In Praise of Heteronomy

In Praise of Heteronomy

Making Room for Revelation
Merold Westphal
Distribution: World
Publication date: 05/22/2017
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-02652-1
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Recognizing the essential heteronomy of postmodern philosophy of religion, Merold Westphal argues against the assumption that human reason is universal, neutral, and devoid of presupposition. Instead, Westphal contends that any philosophy is a matter of faith and the philosophical encounter with theology arises from the very act of thinking. Relying on the work of Spinoza, Kant, and Hegel, Westphal discovers that their theologies render them mutually incompatible and their claims to be the voice of autonomous and universal reason look dubious. Westphal grapples with this plural nature of human thought in the philosophy of religion and he forwards the idea that any appeal to the divine must rest on a historical and phenomenological analysis.

Author Bio

Merold Westphal is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Fordham University
and Honorary Professor, Australian Catholic University. His most recent works include Transcendence and Self-Transcendence (IUP) and Levinas and Kierkegaard in Dialogue (IUP).


“Merold Westphal's treatments of Spinoza, Kant, and Hegel are careful, well-informed, judicious, and attentive to recent literature. Historians of philosophy, among others, will benefit from this work on these three influential figures.”
 — Paul K. Moser, author of Evidence for God

“Merold Westphal is a major figure in the philosophy of religion. His works are an important part of the self-understanding of religion and this new book contributes to his work and extends it in fresh ways.”
 — Kevin Hart, author of Kingdoms of God

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Table of Contents

1. Executive and Legislative Autonomy
2. Spinoza’s Theology
3. Spinoza’s Hermeneutics
4. Kant’s Theology
5. Kant’s Hermeneutics I
6. Kant’s Hermeneutics II
7. Hegel’s Theology I
8. Hegel’s Theology II
9. Hegel’s Hermeneutics
10. The Inevitability of Heteronomy
11. Heteronomy as Freedom

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