• Action, Love, and the World: An Inquiry Into the Political Relevance of Christian Charity (With Constant Reference to Hannah Arendt)

      Kuipers, Ronald A.; Tebbutt, Andrew; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2013-03-21)
      In The Human Condition, Hannah Arendt identifies the central principle that has defined Christian communities since their earliest appearance as “worldlessness.” On Arendt’s analysis, Christianity has always tended to found relations between people on charity, a virtue that, due to its affiliation with the anti-political experience of passionate love, is incapable of serving as the basis of any public realm or common political world. This thesis aims to reconcile the virtue of charity to Arendt’s political vision on the basis of a reconsideration of love’s “worldlessness.” In the first two chapters, I characterize Arendt as a political thinker and provide an account of her ideas of political action and the common world. In the third chapter, I place Arendt’s understanding of the world in dialogue with Jean-Luc Marion’s phenomenological account of charity, which dissociates charity from the idea of passion and presents it as an act of will through which one resolves to see past the simple objectivity of the world and to perceive the invisible “flesh” or personhood of others. Charity is “worldless”—and thus crucial to an Arendtian understanding of politics—in the sense that it looks beyond what the world automatically makes present in order to “see” the other person and to invite her voice into the common world of speech and action.
    • Before or Outside the Text: A Comparative Study on Jean-Luc Marion and Paul Ricoeur's Idea of Revelation

      Kuipers, Ronald A.; Tang, Joseph; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2010-05)
      This essay explores the idea of revelation of two French philosophers, Jean-Luc Marion and Paul Ricoeur. Ricoeur and Marion are very important figures not only in contemporary continental philosophy, but also in their contributions to the discussion of religion, or what some may call the "theological turn." Marion contends that revelation is the saturated phenomenon ' par excellence', free from the constraints of reason and metaphysics. For Ricoeur, a longer route in approaching the phenomenology of religion through the detour of hermeneutics is much needed. Such a longer path serves to concretely ground the discussion of revelation in a historic, linguistic, and textual milieu. Therefore, while Marion thinks that revelation is immediate and unconditionally given, Ricoeur maintains that revelation as manifestation names the possibility for biblical Scripture, and through hermeneutic interpretation, is able to open a world into which one might project one's ownmost possibilities.
    • Perspective vol. 47 no. 2 (Oct 2013)

      Guthrie-McNaughton, Isabella; Kuipers, Ronald A.; Smick, Rebekah; Zuidervaart, Lambert; Kinsman, Daryl (Institute for Christian Studies, 2013-10-22)
    • Unwrapping the Gift: Empty Notion or Valuable Concept?

      Sweetman, Robert; Polce, Jonathon Emil; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2016-05)
      The concept of the gift has received ample philosophical attention in recent decades. Thinkers such as Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Marion have been major contributors to the conversation philosophically. However, their conclusions around the gift -- while generating many fruitful notions -- leave the gift impoverished from our ordinary experience. Further, their reflections make it difficult to predicated giftedness of existence. This thesis argues for a need to rethink the gift along different lines which seeks to widen the gift in order to be able to predicate it of existence. In order to make such an argument, the ideas of Kenneth Schmitz on the gift are recovered. Schmitz argues for an understanding of giftedness that includes a notion of reciprocity and receptivity -- contra Marion and Derrida. It is this notion of receptivity that makes Schmitz' framework able to be predicated of existence. Existence, understood as gifted, opens up fruitful avenues for anthropology and ethics, as well as argues for a certain disposition towards reality that is centered in wonder and gratitude.