Volume 11, 2011
Concepts of Tradition in Phenomenology
Der „religiöse“ Charakter von Heideggers philosophischer Methode
relegere, re-eligere, relinquere
The question addressed in this article is to what extent a destructed concept of religion can be said to characterize the philosophical method of Martin Heidegger. In order to approach this question, we first characterize his method as “Vollzug der Fraglichkeit”: philosophy in its deepest sense does not mean to give answers to questions but to ask questions. According to Heidegger, the execution of questioning consists in the “transforming repetition” of the leading question (Leitfrage) of philosophy in order to ask the basic question of philosophy (Grundfrage). In the second part of the article, we reflect on the “religious” character of Heidegger’s method of questioning. The reflection makes use of different etymological derivations of the word ‘Religion’: relegere (to observe carefully), re-eligere (to choose again), religare (to bind back), relinquere (to leave behind). In the third part of the article, we discuss what Heidegger’s “religious” method of philosophy means for present questions concerning religion. To that end, we finish with a confrontation between Heidegger and Derrida with respect to the “religious” method of philosophy.