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In 1951, he told participants in a seminar that he was still ‘‘inclined’’ to write a theology, and that were he to do so, he would purge it of the taint of metaphysics (G15 436). Van Buren’s thesis that Heidegger sought a ‘‘retrieval’’ of original Christianity must be extended beyond the early 1920s to encompass the whole of his career. A further question lingers, however. Given that this thesis is a sustainable one, what does it mean to ‘‘save’’ primitive Christianity? This question becomes more urgent when one turns to the work of Heidegger’s colleague Rudolf Bultmann.

Scholars have shown that the ideas and experiences of original Christianity were of decisive importance for the development of Heidegger’s thought. ’’ What is distinctive about this path of thinking, and in what sense can it be said to have originated in theology? ’’ My contention is that such a sense can be discerned in Heidegger’s hermeneutical methodology. Heidegger asserts at numerous points that his investigations always take their point of departure from life as it is concretely lived. ’’ Heidegger’s Project In this section, I will explain in general terms Heidegger’s philosophical project and his chosen methodology.

Heidegger contends that this initial hermeneutical hypothesis must, on pain of being arbitrary, have its roots in an actual familiarity with the subject matter. ’’ This is the ‘‘bedrock’’ of an interpretation. This ground-level familiarity is what allows one to be confident that the more general hermeneutical hypothesis is not arbitrary. In hermeneutics of facticity, as in any other interpretation, one must secure an initial purchase on the phenomenon in question. This is something that is ‘‘constitutive—and indeed in a decisive manner—of interpretation’’ (G63 16/13).

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An Intro. to Modern Japanese [Book 1 - Grammar] by R. Bowring, et. al.,

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