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American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 78, Issue 4, Fall 2004

Jeffrey L. Kosky
Pages 629-647

Philosophy of Religion and Return to Phenomenology in Jean-Luc Marion
From God without Being to Being Given

The phenomenological project of Jean-Luc Marion’s Being Given (namely, to free phenomenological possibility to the unconditional self-giving of all phenomena) should be distinguished from the theological project of his God without Being (to think God unconditionally and absolutely). In freeing phenomenological possibility to the self-giving of all phenomena (on the model of the saturated phenomenon), and in proposing a new figure of the subject who receives phenomena (the gifted), Marion’s phenomenology provides the conceptual means for a philosophy of religion that admits the phenomenonality of unconditional revelation. And yet, there remain striking parallels between the unconditional, self-giving phenomenon as it is described in the phenomenology of Being Given and the unconditional, self-giving God of the theological God without Being. This essay concludes by offering a framework for interpreting these parallels without claiming that the saturated phenomenon transforms phenomenology into theology and without claiming that phenomenological givenness limits revelation to its philosophical possibility.