Merleau-Ponty and God

Hallowing the Hollow

By (author) Michael P. Berman

Publication date:

10 April 2017

Length of book:

200 pages


Lexington Books

ISBN-13: 9781498513210

Michael P. Berman’s Merleau-Ponty and God: Hallowing the Hollow examines issues in the philosophy of religion through the phenomenological and existential writings of the French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908–1961). Merleau-Ponty addressed issues like the nature of faith, the problem of evil, and the love and judgment of God. Throughout the book Berman explains and critically interrogates the religious perspectives articulated in Merleau-Ponty’s thought. Merleau-Ponty challenges us to think through these issues but always with an eye to our embodiment and perceptual experience. In this vein, Merleau-Ponty and God fleshes out the French philosopher’s treatment of God in his writings.

Merleau-Ponty and God will appeal to those interested in the philosophy of religion (inside and outside the academy), as well as scholars and students of Merleau-Ponty, continental philosophy, phenomenology, or existentialism.
The emergence of an explicit consideration of religion over the past few decades has deeply marked the landscape of Continental philosophy. Though these debates have engaged many philosophical traditions, by far the most prominent thread of Continental philosophy of religion was inspired by phenomenology. Those working in this area frequently draw on Levinas, Derrida, Marion, et al. Merleau-Ponty has been considered far less, and, with a few notable exceptions, his work has been largely overlooked by the field. This omission is perhaps not surprising, however, given Merleau-Ponty’s philosophical priorities, which rarely directly engage the typical questions and topics of philosophy of religion. Berman (philosophy, Brock Univ.) attempts to re-situate Merleau-Ponty’s authorship (as a developmental whole) by arguing that Merleau-Ponty offers important original contributions to the philosophy of religion. This well-written, well-researched book will be of use not only to Merleau-Ponty scholars but also to philosophers of religion interested in phenomenological approaches to traditional ideas such as faith, love, miracles, and the problem of evil. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.