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Living, interpreting, understanding philosophically

Vol. 5

Edited by

Carla Canullo, Marco Castagna , Annie Kunnath

Jean Greisch is one of the most influential figures of contemporary philosophy. He was Professor at the Institut Catholique de Paris, where he also served as Dean of the Department of Philosophy (1985-1994), and where he delivered the Chair Étienne Gilson Lectures in March 2012. He held several prestigious Academic Chairs worldwide, as: the Hans-Georg Gadamer Chair (Boston College, 2006), the Chaire de Philosophie Chrétienne (Villanova University, 2007), the Chaire Cardinal Mercier (Institut Supérieur de Philosophie, Louvain-La-Neuve, 2006. From 2009-2012held the Romano Guardini Lehrstuhl at the Humboldt University in Berlin. Two far-reaching volumes retain a precious trace of his unflagging commitment to Academic teaching: Qui sommes-nous? Chemins phénoménologiques vers l’homme (2009), et Du “non-autre” au “tout- autre”. Dieu et l’Absolu dans les théologies philosophiques de la modernité (2012), which was awarded by the Silver Medal « Prix La Bruyère », of the Académie française in 2013. Two major collective publications have already paid homage to Greisch’s thought-provoking work: Le souci du passage (2004), and Jean Greisch, les trois âges de la raison. Métaphysique, phénoménologie, herméneutique (2016). In 2016, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate by the Philosophy Department of the Pontificio Istituto Sant’Anselmo, Roma. “If Archilocus said ‘the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing,’ then, for better or worse, I belong more to the race of foxes than to that of hedgehogs!” Greisch admits, with his subtle irony which is one of the hallmarks of his style of writing. Since his first publications in the late 1970s (especially Herméneutique et grammatologie, 1977), Greisch has mainly aimed at developing a hermeneutical phenomenology and its issues for a new paradigm in philosophy of religion (Le buisson ardent et les Lumières de la raison I-III (2002-2004). Through a rigorous comparison of Gadamer’s hermeneutics of understanding and Ricoeur’s hermeneutics of interpretation, Greisch provides hermeneutical philosophy with the inestimable disclosure of a Franco-Germanic foundation (see L’âge herméneutique de la raison, 1985; Hermeneutik und Metaphysik. Eine Problemgeschichte, 1993; Ontologie et temporalité. Esquisse systématique d’une interprétation intégrale de Sein und Zeit, 1994; L’arbre de vie et l’arbre du savoir. Les racines phénoménologiques de l'herméneutique heideggerienne, 2000; Le cogito herméneutique. L’herméneutique philosophique et l’héritage cartésien, 2000; Paul Ricoeur: l’itinérance du sens, 2001). One of the distinctive features of his hermeneutics that he shares with Ricoeur is the permanent confrontation of philosophical and biblical hermeneutics (Entendre d’une autre oreille, 2006). Greisch’s thinking and his writings extend far beyond the realm of Academic scholarship. Teaching, understanding and critical dialogue with thinkers like Ricoeur, Levinas, Heidegger, Michel Henry, Jean-Luc Marion, and others, reflect his passionate quest for a deeper understanding of the major issues of present-day thinking. This quest is more and more apparent in his most recent writings (L’herméneutique comme sagesse de l’Incertitude, 2016; Rendez-vous avec la vérité, 2017; Désirer comprendre. Court traité des vertus herméneutiques, 2019 ; Transcender. Libres méditations sur la fonction méta, 2021). While the âge herméneutique de la raison seems to have lost its impetus, Greisch provides critical hermeneutics with an upswing that allows to question our present and opens new horizons for further developments. In order to account for and engage with Greisch’s philosophical insights, we recommend the submission of contributions relevant to the following four macro-areas: Hermes and Hestia: Philosophical hermeneutics between familiarity and estrangement. The section includes essays focusing on Greisch’s interpretation of the classics of hermeneutics. Philosophical and Biblical Hermeneutics. This section includes essays dedicated to Greisch’s hermeneutical paradigm of philosophy of religion. Beyond Certainty: Hermeneutics as a “Wisdom of Uncertainty” and The Metaphor of Encountering Truth. This section assembles essays focusing upon Greisch’s critique of hermeneutics as the Trojan horse of post-metaphysical thinking. Story-telling: Narrative understanding at work. This section includes essays that highlight Greisch’s involvement with the interface of philosophy and literature, including his own bilingual and trilingual tales of Minerva, the philosophical owl.

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Full citation:

Canullo, C. , Castagna, M. , Kunnath, A. (eds) (2021). Living, interpreting, understanding philosophically. Critical Hermeneutics 5.

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