chapter  6
22 Pages

The Logos, the Body and the World: On the Phenomenological Border

ByGraham Ward

Philosophers of religion in the Anglo-American world have traditionally held tightly to disciplinary boundaries, concerning themselves with issues of universal truth: issues of faith, belief, the nature and existence of God, immortality and so on. Although Foucault did not apply his strategy to the idea of death and violence, it is not difficult to see that these ideas, too, have varied; they have a history, a narrative which underlies and frames our present conception. Foucault used the terminology of genealogy or archaeology of a concept, excavating its layers to show how its sediments continue to underlie present thought. Jean-Franois Lyotard famously defined the postmodern as incredulity toward metanarratives, whether metaphysical, political or economic. The narratives of Christendom and of the Hebrew Bible are different in important respects from the narratives of classical civilization, but they combined with them to form the self-identity of the West. In political terms, the vision for positive change has been presented as utopia.