A Continental Perspective

Bruce Ellis Benson

in The Oxford Handbook of Religious Diversity

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780195340136
Published online January 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

A Continental Perspective


The very idea that there is a “continental philosophy of religion” is remarkably recent. Certainly, the field is not nearly as coherent and self-contained as is “analytic philosophy of religion.” Although religious concerns are undoubtedly present in many historical continental figures (such as René Descartes, Immanuel Kant, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, and Friedrich Nietzsche), only in the past few decades have religious questions become central to continental philosophical discourse. And that centrality is signaled appropriately enough by the idea of a “return to religion” in European thought and, more specifically, a “theological turn” in French philosophy in the last two decades of the twentieth century that continues unabated. This article examines religious diversity from a continental perspective, focusing on the views of Emmanuel Levinas, Jean-Luc Marion, and Jean-Louis Chrétien as well as Jacques Derrida, Gianni Vattimo, John D. Caputo, Richard Kearney, Alain Badiou, and Slavoj Žižek. These continental philosophers have appropriated, critiqued, and investigated Christianity in quite a variety of ways.

Keywords: continental philosophy; religion; Christianity; Emmanuel Levinas; Marion; Jacques Derrida; Richard Kearney; Alain Badiou

Article.  5643 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Comparative Religion

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