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Phenomenologies of the StrangerBetween Hostility and Hospitality$
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Richard Kearney and Kascha Semonovitch

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780823234615

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823234615.001.0001

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Hospitality and the Trouble With God

Hospitality and the Trouble With God

(p.83) 4 Hospitality and the Trouble With God
Phenomenologies of the Stranger



Fordham University Press

Contrary to the tendency of theology to think in terms of the divine order, and of God as the source of order, this chapter suggests that we think of God as trouble, as a source of disruption and interruption. It shows how admitting the Stranger opens humanism to transcendence. Quoting Martin Heidegger, it rebukes humanism that everywhere sees only the human and thereby deprives God and human beings alike of encounters with the Stranger. Taking its cue from both Meister Eckhart's mystical God beyond God and Jacques Derrida's messianic religion without religion, this chapter offers a radical phenomenology of a divinely disconcerting and surprising Stranger. Eckhart's works, both the German sermons and the Latin treatises, are all about the advent of God into the soul — about the birth of the Son in the soul, and with the readiness of the soul for this coming. As such, they belong to the thought of the event, which he stages as a scene of the hospitality the soul extends to God.

Keywords:   God, trouble, hospitality, Stranger, humanism, disruption, interruption, Meister Eckhart, Jacques Derrida, phenomenology

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