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The Noetics of NatureEnvironmental Philosophy and the Holy Beauty of the Visible$
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Bruce V. Foltz

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823254644

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823254644.001.0001

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Layers of Nature in Thomas Traherne and John Muir

Layers of Nature in Thomas Traherne and John Muir

Numinous Beauty, Onto-theology, and the Polyphony of Tradition

(p.55) Chapter 3 Layers of Nature in Thomas Traherne and John Muir
The Noetics of Nature

Bruce V. Foltz

Fordham University Press

It was Heidegger who first advocated a de-structuring (Destruktion) or deconstruction of the Western tradition as necessary for a retrieval of more originary layers (the phenomena themselves) that had become sedimented and concealed. In his early work, Heidegger de-constructed the Greek concept of nature under the influence of the early Luther, who had rejected the “theology of glory” implied in the tradition of seeking God in nature (and its subsequent elaboration as onto-theology) as concealing the theology of the cross, which alone was salvific. Here, the beauty of nature becomes a temptation. Drawing upon Thomas Traherne and John Muir, it is argued instead that there are other layers of nature efficacious within the Western tradition, layers similar to those at work in the Orthodox East, and which at the same time the same time rebut Lynn White Jr. claim that Western Christianity brought about the environmental problems we face today.

Keywords:   Martin Heidegger, Martin Luther, Onto-theology, Destrucktion, Deconstruction, Layers, Tradition, Thomas Traherne, John Muir, Lynn White Jr

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