Lao-Zhuang and Augustine on the Issue of Suspension in the Philosophy of Religion

In: Frontiers of Philosophy in China

This paper addresses the question why the issue of reason and evidence as the central concern in the mainstream contemporary philosophy of religion has to be displaced by the issue of suspension according to Lao-Zhuang and the Augustine of Hippo. For both Lao-Zhuang and Augustine, in making room for the Other to appear at the core of the self’s being, it shows that there is an inseparable relationship of the self to the Other. In suspending its own understanding, admitting its own ignorance in humility, the subject is not in sheer darkness, but can follow a new light not generated from itself; in suspending its own will, the subject is not paralyzed, but follows the will of the Other. The selfhood of the subject is constituted in its relation to the Other.

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