At First Things
, Aaron Closson on the reluctant theologian
Given the debate over Heidegger’s philosophical and ethical legacy it may seem excessively generous to suggest that his work holds interest for Christian theologians.
Christian theologians' interest corresponds with the facts. For the first couple of decades following WWII, most of the interest in Heidegger in the USA was from theologians. They translated and organized conferences, while university philosophy departments were muzzled by McCarthyism
. As Aaron points out, calls for the suppression of the Seinsfrage
continue in the XXIst century.
Heidegger distanced himself from Christianity in the late twenties, but it remains plausible that he never fully abandoned his Catholic mindset. John D. Caputo writes that by advancing an eschatological narrative of the “history of Being” in Being and Time, Heidegger was “clearly Hellenizing and secularizing a fundamentally biblical conception of the history of salvation.” Interwoven with his highly original interpretation of Greek and Middle Age mystical works runs a Christian ethos that is difficult to dismiss as purely coincidental. Caputo insists that “Heidegger was giving a reading of the early Greeks that it is impossible to believe was not the result of a transference of the categories of Christianity to early Greek texts.”
His son says Heidegger was always Catholic