Does the philosophy of Martin Heidegger represent the emergence of a secular anthropology that requires religious thought to redefine the religious dimension in human existence? In this critical response, Lacoste confronts the ultimate definition of human nature, the humanity of the human. He explores that definition through an analysis of the “absolute” as a phenomenological datum.
Lacoste establishes a conception of human nature that opens possibilities for religious experience and religious identity in view of Heidegger’s profound challenge. He develops a phenomenology of the liturgy, and subjects the categories of “experience,” “place,” and “human existence” to careful examination. Making a strong case for the affective nature of religious experience, he sides with Schleiermacher against Hegel in associating religion with affectivity rather than logic. Such affectivity, he claims, can be more rational than reason as framed in Hegelian logic.