Continental Philosophy Review 44 (2):205-235 (2011)

In this paper I focus on a central phenomenological concept in Michel Henry’s work that has often been neglected: generation. Generation becomes an especially important conceptual key to understanding not only the relationship between God and human self but also Henry’s adoption of radical interiority and his critical standpoint with respect to much of the phenomenological tradition in which he is working. Thus in pursuing the theme of generation, I shall introduce many phenomenological-theological terms in Henry’s trilogy on Christianity as well as how he understands the relationship between phenomenology and theology. In the final sections of the paper, I turn to positively defining Henry’s notion of divine generation and examine the theological implications of it in light of his confrontation and rejection of the doctrine of creation in the book of Genesis found in his book, Incarnation: une philosophie de la chair. Humans are not created but are eternally generated, a bold claim that brings Henry to the brink of a kind of interiorized pantheism or Gnostic dualism. Finally, I offer some critical comments specifically about Henry’s doctrine of generation in light of the tension between auto-affection and hetero-affection and thus how one might think after Henry in light of the basic Augustinian theological distinction between self and God and the intentionality of faith opened up by that distinction
Keywords Phenomenology  Generation  Interiority  Flesh  Auto-affection  Hetero-affection  Monism and faith
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DOI 10.1007/s11007-011-9176-7
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