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God Without Being: Hors-Texte (Religion and Postmodernism Series) Paperback – June 15, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0226505411 ISBN-10: 0226505413 Edition: 0002-

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Paperback, June 15, 1995
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Product Details

  • Series: Religion and Postmodernism Series
  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 0002- edition (June 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226505413
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226505411
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #682,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A profound study on the perception of God with an identity."
(Prabuddha Bharata) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Jean-Luc Marion, member of the Académie française, is emeritus professor of philosophy at the Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV). He is the Andrew Thomas Greeley and Grace McNichols Greeley Professor of Catholic Studies, professor of the philosophy of religions and theology, and professor in the Committee on Social Thought and the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago. He also holds the Dominique Dubarle chair at the Institut Catholique of Paris. He is the author of many books, including The Erotic Phenomenon and God without Being, both also published by the University of Chicago Press. 

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Volkswagen Blues on March 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
Let me admit first off that Marion's "God Without Being" is a difficult read; I admit this despite the fact that, when I first read it, my brain was well steeped in the work of Derrida, Heidegger, Levinas, and many others into and out of whose discourses Marion constructs his own argument. There are large chunks of the essay that still puzzle me, but the clarity of the ultimate movements will not be lost on the attentive reader. Theology is wasting its time, Marion claims, when it appears primarily as apologist for an existing God, for the most important thing about God is not first that God lives, but that God gives.
Beginning with an interrogation of what he will later term "the ontological impediment" (this very pre-occupation with systematizing or explaining God's being or God-as-Being), Marion contests that this very focus on ex-planation (with its aggressively outbound prefix) prevents one from being capable of acting as receiver (with all its quietly centripetal connotations) and thus betrays one of the most basic theological aims: speaking of "the gift that Christ makes of his body," Marion reminds us that "a gift, and this one above all, does not require first that one explain it, but indeed that one receive it" (162).
The book's back cover refers to this move as one that resituates God in the realm of agape, or Christian charity, rather than in the realm of Being. Marion does indeed speak of agape, but I think that the tidy and perhaps overly theoretical ring of the word would give way, if he had his preference, to the plain, everyday notion of "giving" to which he turns at the most powerful moments of "God Without Being.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By benjamin on May 30, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This review starts out with a bit of perplexity: there are two works in this book, 1) God Without Being, and 2) Hors-Texte. "Hors-Texte" translates, literally, as " 'outside the text,' the unpaginated plates added to the end of a book." My question here is, what is the relationship between these two works? My guess is that they are to be read together: Hors-Texte gives a place for the embodiment of (the) God Without Being. This embodiment takes place ("place" being here an intentionally spatial reference) in liturgy and the eucharist: God gives God's self outside of, after and beyond the text. This book functions as a work of theology (Marion is Roman Catholic) but can also function as a work in the philosophy of religion: religion is not something textual, so much as it is embodied in real time and real space.
Marion, however, is not a theologian or philosopher of religion who seeks to arrive at a conception of God (or, for that matter, religion) that justifies a particular philosophy. Hence, he breaks fully with Enlightenment rationalists who seek a God that does little more than justify their own ideas of autonomy: for Marion, God is not the unmoved mover who must be before he loves. Rather, God loves before being: it is God's love which gives place to the Being of beings.
This understanding of God as agape is a break, however, not only with so-called rationalists, but with scholasticism and late modern/post-modern thinkers such as Nietzsche and Heidegger. Marion works off of both Nietzsche and Heidegger but also criticizes them for not giving a place to a God who loves before being.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By J. Pearl on June 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I should begin with the confession that I entered God Without Being with a bit of trepidation. On the one hand, the text is somewhat foundational for my own field (phenomenological theology), on the other, I find myself consistently disappointed by Marion's explicitly theological texts (he makes a better philosopher than theologian, I would suggest). On top of this, I also had the strong suspicion that, having been so foundational to phenomenological theology in the 90′s and 00′s, that this text would say nothing that I hadn't already heard. All that being said, I was nonetheless pleased with the reading, and though at times it tends to bog down in the very dense specifics of Marion's reading of Heidegger, I would still suggest that it is a significantly valuable text, specifically the second edition, for reasons that I will explain below.

The main focus of God without Being is Marion's attempt to theologically sidestep the Heideggerian critique of ontotheology. By ontotheology Heidegger intends, primarily, the theological or philosophical move wherein a greatest being or super-being (i.e. God, the Good, the One, etc.) is posited as the foundation of all other beings. Without going into considerable detail, I will leave that for Marion, Heidegger contends that this move fails to recognize the fundamental nature of ontological difference (the difference between beings and Being). Simply, for Heidegger, the foundation of all beings must be ontologically dissimilar to the beings it grounds (beings can't pull themselves up by there own ontological boot-straps). Or again, the absolute foundation of all reality must be of a completely different nature from the reality it is said to found.
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