In the Self's Place is an original phenomenological reading of Augustine that considers his engagement with notions of identity in Confessions. Using the Augustinian experience of confessio, Jean-Luc Marion develops a model of selfhood that examines this experience in light of the whole of the Augustinian corpus. Towards this end, Marion engages with noteworthy modern and postmodern analyses of Augustine's most "experiential" work, including the critical commentaries of Jacques Derrida, Martin Heidegger, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Marion ultimately concludes that Augustine has preceded postmodernity in exploring an excess of the self over and beyond itself, and in using this alterity of the self to itself, as a driving force for creative relations with God, the world, and others. This reading establishes striking connections between accounts of selfhood across the fields of contemporary philosophy, literary studies, and Augustine's early Christianity.
"The confrontation of Heidegger with Nietzsche, the confrontation of Derrida with Heidegger, and now the confrontation of Marion with Augustine! In the Self's Place engages with Augustine's Confessions, one of the incomparable texts that open the intellectual and religious space we call 'the West.' Here Marion continues his critiques of the self and metaphysics, his analysis of praise, and his bold case for the univocity of love. Also he shows us something new: how his theory of the saturated phenomenon can be used to read a canonical narrative. A major achievement!"—Kevin Hart, University of Virginia