There is no time
and nothing like
In the first section of the book, “Situating Marion,” Horner devotes individual chapters to Marion’s intellectual biography (including his philosophical and theological mentors), to his philosophical context, to a superb distillation of Husserl’s phenomenology as it bears on Marion’s work, and to the fate of phenomenology in light of the criticisms of Martin Heidegger and Jacques Derrida. It is in this first section that the question of metaphysics comes to the fore. Marion works in the wake of Heidegger, who “uncovers the fragility of and inadequacy of a metaphysical thinking of being as substance, as cause, and as presence” (36). Moreover, Heidegger “protests a thinking of God as highest being” (36). Horner explores how Marion overcomes thinking of God as the highest being in the second section of the book and how he renews phenomenology to stand as the new first philosophy in the third section.
For Marion, according to Horner, thinking of God as the highest being is nothing short of idolatry. In trying to think God other than by way of metaphysics, Marion’s theological writings employ four basic motifs: distance, the icon, love, and the gift. “God enters into thought as distance, gives Godself to contemplation in the icon, is only to be known as and through love, and this more particularly as a gift of love” (49). In the second part of the book, “The Theological Destitution of Metaphysics,” Horner analyzes Marion’s writings on each of these four motifs and devotes individual chapters to Marion’s On Descartes' Metaphysical Prism (Chicago, 1999) and God without Being.
If Marion’s theological writings try to rethink God other than by way of metaphysics, his phenomenological writings attempt to overcome metaphysics by way of the saturated phenomenon and love. Horner discusses these writings in the third section, “Exceeding Excess.” The first chapter in this section treats Marion’s rehabilitation of Husserl’s phenomenological project. Instead of seeing presence (Husserl) or being (Heidegger) as the phenomenological horizon, Marion understands this horizon to be “givenness” (110). With this horizon, Marion can argue that the subject is “a screen upon which phenomena become visible” (106). With this understanding of subjectivity in place, Horner, in the following chapter, goes on to give a detailed account of saturated phenomena, which are phenomena that are in excess of the subject’s intentional aim, and examines the premier examples of saturated phenomena: the event, the idol and icon, the flesh, and the face. Horner’s final chapter, “A Thought of Love,” is an exposition and analysis of Marion’s Le phénomène érotique (Paris, 2003). Horner notes that in this work Marion “essentially argues that metaphysics is deficient because it cannot think what matters, and what matters is loving and being loved” (146). Horner concludes that for Marion, “metaphysics can only be settled by a kind of faith,” one that can be “solely characterized in terms of a leap” (146).
(--from, Book Review, Reviewed work: Robyn Horner, . Jean‐Luc Marion: A Theo‐logical Introduction. London: Ashgate, 2005. xii+222 pp. $29.95 (paper). Scott D. Moringiello, Notre Dame, Indiana. In The Journal of Religion > Vol. 86, No. 3, July 2006)Our Sunday Morning Breakfast Seminar had to do with looking at the institutional and structural economic reasons for cruelty and dominance, failure to consider a way of dwelling between capitalism and socialism, one that attends to eradicating the negative conditions and prejudicial thinking of those who are behind the suffering in this world, and working toward a more thoughtfully investigatory, collaboratively cooperative, and contextually appropriate method of engaging all members of the human race with dignity, respect, compassion, and love.