By John Panteleimon Manoussakis
Indiana University Press, 2007.
Manoussakis makes a solid contribution to the growing literature in continental philosophy of religion. Like most works in the field, it is really more of an essay than a scholarly monograph. While the author offers a creative and provocative riff on the conditions of possibility for an "experience" of God, the discussion is neither located within nor accountable to existing secondary literature on the problem (glaringly absent is any engagement with David Bentley Hart's 2003 book, The Beauty of the Infinite). As a result, he sometimes repeats moves that have already been made by others (the "incarnational" move has been made by Jean-Luc Marion, myself, and others), or fails to respond to challenges to his model in the existing literature (e.g., regarding the persistent binary logic he assumes). However, Manoussakis, like Marion before him, helpfully engages the substantive claims of patristic resources, particularly the Eastern fathers. But he continues to be haunted by a penchant for supposed philosophical neutrality insofar as he seeks to unhook these theological resources from "their doctrinal authority"--as if philosophy doesn't admit all kinds of other extra-philosophical "authorities." Nevertheless, the book repays careful, critical reading.