Ontological Homelessness as a Phenomenology of Belonging: Comparing the Nihilisms of Martin Heidegger and Keiji Nishitani

Anna M. Duong-Topp

MA Student, Divinity School

Ontological Homelessness as a Phenomenology of Belonging: Comparing the Nihilisms of Martin Heidegger and Keiji Nishitani

This analysis investigates how Kyoto School philosopher Keiji Nishitani utilizes the phenomenological framework of Martin Heidegger to express a Zen philosophical perspective on ontological homelessness. An articulation of this framework, herein termed the Structure of Being, summarizes the relationship between ontology, nihilism, and German-Japanese inter-philosophy. Ontological homelessness expounds the nihilistic experience of spatial disillusionment which affects humanity in response to modernity. Further emphasis is placed on the spatial approaches to ontology which Zen Buddhism serves to enhance, particularly through the mystical employments of śūnyatā and samādhi. I conclude that an appropriation of these insights by public praxis can aid in reversing the ontological homelessness experienced in the 21st century. Nishitani’s Religion and Nothingness and Heidegger’s Being and Time are most central to this study, though a few of their later works in conjunction with secondary sources are employed for analytical purposes.

The paper may be accessed here.

Tuesday, February 23rd, 12:30 PM

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