A Practice of Understanding

Kimerer L. LaMothe

in Between Dancing and Writing

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2004 | ISBN: 9780823224036
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236916 | DOI:
A Practice of               Understanding

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This chapter looks deeply into van der Leeuw's phenomenology of religion in order to examine what he means by “phenomenon” and what he recommends to a phenomenologist interested in understanding it. For van der Leeuw, a phenomenon is simply “what appears”, and the job of the phenomenologist is to recreate the conditions that enable a given phenomenon to appear to her or him by practicing skills of imaginative empathy, intellectual restraint, and a constant oscillating attention between the folds of her own experience and knowledge and the stuff of history. It contends that the task of the phenomenologist is to cultivate his ability to move back and forth between reason and experience, history and theology, form and chaos, and thereby cultivate his receptivity to appearances of meaning.

Keywords: understanding; history; knowledge; theology; phenomenon; form and chaos

Chapter.  9885 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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