HomeLiceo Journal of Higher Education Researchvol. 5 no. 2 (2008)

God Must Remain Mysterious: Heidegger, a Strange Sort of Theologian

Eddie R. Babor

Discipline: Philosophy, Religion



Transcendence is understood as man’s way of going beyond his finite state towards the divine, to God. But is it possible to talk of a brand of transcendence that brushes aside the contours of infinity or divinity? Or can transcendence happen in the mere plane of humanity less a God? This paper, by presenting Heidegger’s thoughts on transcendence and God, argues that Heidegger takes transcendence in the context of finitude. Instead of setting a place for a God in man’s efforts to reach out to the Divine, Heidegger sees nothing else but man – the Dasein – himself as the sole performer in this histrionics of transcendence. In transcendence, Dasein is called by Heidegger to go beyond the limits of being towards the nearness of Being. To Heidegger, transcendence is a finite move of Dasein from his ontic concerns up to the auspices of the ontological, the appropriation of Being. As Dasein transcends, he needs the concernful assistance of God for him to hopefully attain the goal of his movement, i.e., to be the inquirer and the shepherd of Being. Transcendence, therefore, for Heidegger, is Dasein’s conquest of the ontological difference - the variance between being and Being. However, in this conquest Heidegger is not heading towards a degodization of God.