“Finitude, Phenomenology, and Theology in Heidegger’s Sein und Zeit”
Heidegger’s descriptions of Dasein’s “finitude” (Endlichkeit) in Sein und Zeit are based on Dasein’s experience of thrownness and mortality, and not on theology and the relation to God, methodologically suspended early on in the treatise. In this article, I argue that, despite his best efforts, Heidegger fails to successfully distinguish between a purely phenomenological concept of finitude and its theological forebears, and that, consequently, his distinction between fundamental, phenomenological ontology and what he terms “the anthropology of Christianity” is not nearly as stable as he needs it to be. Finitude cannot be disclosed independently of some relation to other powers and, paradigmatically, God. The conditions under which I relate to myself as a finite being are common to both “Christian anthropology” and the analytic of Dasein. If so, then phenomenology and theology, whose relation to one another since the early 1990s has been a matter of intense controversy in both France and the United States, are subject to the same conditions when it comes to the quaestio de homine, whatever their positive doctrinal differences.
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