Transformation and Annihilation: Emmanuel Falque and Søren Kierkegaard on the Dialectic of Philosophy and Theology

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In his recent work Hors phénomène, Emmanuel Falque identifies the Danish thinker Søren Kierkegaard as both a progenitor and exemplifier of his account of the way philosophy becomes more rigorously itself through an encounter with theology. However, this article challenges the affinity Falque claims to share with Kierkegaard. It argues instead that there is a fundamental philosophical discrepancy underlying their respective treatments of the encounter between philosophy and theology: the nature of the dialectic and their respective positions in it. By exploring Falque's and Kierkegaard's diverging uses of the metaphor of ‘crossing the Rubicon’, the article demonstrates that where Kierkegaard stresses the military sense of the metaphor, depicting the relationship between the two disciplines as that between two armies seeking the annihilation of the other, Falque precisely abstracts from this military sense, letting the expression instead become a metaphor for a mutually beneficial transformative encounter. However, when considered more profoundly, we argue that this annihilation is itself a Christian experience out of which Falque's transformation is born. Ultimately, we conclude that Falque and Kierkegaard are both trying to conceive of the relationship between philosophy and theology according to a somewhat similar structure, namely, the quantitative intensification of one discipline by way of its qualitative differentiation from the other.
TidsskriftModern Theology
StatusUdgivet - 28 jul. 2023

ID: 359386597