Since the 1970s, estrogen have sometimes been used in adolescent girls to reduce very tall adult expected height. Worries about long-term effects have led to a proposal to link treatment data with cancer registers. How should one deal with informed consent for such a study? We designed a qualitative study with semi-structured telephone interviews. From 1200 women who were to be followed-up in cancer registers, we randomly selected 22 women. Major themes were a wish to be involved and a positive (...) attitude to the proposed register research. The women did not express worry after reading the study protocol, but did convey considerable frustration that this research had not been initiated earlier. Active consent was not seen as crucial. We found strong interest in a high participation rate and a concern over missing data. The selection of information and consent or the decision to go ahead without consent in register follow-up is a delicate balancing act. Study participants wish to be contacted, but acknowledge the primary goal of answering important questions. Our study provides support for safeguarding privacy in epidemiological linkage studies and in follow-up of medical treatment without losing the scientific value by requesting for informed consent. (shrink)
The philosophical work of Jean-Luc Marion has opened new ways of speaking about religious convictions and experiences. In this exploration of Marion’s philosophy and theology, Christina M. Gschwandtner presents a comprehensive and critical analysis of the ideas of saturated phenomena and the phenomenology of givenness. She claims that these phenomena do not always appear in the excessive mode that Marion describes and suggests instead that we consider degrees of saturation. Gschwandtner covers major themes in Marion’s work—the historical event, art, (...) nature, love, gift and sacrifice, prayer, and the Eucharist. She works within the phenomenology of givenness, but suggests that Marion himself has not considered important aspects of his philosophy. (shrink)
This book provides an introduction to the emerging field of continental philosophy of religion by treating the thought of its most important representatives, including its appropriations by several thinkers in the United States. Part I provides context by examining religious aspects of the thought of Martin Heidegger, Emmanuel Levinas, and Jacques Derrida. Christina Gschwandtner contends that, although the work of these thinkers is not apologetic in nature, it prepares the ground for the more religiously motivated work of more recent (...) thinkers by giving religious language and ideas some legitimacy in philosophical discussions. Part II devotes a chapter to each of the contemporary French thinkers who articulate a phenomenology of religious experience: Paul Ricoeur, Jean-Luc Marion, Michel Henry, Jean-Louis Chrétien, Jean-Yves Lacoste, and Emmanuel Falque. In it, the author argues that their respective philosophies can be read as an apologetics of sorts--namely, as arguments for the coherence of thought about God and the viability of religious experience--though each thinker does so in a different fashion and to a different degree. Part III considers the three major thinkers who have popularized and extended this phenomenology in the U.S. context: John D. Caputo, Merold Westphal, and Richard Kearney. The book thus both provides an introduction to important contemporary thinkers, many of whom have not yet received much treatment in English, and also argues that their philosophies can be read as providing an argument for Christian faith. (shrink)
This book provides an introduction to the emerging field of Continental philosophy of religion by treating the philosophical thought of its most important representatives, including its appropriations by several thinkers in the US. Part I provides a context to the field by looking at the religious aspects of the thought of Martin Heidegger, Emmanuel Lévinas, and Jacques Derrida. It contends that although the work of these thinkers is not apologetic in nature, it prepares the ground for the more religiously motivated (...) work of more recent thinkers by giving religious language and ideas some legitimacy in philosophical discussions. Part II devotes a chapter to each of the contemporary French thinkers who articulate a phenomenology of religious experience: Paul Ricoeur, Jean-Luc Marion, Michel Henry, Jean-Louis Chrétien, Jean-Yves Lacoste and Emmanuel Falque. This part argues that their respective philosophies can be read as an apologetics of sort, namely as making arguments for the coherence of thought about God and the viability of religious experience, though each does so in a different fashion and to a different degree. Part III considers the three major thinkers who have popularized and extended this phenomenology in the US context: Merold Westphal, John D. Caputo, and Richard Kearney. The book thus both provides an introduction to important contemporary thinkers many of whom have not yet received much treatment in English and also argues that their philosophies can be read as providing an argument for Christian faith. (shrink)
