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The Appearing of God$
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Jean-Yves Lacoste

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198827146

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198827146.001.0001

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Giving and Promising

Giving and Promising

(p.134) 7 Giving and Promising
The Appearing of God

Jean-Yves Lacoste

Oliver O’Donovan

Oxford University Press

Giving and promise must be thought together. Being-in-the world entails being-with the other, who is both “given” and bearer of a gift promised. But any disclosure may be understood as a gift; it is not anthropomorphic to speak of “self-giving” with a wider reference than person-to-person disclosure. Which implies that no act of giving can exhaust itself in its gift. Present experience never brings closure to self-revealing. Yet giving is crystallized into “the given,” the closure of gift. “The given” is what it is, needing no gift-event to reveal it. But the given, too, is precarious, and can be destabilized when giving brings us face to face with something unfamiliar. Nothing appears without a promise of further appearances, and God himself can never be “given.”

Keywords:   gift, the given, promise, present experience, God

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