Philosophy of Michel Henry (1922-2002). A French Christian Phenomenology of Life

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This study looks at the phenomenological work of 20th century French thinker Michel Henry, exploring Henry's work in its various dimensions: in its situatedness within the Western philosophical tradition, such as Meister Eckhart, Descartes, Nietzsche, Husserl, and Jean-Luc Marion; in its dialogue with classic philosophies of the subject and the interior life; in its relation to the question of language and the problem of representationl with regard to ethics, the problem of inter-subjectivity and contemporary philosophies of "the other"; and finally, in terms of its possible contribution to Christian theological thinking today. The author offers her own original critiques of Henry's work.


“This carefully written book is at the vanguard of a new era in phenomenology, proving that phenomenology is not merely of historical interest; it bristles with new questions that call for original research. [It is] a superb introduction to a major figure in contemporary philosophy.”

Prof. S.J. McGrath,
Memorial University of Newfoundla

“This outstanding analysis of Henry’s work by Michelle Rebidoux clarifies the relation between philosophy of religion and theology…Rebidoux’s critical, highly nuanced and yet clear appreciation of Henry’s relevance for phenomenology since the 1960’s is made possible by emphasizing one core theme, what Henry calls ‘clandestine subjectivity’.”

Prof. Maurice Boutin,
McGill University

Table of Contents

1. (En)Countering Heidegger

1.1 Heidegger’s Critique: Being and Beingness
1.2 Descartes’ Beginning: Videre vs. Videor
1.3 Heidegger’s Hesitation: Ereignis and Ab-grund
1.4 A Counter-Tradition: Life and the Unconscious

2. Phenomenology and Givenness
2.1 Husserl’s ‘Principle of Principles’: Givenness
2.2 Givenness as ‘First Philosophy’: Jean-Luc Marion’s ‘Saturated Phenomenality’
2.3 The Transcendental Ego: Ideal Essence vs. Ipseity

3. Material Phenomenology

3.1 Subjectivity and Objectivity: The Three Bodies
3.2 Given Life: The ‘Double Revelation’
3.3 The Problem of Forgetfulness: ‘Impropriation’

4. Henry’s Christianity

4.1 The Influence of Neo-Platonism: Henry’s Eckhart
4.2 A Phenomenology of Christ: Onto-theology and the Problem of Solipsism
4.3 The Problem of Language: The Word of Essence
4.4 Henry’s Ethics: ‘Disimpropriation’ and Action

5. Community, Time and ‘the Call’

5.1 Alpha Omega: Life’s ‘Multiple-Self-Community’
5.2 The Problem of the Infinite: The Flesh and the Icon
5.3 Marion’s Critique: The ‘Pure Call’

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