Identifying Selfhood organizes many of the features of Ricoeur’s philosophical views around the major theme of selfhood, Ricoeur’s hermeneutical quest for a “non-idealistic interpretation of the self.” In a quasi-developmental account, the author, Henry Isaac Venema, provides the reader with numerous details of Ricoeur’s relation to phenomenology and hermeneutics, as well as the complexities of Ricoeur’s views of self-constitution and self-understanding, involving the use of symbolism, metaphor, and narrative.
Like a typical volume of the Library of Living Philosophers series, this volume has three parts, beginning with a short philosophical autobiography by the philosopher in question, Hans-Georg Gadamer. “Reflections on my Philosophical Journey” is partly a recounting of significant moments of Gadamer’s academic career and his postretirement career as a traveling lecturer, and partly a reassessment of the strengths and shortcomings of his major work, Truth and Method. He seems to wish to defend the political significance of hermeneutics against (...) what he terms, without naming names, “method-fanatics and ideology-critics”. An exploration of the factors that motivated his thinking, he suggests, will prove hermeneutics to possess both methodical rationality and a critical, emancipatory capacity. To this end, he sketches the relation of his central concepts to those of other thinkers, mainly Heidegger, Hegel, Kant, Plato, and Aristotle, emphasizing his recouping of ancient Greek “practical philosophy” against “scholasticism”. Practical philosophy, Gadamer insists, supplies a model of rationality that steers a middle course between absolute conceptual fixity and empty relativism, and can achieve the right balance of openness in unconstrained dialogue, yet remain tied to real human praxis. As such, hermeneutics offers the possibility of relevantly addressing and entering into dialogue with the Other, a capacity perhaps essential to the viability of modern politics. (shrink)
Zusammenfassung Das Thema des Gottesdienstes hat in der neueren theologiegeschichtlichen Forschung bislang keine hinreichende Beachtung gefunden. Die Diskussionen über die Notwendigkeit des Gottesdienstes, seinen Charakter und seinen Symbolgehalt führten am Ende des 18. Jahrhunderts zu einer grundsätzlichen Erörterung des positiven Charakters des Christentums und seiner institutionellen Rolle in der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft. Die Schriften Immanuel Kants, Carl Friedrich Stäudlins und Friedrich von Hardenbergs belegen den damaligen Wandel der Gottesdienstauffassung, indem sie die Ideen der Französischen Revolution und deren Implikationen für das religiöse (...) Leben thematisieren. Kants Unterscheidung von politischer und moralischer Religion nutzte Stäudlin, um die theophilanthropische Form eines aufklärerischen Gottesdienstes zu kritisieren. Novalis beurteilte die Theophilanthropie, die er als Negation jeglicher genuinen Religion ansah, ebenfalls kritisch. In Kants, Stäudlins und Novalis' Stellungnahmen zu Fragen des Gottesdienstes deutet sich zugleich der Übergang von aufklärerischen Religionskategorien zu frühromantischen Religionsmotiven an. (shrink)
Since the dawn of Romanticism, artists and intellectuals in Germany have maintained an abiding interest in the gods and myths of antiquity while calling for a new mythology suitable to the modern age. In this study, George S. Williamson examines the factors that gave rise to this distinct and profound longing for myth. In doing so, he demonstrates the entanglement of aesthetic and philosophical ambitions in Germany with some of the major religious conflicts of the nineteenth century. Through readings of (...) key intellectuals ranging from Herder and Schelling to Wagner and Nietzsche, Williamson highlights three crucial factors in the emergence of the German engagement with myth: the tradition of Philhellenist neohumanism, a critique of contemporary aesthetic and public life as dominated by private interests, and a rejection of the Bible by many Protestant scholars as the product of a foreign, "Oriental" culture. According to Williamson, the discourse on myth in Germany remained bound up with problems of Protestant theology and confessional conflict through the nineteenth century and beyond. A compelling adventure in intellectual history, this study uncovers the foundations of Germany's fascination with myth and its enduring cultural legacy. (shrink)
The opening lines of Franz Delitzsch's Babel und Bibel offer an unusually frank confession of the personal and psychological motives that animated German orientalism in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. For Delitzsch and countless others like him, orientalist scholarship provided an opportunity not just to expand their knowledge of the Near East and India, but also to explore the world of the Bible and, in doing so, effect a reckoning with the religious beliefs of their childhoods. In German Orientalism (...) in the Age of Empire, Suzanne Marchand opens up this scholarly world, exploring the criss-crossing forces and interests that shaped it, while effecting her own reckoning with orientalism as a historical and historiographical phenomenon. (shrink)