The work of French philosopher and theologian Jean-Luc Marion has been recognized as among the most suggestive and productive in the philosophy of religion today. In Reading Marion, Christina M. Gschwandtner provides the first comprehensive introduction to Marion's large and conceptually dense corpus. Gschwandtner gives particular attention to Marion's early work on Descartes and follows thematic threads through to his most recent publications on charity and eroticism. She explores in detail three prominent topics in Marion's thought: the desire to (...) overcome metaphysics, his reflections on the divine, and his reconsideration of the relation of the self to the other in love. Gschwandtner reveals Marion's thought as a unified whole and provides context for his theological and phenomenological writings. Readers at all levels will find insight into the work of one of the world's most provocative thinkers. (shrink)
This contribution explores the question to what extent religious narratives can move the adherents of religious communities to violence or teach wisdom and compassion, drawing on Ricoeur’s work on narrative, ethics, and biblical interpretation. It lays out Ricoeur’s account of narrative identity, urging him to connect his account of phronesis more fully with his analysis of threefold mimesis in his earlier work. It considers his biblical hermeneutics in light of this work on identity and moral action and suggests that bringing (...) these various dimensions of his work together more fully than he himself does would provide a more substantive account of how identity is shaped in religious contexts. It might on the one hand help us to understand more fully a turn to fundamentalism or religious violence and on the other hand draw more clearly on the phronetic resources within religious traditions, especially as they are expressed in ritual behavior, to combat violence and teach wisdom and compassion. (shrink)
What does it mean to experience and engage in religious ritual? How does liturgy structure time and space? How do our bodies move within liturgy, and what impact does it have on our senses? How does the experience of ritual affect us and shape our emotions or dispositions? How is liturgy experienced as a communal event, and how does it form the identity of those who participate in it? Welcoming Finitude explores these broader questions about religious experience by focusing on (...) the manifestation of liturgical experience in the Eastern Christian tradition. Drawing on the methodological tools of contemporary phenomenology and on insights from liturgical theology, the book constitutes a philosophical exploration of Orthodox liturgical experience. (shrink)
Accepting as a given that the humanities disciplines are not product or “results” driven, this paper argues that the core of an interdisciplinary field of medicine and humanities, or medical humanities, is an interpretive enterprise that is not readily open to quantitative assessment. A more humanistically oriented medical practice can derive, however, from the process that produces new insights and works toward the development of a new, mutually shared, and humanizing language.
Internet counseling is an area of rapid expansion in the field of applied psychology. Internet counseling or psychotherapy involves a variety of activities such as psychoeducation, individual therapy, and automated self-help interventions delivered via the Internet. Although other professional societies such as the National Association of Social Workers, the American Counseling Association, and the National Board of Certified Counselors have tackled the issues of Internet counseling ethics head on, the American Psychological Association has been conspicuously absent from this debate. Yet (...) online therapy clinics are operating, and intervention efficacy is being studied. This discussion provides an overview of online counseling modalities, details the ethical concerns associated with each, and offers suggestions for the ethical practice of online counseling. (shrink)
This paper employs Ricoeur’s hermeneutic approach to examine how fundamentalist religious communities shape personal and social identity. His biblical hermeneutics is used to analyze how narrative texts of various genres open a ‘fundamentalist’ world, while also challenging his monolithic emphasis on written texts. I argue that a wider variety of texts as well as rituals and other media must be examined, which all inform and display the fundamentalist world in important ways. Second, I employ his analysis of the formation of (...) identity and action to understand how identity is framed and prescribed by fundamentalist communities for their members. Finally, I draw on Ricoeur’s account of symbolism and move from first to second naïveté to provide an account of how fundamentalist communities respond to modernity and the threat of Enlightenment rationality. I argue that, contra what Ricoeur proposes, earlier mythic language was highly polyphonic and not understood literally. Fundamentalist communities move to more literalist understandings in response to modernity. Thus, while Ricoeur’s hermeneutic approach is richly useful for a philosophical approach to religious fundamentalism, the close examination of this phenomenon enables a broadening of Ricoeur’s work on religion, symbolism and identity. (shrink)
