Religion as the Ethical Form of Self-Regulation: Reflections after Michel Henry

Jean Leclercq

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Among thinkers and philosophers who have hazarded a non-theological and nonrationalistic approach to Christianity, Michel Henry’s published work—along with what remains unpublished and all that it harbours—imposes itself as a site of subtle expertise and audacious creativity, especially as it pertains to the relation of reason and faith. However, it is in fact unclear whether the reception of this work has really been accomplished, especially in theological and religious studies settings. Nor is it clear whether an openness to the Judeo-Christian Scriptures has been reasonably considered in philosophical settings, an openness nevertheless characteristic of Michel Henry, following many thinkers, especially of the German Idealist tradition. This undoubtedly accounts for all the ambiguity of the present and paradoxical position this thinker occupies in the complex and diverse plane of twentieth-century French philosophy.

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