanor, and Christina Gschwandtner-as well as the editors themselves.