AbstractThe assimilation of phenomenology by theology (namely of Heidegger by Karl Rahner) exemplifies how a pre-existing philosophical framework can be imported into a theological system by being suffused with belief. Although one would imagine that the incommensurability between philosophy and religion would thus be overcome, the two disciplines risk to remain, given the sequels of the ‘French debate’, worlds apart, separated by a leap of faith. In this paper I attempt to uncover what grammatical similitudes afforded Rahner formal transference in the first place. Uncovering analogous uses of contemplative attention, namely between Heidegger and Simone Weil, I hope to demonstrate the filial relationship between existential phenomenology and Christian mysticism. I propose that attention is a key factor in both systems of thought. Furthermore, I propose that: 1) attention, the existential hub between subject and phenomena, provides a base for investigating methodologies, as opposed to causal relations, in philosophy and religion; 2) that the two attentional disciplines of meditation and contemplation, spiritual practices designed to shape the self, also constitute styles of thinking; and 3) the ‘turn’ in the later Heidegger’s philosophy is a strategic point to inquire into this confluence of styles of thinking, evincing the constantly dynamic and intrinsically tight relation between philosophy and theology.
(1) If you would know God, you must not merely be like the Son, you must be the Son yourself.With these words Meister Eckhart encapsulates the aim of Christian mysticism as he understood it: to know God, and to know God in such a way that the knower is not merely like Christ but actually becomes Christ, taken into the Trinity itself. Eckhart speaks frequently of this in his sermons.