Volume 15, 2015
Revealing Givenness: The Problem of Non-Intuited Phenomena in Jean-Luc Marion’s Phenomenology
This article questions Jean-Luc Marion’s move away from intuition and shows how it risks the promise of his account of religion by returning to metaphysics and speculation. My aim is not to ask whether Marion’s phenomenology can adequately account for religious phenomena, but to ask whether Marion’s account of revelation meets his own phenomenological principle — that one must rely on the phenomenon to establish the limits of phenomenology — which he establishes to guard against metaphysics and speculation. To this end, I demonstrate how Marion drifts from his phenomenological principle when he claims that revelation is a phenomenon given without intuition. This drift leads to criticisms that he is leading phenomenology toward speculative philosophy and sneaking revelation in through the back door. I then show the detrimental consequences for both his phenomenological and theological projects and how he could better achieve the goals of both projects by maintaining the role of intuition.