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The Continually Expanding Limits of Hermeneutics: Heidegger on Poetic Expression, Nature, and the Holy

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This article sets itself the task of explicating and assessing Heidegger’s hermeneutically expansive analyses of the ‘holy,’ ‘poetic expression,’ and ‘nature’ in his 1934/35 and 1944 Hölderlin lectures. The piece looks specifically at how Heidegger rearticulates poetic expression and nature through the fundamental attunement of ‘holy mourning’, which he finds in Hölderlin’s Germanien. I demonstrate how these two lecture courses, published as GA 4 and GA 39, offer us important insights into the development of Heidegger’s reflections on the holy and poetic expression and in fact function as instructive bookends when it comes to understanding the role of the “last god” in Heidegger’s Contributions to Philosophy and the talk of ‘the first’ and ‘the other beginning’ found therein. The article examines such issues as the poet as mediator, Heidegger’s non-dialectical employment of mediation and the limits of mediation, nature and the holy, the fundamental attunement of ‘holy mourning,’ the dangerousness of language, and the relation between humans and gods.

Affiliations: 1: University of Limerick


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