Hermeneutics of Kenosis: The Road of Dispossession

Part of the Amsterdam Studies in Jewish Thought book series (ASJT, volume 13)

Sometimes words move from one field of language to another. In modern philosophy this applies to the originally Greek word kenosis, which was first mainly used by theologians. Since philosophy’s religious turn, present-day philosophers use the concept of kenosis to search for new ways of speaking about God in an era after the “death of God.” Thus Gianni Vattimo makes a connection between secularisation and the end of metaphysics as forms of kenosis, in which the Christian God sheds more and more of his traditional metaphysical properties, in order to arrive at the real truth of Christianity. Derrida’s wanderings through negative theology are also inspired by kenosis. We need a kenosis, an emptying of language, says Derrida, to allow a new way of speaking about God.


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© Springer 2007

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