Endlichkeit und SystemZur Überwindung metaphysischer Unsterblichkeitsvorstellungen in den religionsphilosophischen Ansätzen Hermann Cohens und Martin Heideggers


The early Heidegger’s philosophy of religion is commonly considered as an explicit counterparadigm to traditional metaphysical approaches to this topic. His insistence on finitude, temporality, and historicity as fundamental categories of human existence in general and early Christian religion in particular seems to place him at the very antipodes of the Marburg school of neo-Kantianism, where religion is assigned its place inside the system of transcendental reason in its virtual infinity. This article claims that, quite unexpectedly, Hermann Cohen’s philosophy of religion shares with the early Heidegger’s approach a surprising number of critical positions against traditional metaphysical concepts like the “immortality of the soul” or the idea of God as “first cause” of a naturalistic cosmos. Both of them refer to the biblical notion of messianic temporality to develop the idea of man’s essential orientation towards a non-naturalistic future. Unlike Cohen, however, Heidegger subsequently abandons the idea of conferring philosophical significance on historical religion. Instead, he conceives of Dasein primarily in terms of beingtowards- death, thereby putting the stamp of radical nothingness and finitude on the existential dimensions of future and freedom.

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