This essay collides with the aesthetic of wilderness cultivated by the North American retail chain Bass Pro Shops. Through elaborate displays and décor that render each store part rustic lodge, aquarium, amusement park, natural history museum, and hunting simulator, the stores represent the natural world and its inhabitants as abundant resources for human consumption. The stores’ aesthetic is primarily wrought through the arrangement of taxidermied animals. These animals include both traditional wildlife mounts posed in lifelike attitudes as well as animatronic (...) taxidermy that becomes “alive” in response to players’ achievements in a shooting range game. By exploring the stores’ traditional and animatronic taxidermy as well as its conflation of animal and machine, this essay explores the conception of environmental conservation and animal ontology upheld by Bass Pro Shops. (shrink)
This contribution highlights the importance of the work of Hedwig Conrad-Martius, a student of Husserl and early phenomenological thinker, in the context of a review of James Hart’s 1972 dissertation on her work, now published under the title Hedwig Conrad-Martius’ Ontological Phenomenology. It provides some context for Conrad-Martius’ thought, gives a brief chapter-by-chapter account of Hart’s treatment, and raises some further questions about his discussion of her work.
This paper describes the use of a role-playing exercise to stimulate student interest and understanding in philosophical material. The exercise was designed to work with Hobbes’s articulation of the social contract in the “Leviathan,” but can be modified for any historical illustration of the social contract. The bulk of the paper explains the role-playing exercise, articulates its procedures, characters, and discusses its specific purpose. After explaining the game, the paper offers advice to instructors about the results to be expected from (...) using the exercise and how to relate the game to student assessment. (shrink)
In this paper I consider Ricœur’s negotiation of the boundary or relationship between philosophy and religion in light of the larger debate in contemporary French philosophy. I suggest that contrasting his way of dealing with the intersection of the two discourses to that of two other French thinkers (Jean-Luc Marion and Michel Henry) illuminates his stance more fully. I begin with a brief outline of Ricœur’s claims about the distinction or relation between the discourses, then reflect on those of Marion (...) and Henry, who although they do not relate them in the same way still together form a significant contrast to Ricœur’s perspective, and conclude with a fuller consideration of Ricœur’s methodology in light of this comparison. I suggest that it is in particular his hermeneutic commitments that lead him both to more rigorous distinctions between discourses and ironically to greater mediation. (shrink)
This paper takes its departure from Michel Henry’s criticism of a technological view that “extends its reign to the whole planet, sowing desolation and ruin everywhere” ( I am the Truth , 271). It argues that although Henry’s critique of technology is helpful and important, it does not go far enough, inasmuch as it excludes all non-human beings from the Truth of “Life” he advocates against the destructive truths of technology and therefore cannot fully articulate the way in which technology (...) does in fact cause “desolation and ruin” on the entire planet. At the same time I suggest that this strict division between human and non-human life is not essential to Henry’s project, which may well have resources for a more environmentally friendly proposal. The first part of the paper lays out Henry’s critique of technology in some detail, highlighting the ways in which it contains important insights for our contemporary situation. The second part of the paper explores the stark division Henry draws between human generation from the divine life and the creation of everything else, including his rejection of any identification of humans with “protozoa and honey bees,” which would seem to suggest a complete lack of concern for non-human life. The final part of the paper seeks to find a way beyond this dichotomy by showing how non-human life may be included in Henry’s proposal in a way that extends his critique of technology in environmentally conscious ways without losing his phenomenological insights about the human condition. (shrink)
