Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Quiddity, or the Face of Man; Image and Likeness: Univocity

In these few remarks I return to a more preliminary and provisional posture (certainly more than in "Marion, Kant, Keller...").

In his fascinating chapter (I) on the "Face of Man" (CN 8ff.), several issues seem to coalesce. The very dignity of the human creature is threatened by the seemingly benign query, 'What is Man?' The question brings 'man' onto his knees of objectness. "The inaccessibility of man to himself" begs the question of the "object" (19). The very 'what-ness' or quiddity of the human person opens upon the aporia of her image and likeness of God.

It may not be then that Marion has introduced a self-serving paradox of univocity and the impossibility of univocity. When it comes to the human being and God the univocity of love and incomprehensibility are exceptions that prove the rule of analogical imagination. "Man remains unimaginable, since he is found formed in the image of the One who admits none and, rightfully, resembles nothing, since he resembles only the One that incomprehensibility properly characterizes" (43).

That formulation is both a biblical and anthropological point of departure for both theology and phenomenology. Perhaps better: can Rahner's anthropological theology ever begin here? If so, it must begin in the saturated phenomenon of the Christ-event, and then 'lead back' to Genesis.

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