Luther’s ‘Metaphysics’ in Heidegger’s Beiträge
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This essay argues that Luther’s “metaphysics” is present in Heidegger’s Beiträge zur Philosophie (Contributions to Philosophy), a text many consider to be Heidegger’s second magnum opus. I argue that Luther’s “metaphysics” is present in Heidegger’s Contributions in primarily two ways: (1) there is a Lutheran structure (of existential categories) that Heidegger appropriated not only in Being and Time, but also much earlier in his lectures on St. Paul from the 1920s, of responding to a call and converting in anxious anticipation toward a futural not-yet (what Heidegger calls “the last god”); and (2) Contributions’ project concerns overcoming metaphysics, which involves first thinking through to metaphysics’ conditions for possibility, which means recognizing the “ironic nature” of beyng via what Heidegger calls “thinking concealment,” the logic of which originates in Luther’s attacks on not only Greek metaphysics, but upon Judaism and the Mosaic law as well.
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