File spoon-archives/heidegger.archive/heidegger_2001/heidegger.0105, message 34

Subject: Re: phenomenology of religion
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 20:29:42 +0200

From: "P. Johnston" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2001 11:03 PM
Subject: Re: phenomenology of religion

> For instance, the concept of Halakhah Allen expounds
> as being in agreement with "Henk's characterization of
> Heidegger's characterization of Paul" (and as being
> one in which the *what* cannot be understood except in
> the *how*) is none other than the NT concept of
> Halakhah -- shared, I think, by the evangelists _and_
> Paul and James, not constituting the basis of an
> alleged distinction between them.  The canonical Jesus
> and Paul throw a lot of negative language at real,
> existing Halakhah -- but then introduce the functional
> equivalent of it into Christian discourse from the
> get-go.  (Cf. James 2, Matthew 5, Romans 13).  I
> accept and honor this NT concept of Halakhah, which
> understands the keeping of mitzvot (particular
> "whats") as inevitable concomitants to living one's
> life according to the appropriate "how" (incarnate
> love that conducts itself as disciplined adherence to
> the "royal law").

It seems that you and Heidegger have a different understanding of St. Paul.
Heidegger accentuates the fact that following St. Paul Christ has become the
law. Since Christ died, the law died (Da Christus mit dem Gezetz identisch
wurde, ist das Gesetz mit ihm gestorben ... - GA60:70): ergo, not the law
but faith alone (not _ex ergoon nomou_ but _ex akoaes pisteoos_ - GA60:73).

> Lindbeck understands a given religion as a "form of
> life" which has certain
> behaviors/liturgies/disciplines/sentences as its
> indispensible props -- "doctrine" in Lindbeck's sense
> consists of "communally authoritative teachings
> regarding belief and practice that are considered
> essential to the identity and welfare of the group in
> question." (Lindbeck, The Nature of Doctrine 74).
> Their truth is not evaluated on the basis of their
> correspondence to realities external to the discourse,
> but on the basis of what he calls "intra-systematic
> coherence" (how well these items cohere in propagating
> the religious form of life in its particular
> teleological ends).  One of his famous lines is "Jesus
> Christ is Lord is never true when it's being shouted
> as one cleaves the skull of an infidel" (because this
> wouldn't cohere with the non-violent presuppositions
> implicit in the Christian form of life).  Whether or
> not somewhere in the metaphysical aether there is a
> Jesus Christ who is (truly and really) the universe's
> unquestioned Lord is a shell-game -- the context in
> which the claim "Jesus Christ is Lord" is meaningful
> is the attempt to live a Christian life in which all
> one's traditionally-received Christian
> behaviors/articulations (however interpreted) cohere
> in a self-reinforcing whole that enhances one's
> efforts to realize the distinctive teleology of
> Christian life

Could it be that Lindbeck's how is still Heidegger's what? I have the
impression that Heidegger's how is more radical than Lindbeck's. It might be
the way to authenticity (cf. _hoos mae_ - as if not, i.e. not "they").

Following Heidegger the how is based on: knowing one's place in life, being
aware of the fact that one stands before a new beginning, and a historical
understanding of oneself and one's Dasein (Selbstgewissheit der Stellung in
seinem eigenen Leben - Bruch in seiner Existenz - Urpsruengliches
historische Verstaendnis seines Selbst und seines Daseins - GA60:73-74).

The how itself is not a certain behaviour as such but a significance that is
factually present in the environment (Aber auch dieses Wie ist keine
ausgeformte Weise des Verhaltens zu etwas, sondern eine umweltliche,
faktisch in der Umwelt verhaftete Bedeutsamkeit - GA60:14).


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