Remembering Ricoeur

It’s been a few days now, but since there’s been no mention of it on TKF, I thought we should acknowledge the passing of philosopher and hermeneut Paul Ricoeur, who died on Friday at age 92. Ricoeur’s work is significant to literary studies, philosophy, and theology, and his death, like Derrida‘s last October, marks the loss of a truly monumental thinker. Oh, and he wrote a wonderful article about Taize worship. Read it.


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  1. Brannon,

    Thanks for notifying us. I hadn’t heard of Professor Ricouer’s passing. Gadamer, Derrida, Ricouer–the postwar thinkers of the European continent are making their curtain call. But for Ricouer, the eclipse had been a long time coming, at least within contintental philosophy. One of my profs in grad school had written a Ricouer dissertation, but quickly moved on to Derrida, Deleuze, and Foucault. In all of graduate school, I only ever read one essay by Ricouer. He wasn’t current at Memphis in the mid to late 90’s, though I suspect that places like Villanova and Boston College probably continued to engage with him.

  2. Wow… missed that one. Thanks for flagging that for us, Brannon. I may have mentioned that I had the chance to meet with Ricouer in Dublin at a conference. One of the nice wee fellows you could meet – didnt want to talk philosophy, but interested in my family and how we were settling into life in Glasgow. As David Klemm at Uni. of Iowa mused so often, Ricouer represents the end of a generation of philosophers who asked the question of subjectivity from a place of deep hopeful concern for our world – not mere ‘play’.

    Good to know another great soul awaits us in the netherworld…always nice to look forward to conversation partners in the afterlife 🙂

  3. I don’t mean to derail the eulogies to Ricoeur but I just read a quote of Caputo’s from the Derrida link you provided Brannon:

    “The undeconstructible is the stuff of a desire beyond desire, of a desire to affirm that goes beyond a desire to possess, the desire for something for which we can live without reserve.”

    What a sad guy with such a glorious vision. I woke up at 4:00 am this morning got on read this and feel like I’ve had my morning devotional. Pardon me while I reduce but is that deconstructionsism in a nutshell and the kernel that needs to be kept – stop trying to possess.

    Sensei when I read this I had the feeling that you had written or quoted something similar somehwhere.

    Sunday I preached on “the preservation of the truth” and highlighted that we’re to live in the truth, be sustained by truth, share truth even preserve truth but we can’t possess it any more than we can possess a person, like Jesus for example. A desire to possess leads to corruption. Can’t get around it.

    Anyway, thanks Brannon.

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