Central and East European
Society for Phenomenology

Conference | Paper

Forgiveness, Memory, and Hermeneutics. A Theological Perspective from Ricoeur

René Dentz

Thursday 2 December 2021

15:40 - 16:20

Zoom 1-3

It is possible to state beforehand that we can elucidate Ricoeurean thought from theological inspirations. Perhaps it is even more accurate to affirm that we will establish a dialogue with theological themes. Ricoeur himself has always refused the label of a Christian philosopher, seeking to keep his confession of faith and philosophical procedure at a mutual distance. In this way, the great foundation of the Ricoeurean reflection is philosophy, although theology, especially through his studies of biblical exegesis, also occupies a respectable place in his research. Some themes “border” on the two knowledges, particularly the topic of evil, hope, and forgiveness. The latter is seen by him as a synthesis between history, memory, and forgetfulness. However, it cannot be thought of without evil and hope either. In other words, although the author did not elaborate a “theological aspect” of his studies on forgiveness (perhaps he has not expounded upon it explicitly, but this aspect is present indirectly in such works as Amour et Justice and Penser la Bible), as he did in relation to evil and hope, it is not possible to study the theme without taking into consideration his inspiration and theological approach.