on a conference at Rome's Pontifical Lateran University.
At the conference, speakers presented a booklet called Martin Heidegger: Journey and Writings, with contributions from 19 researchers and professors, elaborating on the brilliant, and at times controversial, 20th century German philosopher.
The series of essays aims to present “guidelines for the correct interpretation” of Heidegger’s thought, said Bishop Enrico Dal Covolo, dean of the Lateran University, during the June 18 event.
“The young Heidegger is profoundly embedded with theological reflections,” said Antonio Gnoli, a journalist for the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, at the conference. “What he could not accept was the institutionalization of the Church.”
This did not stop the philosopher from speculating on the divine.
“I’ve been thinking about the problem of God for 40 years, and I believe I still haven’t reflected on it sufficiently,” Heidegger supposedly said during a conversation in 1951.
The Pontifical Lateran University in Rome is one of the few that still offer “a rigorous study” of the German thinker, Dal Covolo said, following a mandate given to him first by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI and then Francis to guide the institution toward “theological reflection oriented toward truth and dialogue.”
“If we stop at an interpretation not supported by a rigorous study of the sources, we fall into ideological interpretations,” Dal Covolo said.
At the conference, Gnoli expressed the hope that Heidegger will have the same evaluation reserved for the Greek philosopher Plato, who enjoyed the favor of Syracuse’s infamous tyrant Dionysius I.
“Today we no longer care about the tyrant, and we’re willing to read Plato in a different key,” the journalist said.