The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 8, 2006

Philosophy of Religion

Ludwig Nagl
Pages 87-93

Lyotard über die "invocatio Dei" in den Confessiones des Augustinus

In his posthumously published book The Confession of Augustine, J.F. Lyotard reconstructs St. Augustine's invocatio: his "move upward" towards the absolute. The paper deals with three segments of Lyotard's text that interpret St. Augustine's method of letting the voice of the invoked "speak within me"; his attempt to progress to the atemporal "at the umbilical" of temporal experience; and his reading of the caller and the called as (partially) identical. Two aspects of Lyotard's interpretation are pointed out as problematic: his thesis of the "silent" absolute "You"; and his assumption, that invocatio takes pleasure in a "radical heteronomous" subordination "under the law of an unknown master."