Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Event: Help me make it happen

Much of my reading, thinking, and praying has led me to attempts at a deeper understanding of "event." What is it? What constitutes it? What are the elements or necessary conditions of an event? The conditions of the possibility. And so on. Imagine the impact on a Christian existence if one were to apply this to the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection, not to mention all the other happenings we take for granted in the history of the Church or in our own personal and local lives.

Aside from the essays I am already working on, I am beginning a more systematic research of "event." The philosophy of event. The theology of event. And all that good stuff. I have read a few thinkers on this: Msgr. Luigi Giussani, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Heidegger, Albacete. I am looking for discussion of this from Jean-Luc Marion (know of a few places but am looking for more), Josef Pieper, Romano Guardini, Fr. James V. Schall, Fr. Norris Clarke, Robert Sokolowski, Pope Benedict XVI (probably in his writings as Cardinal Ratzinger), and anyone else who can aid in the understanding and then living of the fact of events in our life.

I have found out about what seems to be a good article on this topic from Marion, but I can't find a copy of it. The article is from the Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, vol. 26, no. 1, and is titled, "Phenomenon and Event." If you have it, please send me a copy. Contact me via email or in comments.

As well, if you know of any other sources, please let me know. This will be part of my summer research.


Deep Furrows said...

You may have this, but look in Theo-Drama I: pages 26-28. Balthasar critically examines event as the first of a series of modern theological trends.

Deep Furrows said...

I also ran this search
of articles on event at

There may be more there not findable by google. Or post something on their discussion board.

Good luck!

W. said...

Thanks. Yes, I had already read the von Balthasar passage you suggested.

Will keep looking.

Deep Furrows said...

For "event," look to Charles Peguy, Henri Bergson, and Alain Finkielkraut. I am holding a book called "What Counts is the Wonder" (30 Days Books), which is a collection of essays on Charles Peguy which were originally published in 30 Days magazine; the book was given out with #4 of the 1998 issue; I got my copy from a friend). Much of this supplement is online, but not the article I'm looking at. The upper right corner has a place to order from the archive of supplements. I'll put a tantalizing exerpt in the next comment.

Deep Furrows said...

[Finkielkraut's response to Peguy]
"What he had found most striking, he told us then was Peguy's thinking on 'event': 'An event is something that erupts from the outside, something unexpected. And this is the supreme method of consciousness'. Finkielkraut continued: 'the most extraordinary thing is that if the event is not rescued one loses all contact with reality. If a blasphemy or sacrilege has been committed by the modern spirit, then it is because of its arrogance towards reality. There is an unprogrammatic character to the given, a face that things present of their own making. Peguy speaks of the absolute respect one must have for reality and its mysteries, ''the religious respect for reality, sovereign and absolute master, for the real as it comes, as it is given us, for the event as it is given us''. But, for modern man revelation, or the fact of something giving itself, or appearing, is no longer the way the truth of reality unfolds.'"
Interview with Alain Finkielkraut by Sefano M. Paci. What Counts is the Wonder, 30 Days, p 89-90.
Levinas is also mentioned in reference to event.

Anonymous said...

Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition

W. said...

Interesting. Never thought of that last one. Will have to check it out.