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Apocalypse of Truth

Heideggerian Meditations

Translated by Matthew J. Peterson
With a Foreword by Jean-Luc Marion
We inhabit a time of crisis—totalitarianism, environmental collapse, and the unquestioned rule of neoliberal capitalism. Philosopher Jean Vioulac is invested in and worried by all of this, but his main concern lies with how these phenomena all represent a crisis within—and a threat to—thinking itself.         
In his first book to be translated into English, Vioulac radicalizes Heidegger’s understanding of truth as disclosure through the notion of truth as apocalypse. This “apocalypse of truth” works as an unveiling that reveals both the finitude and mystery of truth, allowing a full confrontation with truth-as-absence. Engaging with Heidegger, Marx, and St. Paul, as well as contemporary figures including Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou, and Slavoj Žižek, Vioulac’s book presents a subtle, masterful exposition of his analysis before culminating in a powerful vision of “the abyss of the deity.” Here, Vioulac articulates a portrait of Christianity as a religion of mourning, waiting for a god who has already passed by, a form of ever-present eschatology whose end has always already taken place. With a preface by Jean-Luc Marion, Apocalypse of Truth presents a major contemporary French thinker to English-speaking audiences for the first time.


“In this magisterial study, Vioulac proposes a radical reversal of thought, employing Biblical inspiration and philosophical rigor. Apocalypse of Truth dares to tap into a counter-archive that reaches deeper and further back than Heidegger’s rethinking of truth as unconcealment, reviving the long-ignored idea of apocalypticism. What results is not only a stunning rereading of St. Paul, Meister Eckhart, Hölderlin, Hegel, and others, but also a subtle loosening of the mythological grip that Western ontology has too long imposed on its subjects. A tour de force in its own right, Vioulac’s book builds on the recent breakthroughs in phenomenological and post-phenomenological thought, bringing a fresh realignment with Christianity and the 'incarnation of truth' it invites us to wager anew."

Hent de Vries, New York University

“In and through a learned, historically far-reaching, and textually rigorous meditation on Heidegger’s diagnosis of our modern nihilism, Vioulac turns to the apocalyptic revelation of Saint Paul for truth that would undermine modernity’s subjection of all beings to the logic of production and management by means of rational calculation and technological power. In sharp contrast to such machination, wherein humans become—like everything else—interchangeable, Vioulac advances a thinking of the frailty and vulnerability of finite, embodied, and mortal existence, and of the love and mourning essential to such existence. Thanks to an admirably graceful and faithful translation by Matthew J. Peterson, English readers will encounter a challenging and original thinker who sheds light on the disasters of our capitalistic and technological age.”

Thomas A. Carlson, University of California, Santa Barbara

"Including a foreword by Jean-Luc Marion, this book introduces French philosopher Jean Vioulac to an English-speaking audience. In six chapters, each with multiple sections, Vioulac takes readers through an analysis of Heidegger’s understanding of the disclosure of truth only to challenge that disclosure with the concepts of apocalypse, absence, and abyss. The climax of the book is the fourth chapter, in which Vioulac’s challenges reveal a productive encounter between Heideggerian thought and Christianity, with the latter characterized as a task of mourning an end already past. Along the way, Vioulac engages with Marx, Nietzsche, Meister Eckhart, and Hölderlin among others to provide a rich reading of Heideggerian epochal Being and the metaphysical destiny of the West."


Table of Contents

Jean-Luc Marion

Translator’s Note
Matthew J. Peterson

Chapter 1. Clarifications
§1. Clairvoyance, Evidence, Lucidity
§2. Sufficiency and Faultiness
§3. History and Determination: Destiny
§4. Language and Community

Chapter 2. From the Equal to the Same
§5. Machination
§6. Cyberspace
§7. Equalization
§8. Equalization and Appropriation

Chapter 3. Truth and Its Destiny
§9. Ontology and Truth
§10. Abyss and Mystery
§11. Origin and Beginning
§12. Decay of Truth
§13. Safeguard of Truth
§14. Teleology and Eschatology

Chapter 4. Apocalypse and Truth
§15. The Concept of Apocalypse
§16. Pauline Thought of the Apocalypse
§17. The Apocalyptic Regrounding of Truth

Chapter 5. On the Edge of the Abyss
§18. Apocalypse of the West
§19. Poetics of Truth

Chapter 6. Abyss of the Deity
§20. The Name of the Prophet
§21. The Death of God
§22. Friedrich Hölderlin
§23. The Last God
“Only a god can still save us”
Meister Eckhart
The Adieu



List of Primary Sources


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