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BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access September 18, 2019

Conflict Resolved: the Amity between Postmodern Philosophy and Theology in Gianni Vattimo’s weak thought

Emil Halloun EMAIL logo
From the journal Open Theology

Abstract

In this paper, I examine how Gianni Vattimo, in using the terms “weak thought” aims to promote caritas in intellectual life by converging, however paradoxically, Heideggerian Verwindung and Nietzschean nihilism with Pauline kenosis. In line with René Girard’s postulation that Christianity rejects the sacred, Vattimo classifies the idea of a transcendent divinity as Aristotelian rather than Christian, arguing that the Incarnation, as an expression of caritas and humility, is incompatible with the idea of divine transcendence. Based on this perception, Vattimo argues that Nietzsche’s dictum that “God is dead” carries the same philosophical meaning as the kenotic doctrine of the birth of God as man. Furthermore, Vattimo redefines the Heideggerian Verwindung, a subtle response rigidity in the structures of metaphysics, in terms of kenotic caritas. Vattimo’s hermeneutic work over several decades have enabled this improbable convergence of methodologies and worldviews, upon which he bases his argument that postmodernism, in its weakening of all transcendental axiomatic claims, may be understood to share the “desacralizing thrust of Christianity.”

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Received: 2019-05-05
Accepted: 2019-07-09
Published Online: 2019-09-18

© 2019 Emil Halloun, published by De Gruyter

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Public License.

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