Ricoeur and Theology
Paul Ricoeur (1913-2005) has been heralded as one of the most notable philosophers of the twentieth century. Like a stone skipping across the philosophical pond, he would write a major work in one field, then move on to another. As a consequence, he is one of the most inter-disciplinary philosophers whose work not only brings together such areas as existentialism, phenomenology, hermeneutics, structuralism, psychoanalysis, metaphor, narrative, and political ethics, it bridges the gulf between Continental and Anglo-American philosophy. Despite the diversity one could identify continuing threads throughout all of his work that make him a major representative of hermeneutical philosophy, developing it much further in a critical direction. One of the areas to which he contributed greatly, almost in passing, was philosophy of religion, where he made notable contributions in the areas of symbol and metaphor as well as epistemology. Ricoeur's work has been appropriated in theology but often in an indirect way. This book helps one grasp the breadth of a complex philosopher but will also indicate its increasing relevance and appropriation in theology.