Skip to content
BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access October 21, 2019

A Too-Future Eschatology? The Limits of the Phenomenology of Liturgy in Jean-Yves Lacoste

Jan Černý EMAIL logo
From the journal Open Theology


The article first outlines Jean-Yves Lacoste’s phenomenological description of “liturgy”, i.e. the encounter between God and the human being. It argues that Lacoste’s rejection of the religious apriori on the side of the human being and emphasis on God’s transcendence and otherness leads to decontextualization of the experience of Christian faith, as his strongly future eschatology does not allow for the real transformation of both the individual and social lives of believers. In the second step, the article gives two counterexamples to Lacoste’s attitude that represent an attempt to recontextualize the experience of Christian faith within concrete historical and cultural coordinates. The examples come from the work of American theologian William Cavanaugh and Czech philosopher Robert Kalivoda, whose focus lies in the hermeneutics of a sacramental experience and the question of the history-making of Christian faith. Cavanaugh recontextualizes the understanding of the sacramental experience in terms of globalization. Kalivoda interprets the transformation of Christian eschatological ideas into a program of real social changes with special attention devoted to the Hussite revolution of the 15th century and the Hussite conception of the Lord’s Supper. The article concludes that Kalivoda’s emphasis on present eschatology stands in opposition to Lacoste’s emphasis on future eschatology, whereas Cavanaugh holds a middle position with balanced emphasis on both poles of Christian eschatology.


Arendt, Hannah. The Human Condition. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 19982.Search in Google Scholar

Barth, Karl. Die Kirchliche Dogmatik I/1: Die Lehre vom Wort Gottes. Prolegomena zur Kirchliche Dogmatik. Zollikon-Zürich: Evangelischer Verlag, 19475.Search in Google Scholar

Boeve, Lieven. Interrupting Tradition: An Essay on Christian Faith in a Postmodern Context. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2003.Search in Google Scholar

Boeve, Lieven. “Theology and the Interruption of Experience.” In L. Boeve – Y. de Maeseneer – S. van den Bossche (eds.), Religious Experience and Contemporary Theological Epistemology. Leuven: Peeters, 2005, 11-40.Search in Google Scholar

Cavanaugh, William. “Re-Anarchizing Christianity.” accessed 2019.08.01Search in Google Scholar

Cavanaugh, William. “The World in a Wafer: A Geography of the Eucharist as Resistance to Globalization.” Modern Theology 15:2 (1999), 181-196.10.1111/1468-0025.00093Search in Google Scholar

Černý, Jan. “Experience and the Absolute.” Communio Viatorum. 48:2 (2006), 175-180.Search in Google Scholar

Ganoczy, Alexandre. Aus seiner Fülle haben wir alle empfangen: Grundriß der Gnadenlehre. Düsseldorf: Patmos, 1989.Search in Google Scholar

Husserl, Edmund. Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy: First Book: General Introduction to a Pure Phenomenology. Hague – Boston – Lancaster: Nijhoff, 1983.Search in Google Scholar

Janicaud, Dominique. Le Tournant théologique de la phénoménologie française. Paris: Eclat, 1991.Search in Google Scholar

Kalivoda, Robert. “Marxismus a libertinismus.” In Robert Kalivoda. Moderní duchovní skutečnost a marxismus, Praha: Československý spisovatel, 1968, 103-148.Search in Google Scholar

Kalivoda, Robert. Husitská epocha a J. A. Komenský. Praha: Odeon, 1992.Search in Google Scholar

Kalivoda, Robert. Husitské myšlení. Praha: Filosofia, 1997.Search in Google Scholar

Lacoste, Jean-Yves. Experience and the Absolute: Disputed Questions on the Humanity of Man. New York: Fordham University Press, 2004.Search in Google Scholar

Lacoste, Jean-Yves. Être en danger. Paris: Cerf, 2011.Search in Google Scholar

Lacoste, Jean-Yves. “L’intuition sacramentelle.” Revue Théologique de Louvain 42:4 (2011), 496-525.Search in Google Scholar

Lacoste, Jean-Yves. La phénoménalité de Dieu: Neuf études. Paris: Cerf, 2008.Search in Google Scholar

Lacoste, Jean-Yves. Note sur le temps: Essai sur les raisons de la mémoire et de l’espérance. Paris: PUF, 1990.Search in Google Scholar

Marx, Karl. “On the Jewish Question.” In Karl Marx, Frederick Engels. Collected Works: Volume 3. Marx and Engels 1843-1844. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1975, 146-174.Search in Google Scholar

Marx, Karl. “Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844.” In Karl Marx, Frederick Engels. Collected Works: Volume 3. Marx and Engels 1843-1844. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1975, 229-346.Search in Google Scholar

Mysterium salutis: Grundriss heilsgeschichtlicher Dogmatik. Band IV/2: Das Heilsgeschehen in der Gemeinde. Gottes Gnadenhandeln. Einsiedeln – Zürich – Köln: Benziger, 1973.Search in Google Scholar

Metz, J. B. Glaube in Geschichte und Gesellschaft: Studien zu einer praktischen Fundamentaltheologie. Mainz, Grünewald, 1977.Search in Google Scholar

Petrache, Ana-Maria. “The Transformative Impact of Eschatological Narratives: A Reflection on the Theology of History.” Hermeneia 22 (2019), 93-99.Search in Google Scholar

Schmaus, Michael. Katholische Dogmatik: Dritter Band. Christi Fortwirken bis zu seiner Wiederkunft. Zweiter Teil: Die göttliche Gnade. München: Hueber, 19656.Search in Google Scholar

Schrijvers, Joeri. An Introduction to Jean-Yves Lacoste. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2012.Search in Google Scholar

Received: 2019-05-04
Accepted: 2019-09-06
Published Online: 2019-10-21

© 2019 Jan Černý, published by De Gruyter

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

Downloaded on 29.11.2022 from
Scroll Up Arrow