Date of Award

12-1-2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Steinbock, Anthony

Abstract

Despite the burgeoning field of Contemporary Continental Philosophy of Religion and the surfeit of literature on the philosophy of the body, little discusses the connections between the religious practice and the body in any phenomenologically rigorous way. However, one might argue that the phenomenology of incarnation serves as an excellent example of the ways in which the phenomenological innovations achieved by French phenomenologists Merleau-Ponty, Levinas, Michel Henry, and Jean-Luc Marion allow for the study of both the body and the religious to be furthered. Given that the field of French phenomenology is vast, it is essential that we limit our study to but a few phenomenologists whose work is most substantially involved with the problem of incarnate experience, religious experience, embodiment, and the relation to the transcendent. Therefore, this project will proceed by way of working through phenomenology of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Emmanuel Levinas, Jean-Luc Marion, and Michel Henry in order to explore the resources these four thinkers have for our investigation into incarnate experience. Afterwards, I will attempt to construct a phenomenology of incarnate experience, drawing from their resources and insights into potential problems in hopes of being able to move beyond the problems of "doctrinal importation" and "allusory ambiguity" and further the discourse of philosophy's encounter with religious experience.

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