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Phenomenologies of the Stranger: Between Hostility and Hospitality

Phenomenologies of the Stranger: Between Hostility and Hospitality


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What is strange? Or better, who is strange? When do we encounter the strange? We encounter strangers when we are not at home: when we are in a foreign land or a foreign part of our own land. From Freud to Lacan to Kristeva to Heidegger, the feeling of strangeness-das Unheimlichkeit-has marked our encounter with the other, even the other within our self. Most philosophical attempts to understand the role of the Stranger, human or transcendent, have been limited to standard epistemological problems of other minds, metaphysical substances, body/soul dualism and related issues of consciousness and cognition. This volume endeavors to take the question of hosting the stranger to the deeper level of embodied imagination and the senses (in the Greek sense of aisthesis). This volume plays host to a number of encounters with the strange. It asks such questions as: How does the embodied imagination relate to the Stranger in terms of hospitality or hostility (given the common root of hostis as both host and enemy)? How do we distinguish between projections of fear or fascination, leading to either violence or welcome? How do humans "sense" the dimension of the strange and alien in different religions, arts, and cultures? How do the five physical senses relate to the spiritual senses, especially the famous "sixth" sense, as portals to an encounter with the Other? Is there a carnal perception of alterity, which would operate at an affective, prereflective, preconscious level? What exactly do "embodied imaginaries" of hospitality and hostility entail, and how do they operate in language, psychology, and social interrelations (including racism, xenophobia, and scapegoating)? And what, finally, are the topical implications of these questions for an ethics and practice of tolerance and peace?

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780823234622
Publisher: Fordham University Press
Publication date: 05/02/2011
Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy
Edition description: 3
Pages: 362
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Richard Kearney is the Charles Seelig Professor of Philosophy at Boston College. He is the author of over 20 books, among them the trilogy The God Who May Be (Indiana University Press, 2001), On Stories (Routledge, 2002), and Strangers, Gods, and Monsters (Routledge, 2003), as well as works including Debates in Continental Philosophy (Fordham University Press, 2004), and Anatheism (Columbia, 2011). In 2008 he launched the Guestbook Project, an ongoing artistic, academic, and multi-media experiment in hospitality.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix


At the Threshold: Foreigners, Strangers, Others Richard Kearney Kascha Semonovitch 3

Presentation of Texts Richard Kearney Kascha Semonovitch 30

Part I At the Edge of the World

1 Strangers at the Edge of Hospitality Edward S. Casey 39

2 Putting Hospitality in Its Place Brian Treanor 49

3 Things at the Edge of the World David Wood 67

Part II Sacred Strangeness

4 Hospitality and the Trouble with God John D. Caputo 83

5 The Hospitality of Listening: A Note on Sacramental Strangeness Karmen MacKendrick 98

6 Incarnate Experience Anthony J. Steinbock 109

7 The Time of Hospitality-Again Kalpana Rahita Seshadri 126

Part III The Uncanny Revisited

8 The Null Basis-Being of a Nullity, Or Between Two Nothings: Heidegger's Uncanniness Simon Critchley 145

9 Heidegger and the Strangeness of Being William J. Richardson 155

10 Progress in Spirit: Freud and Kristeva on the Uncanny Vanessa Rumble 168

11 The Uncanny Strangeness of Maternal Election: Levinas and Kristeva on Parental Passion Kelly Oliver 196

Part IV Hosts and Guests

12 Being, the Other, the Stranger Jean Greisch 215

13 Words of Welcome: Hospitality in the Philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas Jeffrey Bloechl 232

14 Neither Close nor Strange: Levinas, Hospitality, and Genocide William H. Smith 242

15 Between Mourning and Magnetism: Derrida and Waldenfels on the Art of Hospitality Christopher Yates 258

16 The Stranger in the Polis: Hospitality in Greek Myth John Panteleimon Manoussakis 274

Notes 285

List of Contributors 333

Index of Names 337

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