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Rostova N.N. The influence of Martin Heidegger’s philosophy upon the phenomenon of the death of God in theology

Published in journal "Philosophy and Culture", 2016-3 in rubric "Theological foundations of being", pages 385-397.

Resume: This article analyzes a popular in the contemporary Western theology approach, under which the Christian ontology is replaced by the existential philosophy, and the notion of the Identity of God – by the faceless deity. The work is based on the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, who became an inspiration for many of the Western theologians in both, Catholicism and Protestantism. The most powerful theoreticians, who expressed the essence of this approach, are Paul Tillich and Karl Rahner. The author bases the discourse on the analysis of the theories of these thinkers. In the author’s opinion, the replacement of God by the notion of being is questionable, at least in three aspects. Firstly, God, understood as a power of being and name of the depth of existence, transforms from a specific magnitude to an abstraction, which leads to reduction of faith in the living God to contemplation and states of subjectivity. Secondly, the notion of “foundation of being” applied to God immanentizes Him. God loses its autonomy and transcendence with regards to the world and human. And thirdly, God understood as the foundation of being, becomes a man-needing God, By rejecting the concept that God is a Persona, theology excludes the ontological hierarchy.  God is being viewed is everything in everything, as a faceless deity. And in this substitution of the Personal God by the notion of sacred, the author sees manifestation of pluralism that replaces the principle of the Absolute. In place of God come “gods”. In such type of immantenism and pluralism, the author observes the phenomenon of the death of God.

Keywords: Theology, Personal God, Immantenism, P. Tillich, K. Rahner, Theology of mystery, Modernism, Death of God, Christianity, Sacred

DOI: 10.7256/1999-2793.2016.3.15090

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