Being is double: Jean-Luc Marion and John Milbank on God, being and analogy

MPhil Thesis

Lyons, Nathan Edward. (2014). Being is double: Jean-Luc Marion and John Milbank on God, being and analogy [MPhil Thesis].
AuthorsLyons, Nathan Edward
TypeMPhil Thesis
Qualification nameMaster of Philosophy (MPhil)

This thesis examines the contemporary dispute between philosopher Jean-Luc Marion and theologian John Milbank concerning the relation of God to being and the nature of theological analogy. I argue that Marion and Milbank begin from a shared opposition to Scotist univocity but tend in opposite directions in elaborating their constructive theologies. Marion takes an essentially Dionysian approach, emphasising the divine transcendence “beyond being” to such a degree as to produce an essentially equivocal account of theological analogy. Milbank, on the other hand, inspired particularly by Eckhart, affirms a strong version of the Thomist thesis that God is “being itself” and emphasises divine immanence to such a degree that the analogical distinction between created and uncreated being is virtually collapsed. Both thinkers claim fidelity to the premodern Christian theological tradition, but I show that certain difficulties attend both of their claims. I suggest that the decisive issue between them is the authority which should be granted to Heidegger’s account of being and I argue that it is Milbank’s vision of post-Heideggerian theological method which is to be preferred. I conclude that Marion and Milbank give two impressive contemporary answers to the ancient riddle of “double being” raised in the Anonymous Commentary on Plato’s “Parmenides,” a riddle which queries the relation between absolute First being and derived Second being. Their contrasting solutions cohere with the wider goals of their respective intellectual projects and correspond to the concerns of their respective interlocutors within Continental philosophy.

PublisherAustralian Catholic University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Research GroupSchool of Philosophy
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Publication dates
Online01 Mar 2014
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