Absolute faith, correlation, and contemporary continental atheism

Re Manning, R (2015) Absolute faith, correlation, and contemporary continental atheism. In: Ultimate Concern: Paul Tillich, Buddhism, Confucianism, 12-13 July 2015, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong.

Official URL: http://cscs.hkbu.edu.hk/1507%20pt%20abstract.pdf


Common to recent accounts of atheism in continental philosophy is the conviction that much recent theological engagement – notably the work of John D. Caputo – has not taken sufficient recognition of the deep, radical, character of these passionate philosophical atheisms. In this paper I propose that the 9 critiques of Caputo’s over-quick theological co-option of Heidegger and Derrida (and more recently Deleuze and Badiou) are well founded; but that this analysis ought by no means to deny the possibility for an alternative – more radical and more Tillichian – theological correlation to radical continental philosophical atheism. Central to my argument is an appreciation of quite how little radical continental philosophical atheisms have to do with a denial of the existence of God. Instead, properly philosophical atheisms are concerned with ontological and metaphysical questions of the interpretation of being and the nature of life. As such, I argue that a theological response that seeks to co-opt such atheistic philosophy whilst carefully exempting a “genuine” theology – variously articulated as “non-idolatrous”, “non-metaphysical” or “non-ontotheological” - is profoundly misguided and fails to respond substantively to the real a-theological force of these philosophical atheisms. Instead, I wish to propose the outlines of a radically Tillichian theological correlation to these philosophical atheisms – one which is, I suggest, foreshadowed by a distinction Caputo himself draws between “radical” and “confessional” theologies. The key to such a correlation lies in Tillich’s own radical revisionary theology that enables us to think (or at least clears some of the conceptual space for such thinking) of an “atheistic theology” that returns us to the primordial piety of the unconditioned without succumbing to the comforting fidelities of the religions

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Divisions: School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2015 13:20
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:39
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/5453
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