Metaphorical Bridges

Paul Ricoeur’s Theory of the Interanimation of Discourses for Phenomenology of Religion

In: Research in Phenomenology
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  • 1 Katholieke Universiteit Leuven / Australian Catholic University

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Abstract

This study considers Paul Ricoeur’s theory of discourses within the context of a phenomenology of religion. I focus on the eighth study of La métaphore vive, wherein Ricoeur explores the possibility of interanimation between speculative and poetic discourses. While Ricoeur is willing to consider the interactions between religious and philosophical discourse in a number of essays, he does not develop the further possibility of the interanimation between religious and speculative thought. I take up this unexplored possibility by suggesting that metaphors are capable of slipping between discourses and animating speculative and religious discourses. Specifically, I use Jean-Louis Chrétien’s metaphor of “wounding” as a case study wherein the phenomenal form of paradox defines one meaning of wounding, while another meaning is connected to a poetic expression that refers to our belonging in the world. Together, the two meanings of the metaphor enliven Chrétien’s phenomenology of religion.