The Christian Humanist, Episode #28.1: Heidegger

General Introduction
– Where’s David Grubbs?
– A change in plans
– Listener feedback
– Forgive our pink noise (it goes away quickly, I promise)

Reading Being and Time
– The heady days of spring 2009
– Why we’re both incompetent

Heidegger’s Position in Philosophical History
Gilgamesh and death
– Finitude as definition of everyday existence
– Augustine, Heidegger, and curiosity
– The order of human existence
– Bracketing eternity
– A new kind of destruction
– Heidegger, existentialism, and phenomenology
– Truth as not-ignoring and margin-walking

Our Relationship to Our Own Histories
– …And in this corner, the American dream
– Our existence in history
– Thrownness and tradition
– Why you must both contribute and break
– Sartre takes it further
Religion as a dirty word

Heidegger’s Rejection of Descartes
Cogito or Dasein
– Equipmental and systematic being
– Choosing one’s own being
– How obvious is this?
– Heideggerian linguistics
– Hubert Dreyfus and his robots

Being-Towards-Death
– Life lived in the face of death
– Why you can’t live every day like you’re dying tomorrow
– The difference between “Everyone dies” and “I will die”
– Teenagers should read Being and Time
– What about the afterlife?

Heidegger’s Grand Sin
– Yes, he was a Nazi
– Who’s tempted today?
– Show me the Nazis
– Why are philosophers so horrified?

How Can Christians Read Heidegger?
– A chilling portent of things to come!
– How humanism can help with this question
– Heideggerian truth and why it’s important
– Theology in the Heideggerian tradition
– The Emergent concern with authenticity

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Augustine. Confessions. Trans. R.S. Pine-Coffin. New York: Penguin, 1961.

Bultmann, Rudolf. New Testament and Mythology. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1984.

Derrida, Jacques. Of Spirit: Heidegger and the Question. Trans. Geoffrey Bennington and Rachel Bowlby. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1991.

The Epic of Gilgamesh. Trans. Andrew George. New York: Penguin, 2003.

Heidegger, Martin. Being and Time. Trans. John MacQuarrie and Edward Robinson. New York: Harper Perennial, 2008.

Macquarrie, John. Principles of Christian Theology. New York: Scribner’s, 1977.

Sartre, Jean-Paul. Being and Nothingness. Trans. Hazel Barnes. New York: Citadel, 2001.

Tillich, Paul. Systematic Theology, Volume One. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1951.

4 thoughts on “The Christian Humanist, Episode #28.1: Heidegger

  1. RE: finding value in non- and anti-Christian philosophies

    Generally I’d agree. But I’m extremely cautious of giving a general blessing, and the elitist in me is about to show itself.

    I’d certainly agree that the Christian community should engage competing philosophies and be open to finding truth in them. However, I don’t think it a wise practice to encourage every individual Christian to do so. Especially today when people are not generally trained in clear thinking or brought up under a regime of common sense, an oozian mush-headed, wholly self-referential, and anarchic individualism is a very real danger. And political ideology is all too easily mistaken for philosophical engagement, libertarianism and nationalism being particular temptations, for Americans at least.

    I’m probably anticipating your dogma episode here, but I’d suggest that the primary role of teaching within the Christian community should be formation. The boundaries and frontiers must be known and the home country must be known intimately and loved before exploration outside is meaningful or beneficial.

    1. I can see your point (and your thinly veiled ooze-pun), Robert. I suppose my own take on non-Christian philosophies is that Christianity, from the letters of Paul to the Nicene Creed’s use of ousia-language all the way to the proliferation of web content in 2010, is always in conversation with the philosophies into which it bumps, so I’m always interested in figuring out which philosophies un-ignore the most interesting things.

      I do grant your point about individualism, though–because the tendency in (post-)modern discourse is not to hang in until consensus happens but to take one’s ball and go home when disagreement happens, there is a genuine danger of even more sectarianism than we’ve already got.

      Since the dogma episode is Michial’s to moderate, I’m waiting just as much as you are (though I’ll get the show notes before you do) to see how that pans out.

  2. You guys really seem to be off to a slow start this year. I want my CHP trifecta!

    -Since you guys are so good at talking about pop culture, I was going to suggest you expand your upcoming episode on Dogma to include discussion on all Kevin Smith movies.

    Also, isn’t Gilmour supposed to be a pacifist? I mean he keeps threatening to beat people up? I think I heard him call people a “wuss” more than once this episode. I don’t think you guys can kick him out of the band because I do have to say that the lectionary post is the most consistent thing on the blog. It often helps me on the weeks I have to write sermons.

    Thanks again guys and keep up the good work.

  3. Just because I want to be known as a pacifist doesn’t mean I’m any good at it, Phil. 😉 The “wuss” thing is mainly the fruit of provocation frustrated–I just can’t seem to say anything that gets listeners stirred up! Besides that, I’ve got a precedent for my own calls for smacks-in-the-head in the Rule of St. Benedict–he’s pretty widely considered a pacifist, but he’s always counseling the abbot to smack the foolish novice around.

    And with regards to the missing-Humanist problem, we had to scramble this semester to find a time slot all three of us could hit for recording. That we’ve gotten the number of episodes recorded that we have is pretty impressive in my eyes.

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