Author: QU Xutong, Associate Professor at School of Philosophy, Beijing Normal University; Research Fellow, Center for Studies of Values and Culture, Beijing Normal University.
The problem of the historical is for early Heidegger the core phenomenon of a concrete religion, and emerges as a very important indicator of the originality, creativity and richness of his philosophical thinking. It is this problem that leads begin to find his own philosophical way. From the viewpoint of the problem of the historical, this article tries to elaborate why and how Martin Heidegger interprets phenomenologically the letters of Paul. The first part shows that this phenomenological interpretation arises consequently from the crucial concern of Heidegger’s phenomenology of religion: the question of the historical. The second and third parts deal in brief with Heidegger’s basic method and concrete approach. The fourth part turns to a discussion of how Heidegger interprets phenomenologically a concrete historical phenomenon based on Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians. The last part concludes with some possible questions about the specific relationship between Heidegger and Paul, and between Heidegger and (Protestant) theology in general. The focus of this article is not to examine the extent to which Heidegger has understood Paul and been influenced by him, but to show how Heidegger has used Paul as a resource in his thinking and a reliable witness to factical life experience, as he finds his own philosophical way.
The Problem of the Historical, Phenomenological Interpretation, Heidegger, Paul
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