Michel Henry: from the Essence of Manifestation to the Essence of Religion

  • 1 University of , Macerata, Italy


This paper investigates the connections between the phenomenology of religious experience and Michel Henry’s entire body of work. Henry debated on Christianism and the phenomenological interpretation of religion in the latter part of his philosophical thinking. However, a new interpretation of Henry’s work is needed starting from his work The Essence of Manifestation and his critique of religion by Marx and Feuerbach which he analyzed in two volumes devoted to these two philosophers (1976). Although it has been scarcely investigated, Henry’s work should be considered as a whole from its beginning to his philosophy of Christianity. As this aspect of Henry’s work has often been ignored, this paper proposes a new interpretation of the essence of religion through its connections with the essence of manifestation. This will be done in three steps: firstly, an investigation of Henry’s thought starting from his interpretation of Marx and Feuerbach will be proposed; secondly, a “new ontology of manifestation” by Henry will be analysed; and finally, a connection between Henry’s phenomenological essence of manifestation and the new conception of the essence of religion will be suggested.

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Open Theology is an international Open Access, peer-reviewed academic journal that welcomes contributions written in English addressing religion in its various forms and aspects: historical, theological, sociological, psychological, and other.