Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Religious Language as Poetry: Heidegger's Challenge.

Strhan, Anna (2011) Religious Language as Poetry: Heidegger's Challenge. The Heythrop Journal, 52 (6). pp. 926-938. ISSN 0018-1196. (doi:10.1111/j.1468-2265.2008.00466.x) (KAR id:42625)

PDF (Religious Language as Poetry: Heidegger's Challenge (postprint))
Language: English
Download this file
[thumbnail of Religious Language as Poetry: Heidegger's Challenge (postprint)]
Request a format suitable for use with assistive technology e.g. a screenreader
Official URL:


This paper examines how Heidegger’s view that language is poetry provides a way of conceptualising religious language. Poetry, according to Heidegger, is language in its purest form, in that it reveals Being, whilst also showing the difference between word and thing. In poetry, Heidegger suggests, we come closest to the essence of language itself and encounter its strangeness and impermeability. What would be the implications of viewing religious language in this way? Through examining Heidegger’s view that poetry is the purest form of language, I suggest that it would also be possible to view religious language as ‘poetry’ in this way, in that it also shows the transcendence of what cannot be brought to presence in language, except as concealed. Such a view of religious language leads to the view that it is not a special, unique or distinctive category of language, but rather a mode of language that, like poetry, can draw our attention to the inarticulable relationship between word and world that Heidegger argues pervades all forms of language.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/j.1468-2265.2008.00466.x
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Neshen Isaeva
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2014 21:42 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:16 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Strhan, Anna.

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:
  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.