Christian culture 基督教文化学刊

The Phenomenology of Religion and the Paradox of the Historical: Reading Heidegger's Phenomenology of Religious Life

Author: HU Jihua, Professor, Institute for Transcultural Studies, Beijing International Studies University



The purpose of this paper is to disclose the central place of “the historical” in phenomenology of religious life from the perspective of Martin Heidegger’s earlier thought. As with its basic orientation, phenomenology takes the “return to the things themselves” as its principle of principles, according to which Martin Heidegger’s phenomenology of religious life, a preliminary introduction to phenomenological studies on religion, attempts to separate religion from theology and philosophy from science, to retrieve a factical life experience, which is both the standpoint and the goal for a phenomenology of religion. The historical is the core of phenomena in the phenomenology of religion. However, there remains the paradox that life experience must simultaneously exist with, and struggle against, the historical. The historical is in turn both the fulfillment of, and the destruction of, life experience. So, the struggle of life with history aims at the realization of life’s self-assertion. Through resisting the invasion of ancient Greek metaphysics into Christianity and deconstructing the conceptual and categorical inhibition of scholastic philosophy on the Christian life, the phenomenology of religion that Heidegger proposed exposes the original Christian religiosity and makes space for heterogeneity and multiplicity in the factical life.



Martin Heidegger; the Factical Life Experience; the Historical; the Original Christian Religiosity


Full Text (International Version):

HU JihuaSCN JSCC.pdf


Full Text (Simplified Chinese Version): 

HU JihuaSCN JSCC.pdf