The Phenomenology of Religious Life: From Primary Christianity to Eastern Christianity (pages 447–462)

Alexandru Bejinariu

ABSTRACT: In this paper I attempt a reading of Heidegger’s interpretations of St. Paul’s Epistles in light of the distinction between Eastern and Western thought. To this end, I suggest that Heidegger’s recourse to the Paulinic texts represents his endeavor to gain access to the original structures of life by circumventing the metaphysical framework of Greek (Plato’s and Aristotle’s) thought. Thus, I argue that by doing this, Heidegger actually approaches the Eastern way of thinking, i.e. a non-metaphysical alternative. In order to better understand what defines Eastern thought, I discuss in some detail Zizioulas’s interpretations of temporality in Eastern Christianity. Along the lines of this different understanding of temporality, the proximity of Heideggerian thought can be seen. Finally, I show that the importance of my argument lies in that it can open a possible research path for what Heidegger in his latter works calls “the other beginning.”

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