(2017) Modern Theology 33 (4).

Sacrifice for nothing

the movement of kenosis in Jan Patočka's thought

Martin Koči

pp. 594-617

This article focuses on the idea of sacrifice in the work of the Czech phenomenologist Jan Patočka. It presents and examines this philosopher from a theological perspective against the background of the theological turn in contemporary philosophy. First, the article focuses on Patočka's reflections on the kenotic sacrifice, which he defines as the sacrifice for nothing. Second, Patočka's thought is put into dialog with Jean‐Luc Marion's phenomenological sketch of sacrifice embedded in his phenomenology of the gift. Although both Patočka and Marion share an interest in sacrifice, a phenomenon of high theological importance, only the latter enjoys reception on the part of theology. Yet, the article argues, on the basis of further inquiry into Patočka's writings, Patočka presents a complementary and alternative perspective that not only precedes the theological turn but also challenges and opens new ways for theology. The conclusion thus portrays a kenotic form of Christianity after the end of Christianity, drawn from Patočka, as a specific spiritual being‐in‐the‐world.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1111/moth.12357

Full citation:

Koči, M. (2017). Sacrifice for nothing: the movement of kenosis in Jan Patočka's thought. Modern Theology 33 (4), pp. 594-617.

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