By Michele Saracino
In a global of escalating violence, the problem of having in addition to others in our diversifying groups is inescapable. As rather a lot of human affliction stems from fearing distinction, overcoming this trepidation starts off by means of studying approximately our friends. but, coming to grips with otherness isn't really simply an educational activity, for the consequences of globalization, starting from multinational enterprises to inter-religious discussion, have made the method of enticing distinction a regular incidence. Integrating insights from the fields of theology, philosophy, psychology, in addition to mythology, an embodied anthropological topic emerges established accurately within the unavoidable hint of the opposite. via an research of the paintings of Jesuit theologian Bernard J.F. Lonergan, Saracino argues that whilst Christian theology is a useful source for explaining subjectivity when it comes to openness to the opposite in brain, will, and physique, it's the dialog with modern continental idea, quite that of Emmanuel Levinas, that unearths the concrete, corporeal probabilities of this openness in daily life. mixing those discourses, subjectivity is framed as protean, within which the topic is postured, molded, and formed by way of the adaptation the opposite brings to the come across. The risk-filled trip we name being human isn't really played merely in highbrow propositions or ethical dictates, yet in an affective, emotive drama with the opposite. In saying that emotions evoked by way of the opposite are the floor of human life, the sector of theological anthropology is driven to include the altering, protean, embodied, and finally sacramental dimensions of being human.
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Extra resources for On Being Human: A Conversation With Lonergan and Levinas (Marquette Studies in Theology, #35,)
In summary, the focus of Heidegger’s philosophy is the singular man, Dasein, who maps out the world for himself, at all costs. Roger Burggraeve, in Emmanuel Levinas: The Ethical Basis for a Human Society (1981), writes of the self-centered focus of Dasein: [This] I makes itself the focus of a totality: the world is there for him. Thus it tries increasingly to draw the world into its own circle of existence as a means of existence and at the same time it tries as much as possible to consolidate and expand this circle.
The second commonality between Lonergan and Levinas is derived from their critique of the ocularcentrism of the West and their discrediting of the idea that seeing is equivalent with knowing persons and things. Cultural theorist David Michael Levin clariﬁes the commonsense connection between the notion of being and seeing in modernity: “For all of us that can see, vision is, of all the modes of perception, the one which is primary and predominant, at least in the conduct of our everyday lives” (1993, 2).
Similarly, picking up on the protean quality of corporeality, Levinas frequently cites Merleau-Ponty’s work (see “Ethics as First Philosophy,” in 1989, 79). Important for both Lonergan’s and Levinas’s work, Merleau-Ponty’s school of phenomenology fosters both an ambiguous and incarnational approach to consciousness and relationships. In Phenomenology of Perception (1992), Merleau-Ponty interprets the body-subject as dynamic, rather than static. This body-subject moves, enacts with, and transforms the life-world, instead of merely taking up space.