Camilleri Sylvain
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50(2014)1 - Heidegger and Religion

Sylvain Camilleri

Heidegger, Dilthey, and the "religious" history of hermeneutics

  • Language: French


Each history of hermeneutics written since the second half of the 20th century contains a chapter on Martin Heidegger. It is often said the German philosopher revolutionized the discipline by giving existence the place long held by the text. Although this statement is widely justified, I will draw on a few pages of Heidegger’s 1923 lecture-course Ontology and compare them to Dilthey’s 1900 essay The Birth of Hermeneutics in order to support three intertwined ideas. First, Heidegger’s contribution to hermeneutics is not reducible to Being and Time but goes back to the early 1920’ and starts with radical evaluation of its history. Second, even if existence becomes the main focus point, Heidegger in no way devaluates texts. Third, authentic hermeneutics as it articulates itself in the 1927 magnum opus is made possible by the retrieval of the sacred dimension of understanding and then of “selected” religious roots of hermeneutics.