D. Z. Phillips’ contemplations on religion and literature



This paper critically discusses D. Z. Phillips’ use of literary works as a resource for philosophical reflection on religion. Beginning by noting Phillips’ suggestion, made in relation to Waiting for Godot, that the possibilities of meaning that we see in a literary work can reveal something of our own religious sensibility, I then proceed to show what we learn about Phillips from his readings of certain works by Larkin, Tennyson, and Wharton. Through exploring alternative possible readings, I argue that, although Phillips’ discussions are of considerable philosophical interest, they undermine his claim to be deploying a purely contemplative hermeneutical method.


D. Z. Phillips Religion Literature Contemplative philosophy 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Theology and Religious StudiesUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

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