In this article I examine Jean-Luc Marion's two-fold criticism of Emmanuel Levinas’ philosophy of other and self, namely that Levinas remains unable to overcome ontological difference in Totality and Infinity and does so successfully only with the notion of the appeal in Otherwise than Being and that his account of alterity is ambiguous in failing to distinguish clearly between human and divine other. I outline Levinas’ response to this criticism and then critically examine Marion's own account of subjectivity that attempts (...) to go beyond Levinas in its emphasis on a pure or anonymous appeal. I criticize this move as rather problematic and turn instead back to Levinas for a more convincing account of the relations between self, human other, and God. In this context, I also show that Levinas in fact draws quite careful distinctions between human and divine others. (shrink)
Aesthetics is a central topic in the works of Jean-Luc Marion and Michel Henry. While Henry focuses on abstract art (especially Kandinsky), Marion’s writings range over the history of art, including analyses of Courbet, Rothko, and Klee. This article examines their strikingly similar aesthetic theories and shows how they are grounded in a phenomenological claim about the relation between invisible and visible, hence about phenomenality itself. The artist becomes a paradigm for phenomenological receptivity in both thinkers, and art is assigned (...) a quasi-salvific function. This raises several important questions about their theories of art. (shrink)
This paper suggests that Ricoeur’s language about God can be read as a “symbol that gives rise to thought,” or even specifically as a symbol for “hope.” It examines the tensions found in Ricoeur’s hermeneutics in four layers of such symbolic language: First, the language of faith, for Ricoeur, is essentially circular, is poetic language, a language of manifestation and not of adequation. Second, the biblical discourse is composed of several kinds of languages, a polyphony of discourses that provide different (...) (though individually always incomplete) paths toward God. Third, these discourses are characterized by limit-expressions that introduce extravagance and excess into God-language and open paths to new possibilities. Finally, Ricoeur’s theological language emphasizes paradox, perplexity, enigmas; it stays open toward any thinking about God that gives rise to new thoughts. (shrink)
This chapter considers conceptions of the self in three early phenomenological thinkers: Hedwig Conrad-Martius, Edith Stein, and Gerda Walther. Although colleagues or students of Husserl and influenced by his phenomenology, they developed their own phenomenology of the human person in explicit opposition to Husserl’s more “idealist” turn. They remain, however, virtually unknown today in philosophical circles. This chapter seeks to retrieve their philosophies of the human being and suggests that their particular phenomenological approach still has much to teach us, especially (...) in the context of the conversation about the “self after the subject” and the question of inter-subjectivity. (shrink)
Reading Religious Ritual with Ricoeur extends Ricœur’s philosophical treatment of religion beyond an analysis of mythic symbols and the biblical texts to religious ritual practices. It also applies his broader hermeneutic lens to liturgical actions and practices in regard to religious truth, language, imagination, and identity.
This paper highlights several problems in the contemporary phenomenological analysis of religious experience in Continental philosophy of religion, especially in its French iteration, as manifested in such thinkers as Jean-Luc Marion, Michel Henry, Jean-Yves Lacoste, Jean-Louis Chrétien, Emmanuel Falque, and others. After laying out the main issues, the paper proposes a fuller investigation of religious practices, such as liturgy or ritual, as a fruitful way to address some of the identified limitations. The final section of the paper assesses what questions (...) remain and how one might draw on existing resources in these thinkers to push a phenomenological analysis of religious practices further in ways that broaden phenomenology of religion beyond its current somewhat narrow strictures and commitments. (shrink)
This paper suggests that Ricoeur’s language about God can be read as a “symbol that gives rise to thought,” or even specifically as a symbol for “hope.” It examines the tensions found in Ricoeur’s hermeneutics in four layers of such symbolic language: First, the language of faith, for Ricoeur, is essentially circular, is poetic language, a language of manifestation and not of adequation. Second, the biblical discourse is composed of several kinds of languages, a polyphony of discourses that provide different (...) paths toward God. Third, these discourses are characterized by limit-expressions that introduce extravagance and excess into God-language and open paths to new possibilities. Finally, Ricoeur’s theological language emphasizes paradox, perplexity, enigmas; it stays open toward any thinking about God that gives rise to new thoughts. (shrink)