Faith Seeking Understanding

Michael F. Andrews

in The Experience of God

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780823225187
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823237135 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

Faith Seeking Understanding

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This chapter takes up the theme of “faith seeking understanding”. The central figure in this discussion is Edith Stein, the most important woman of the phenomenological movement who, like Jean-Yves Lacoste, is also interested in the “we” behind the “I”; it is at the base of her philosophy of empathy. And like all phenomenologists, she responds to the questions folded in “the experience of God” as a field of tensions where we must live. Because experience of God does not translate readily into knowledge of God, we must recognize that in our encounters with God, nonexperience can have the same traits as experience. Indeed, we cannot find God unless we first lose Him — as a concept, as a source of psychological consolation, and as a ground. This chapter describes how Stein rejects an Enlightenment view of the self in a manner similar to that of Jean-Luc Marion and how she, like Marion, remains genuinely committed to the apophatic tradition, drawing effortlessly on the negative theological imagery of Dionysius the Areopagite and John of the Cross.

Keywords: God; experience; Edith Stein; faith; empathy; nonexperience; phenomenology; Jean-Luc Marion; Dionysius the Areopagite; John of the Cross

Chapter.  8138 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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