ACU has awarded leading French philosopher Professor Jean-Luc Marion its highest honour, Doctor of the University, at a ceremony in Melbourne.
The award is in recognition of Professor Marion’s outstanding contribution to philosophy and, in particular, phenomenology and philosophy of religion, as well as his distinctive contribution to the ongoing dialogue between faith and reason.
Professor Marion is widely considered to be the world’s leading phenomenologist, and is an internationally acclaimed specialist in the areas of modern philosophy and philosophy of religion. Awarded the 1992 Grand Prix du Philosophie de l’Académie Française, and the 2008 Karl Jaspers Prize, he was also elected in 2008 to the prestigious Académie Française – one of the forty “immortals” to hold a chair at any given time since its establishment in 1635.
A former pupil of the eminent philosopher, Jacques Derrida, Prof Marion has gone on to establish a significant reputation of his own. He has occupied prestigious posts at the University of Paris – Sorbonne and at The University of Chicago Divinity School.
Dr Dermot Nestor, Executive Dean, Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, said it was a tremendous honour to host Professor Marion at ACU.
“ACU places significant value on the promotion of dialogue between faith and reason. In this area, Professor Marion has made a long-standing and influential contribution through his application of the philosophical insights of phenomenology to questions of a distinctly theological nature,” Dr Nestor said.
Professor Marion’s research has been innovative and ground-breaking in a number of fields, including areas of philosophy such as the history of medieval and modern philosophy, aesthetics, and theology. In the area of modern philosophy Professor Marion has published several books on Descartes’ ontology, rational theology and metaphysics, and his writings in this area have fundamentally changed the way in which Descartes is now read and understood.
His more recent work in phenomenology, and particularly as it relates to the concept of revelation, marks what is widely considered his greatest legacy to the discipline. He has initiated an influential phenomenology of “givenness” and the theological applications of this work have received great acclaim in the English-speaking academy.
Dr Nestor said Professor Marion’s scholarly career is marked by an exceptional commitment to the highest standards of rigour and excellence.
“He has profoundly reshaped the ways in which Cartesian philosophy and phenomenology are now studied and we are delighted that he is able to be with us today,” Dr Nestor said.