Leonard Cohen, Philosopher

Maynooth Philosophical Papers 9:1-20 (2018)
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Abstract

This paper, which the author delivered as his inaugural lecture as the Chair of Philosophy at Maynooth University, explores the relationship between philosophy, poetry, and religion. Through a line-by-line interpretation of Leonard Cohen’s song ‘Steer Your Way’, it discovers the poet in a space between postmodern disillusionment and a desire for faith. What opens Cohen to the latter is specifically the experience of pain and brokenness, which lead him to the figure of Jesus. The paper concludes with a reflection on Richard Kearney’s notion of ‘anatheism’, the return to a ‘God after God’.

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Philipp W. Rosemann
University of Kentucky

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