1st Edition

Praying to a French God The Theology of Jean-Yves Lacoste

By Kenneth Jason Wardley Copyright 2014
    ISBN 9780367879495
    260 Pages
    Published December 12, 2019 by Routledge

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    ISBN 9781472428653
    258 Pages
    Published May 6, 2014 by Routledge

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    As a phenomenologist Lacoste is concerned with investigating the human aptitude for experience; as a theologian Lacoste is interested in humanity’s potential for a relationship with the divine, what he terms the ’liturgical relationship’. Beginning from the proposition that prayer is a theme that occurs throughout Lacoste’s writing, and using this proposition as a heuristic through which to view, interpret and critique his thought, this book examines Lacoste’s place amid both the recent ’theological turn’ in French thought and the post-war emergence of la nouvelle théologie. Drawing upon unpublished and out of print material previously only available in French, Romanian or German, the book will be of interest to scholars of philosophy, phenomenology and theology.

    Contents: God in France; Prayer; Ambiguity; Phantasy; Flesh; Silence; Time; Welcoming the French God: thinking and thanksgiving; Select bibliography; Index.


    Kenneth Jason Wardley is a librarian and researcher in the School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh.

    ’Kenneth Wardley brings to the attention of an English-speaking readership one of the major theological voices of the twentieth century. Lacoste returns philosophical theology to its serious task of thinking after Heidegger and within the tradition of French phenomenology. At the same time his work is rooted in prayer and the liturgy - understood as being at the deepest heart of what it is to be human. Wardley puts us in his debt for his learned and sharp readings of Lacoste’s work.’ David Jasper, University of Glasgow, UK ’The name of Jean-Yves Lacoste has been steadily gaining currency in the English-speaking world as one of the most creative figures at work today on the borders of philosophy and theology. Although thinkers from a variety of perspectives have discovered stimulation and challenge in Lacoste’s luminous and many-layered explorations into religious experience, we have had no guide to this subtle and polymathic thinker until now. Jason Wardley has put himself in the debt both of those who seek to make a first introduction and of those who want expert help in navigating their way through the original texts. Setting the thinker in the context of contemporary France and against the background of European philosophy, he has found the heartbeat of Lacoste’s thought in his understanding of the work of prayer, a point to which questions of time, matter and form all appear in a distinctive light.’ Oliver O’Donovan, Edinburgh University, UK ’This book provides an excellent discussion of Jean-Yves Lacoste’s important contribution to a critical phenomenology of religion and of the great French thinker’s pertinent and moving insights into the transformative nature of prayer and the sacraments.’ Werner G. Jeanrond, Master of St Benet’s Hall, University of Oxford, UK 'The book on the whole is an excellent source of inspiration on Lacoste’s work and is bound to move many readers and scholars that much closer to comprehending the sig

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