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Religions 2017, 8(5), 98; doi:10.3390/rel8050098

After Onto-Theology: What Lies beyond the ‘End of Everything’

Philosophy Department, North-West University Potchefstroom, 11 Hoffman St. Potchefstroom, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa
Academic Editor: Peter Iver Kaufman
Received: 14 March 2017 / Revised: 11 May 2017 / Accepted: 15 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [268 KB, uploaded 19 May 2017]

Abstract

This article takes up the onto-theological critique of metaphysics and questions whether onto-theology is not something to evade or overcome, but is inevitable. Consequently, it furthers the exploration of onto-theology by asking, if it is inevitable, then what comes after onto-theology? For the past half-century, onto-theology has been a central concern for philosophy, particularly in phenomenology where one sees a theological turn in order to understand and incorporate what might be beyond, or within, consciousness that does not readily appear to the self. In this turn, one often sees philosophers (and theologians) attempt to craft a post-metaphysical understanding. Resultantly, many of these philosophers herald what I call the ‘end of everything,’ often due to their onto-theological character: from the ‘end’ of philosophy of religion, to the ‘end’ of metaphysics, to the ‘end’ of theology. However, when investigating their findings, one often sees these concepts arise from the grave, perhaps showing that some onto-theological construction is inevitable. This paper proceeds by first giving a brief overview of the philosophers Jean-Luc Nancy, Richard Kearney, John Caputo, and Merold Westphal to propose how onto-theology is still an issue for their philosophies by revealing a necessary link between ontology and empirical reality. It then builds off of this proposal through the work of Joeri Schrijvers to show what might lie ahead of philosophy (and philosophy of religion in particular), arguing that if onto-theology is inevitable then philosophy should turn further into theology to explore how theology deals with this inevitability on an empirical basis. Basically, since theology always already accepts being in default (through concepts like original sin), then how does it help believers cope with this inevitability and how does it focus upon the empirical reality of this ontological gesture. Finally, this paper investigates the work of Colby Dickinson in order to solidify this finding into a programmatic, philosophical framework. View Full-Text
Keywords: onto-theology; phenomenology; philosophy of religion; metaphysics; Jean-Luc Nancy; Richard Kearney; John Caputo; Merold Westphal; Joeri Schrijvers; Colby Dickinson onto-theology; phenomenology; philosophy of religion; metaphysics; Jean-Luc Nancy; Richard Kearney; John Caputo; Merold Westphal; Joeri Schrijvers; Colby Dickinson
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Sands, J. After Onto-Theology: What Lies beyond the ‘End of Everything’. Religions 2017, 8, 98.

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