Heidegger, Anticipation, and authentic Discipleship

To anticipate is to project oneself upon a possibility in such a way as to change one’s way of being in time.
(McGrath, Heidegger, 48)

Being-unto-death lives towards death, not calculating the day and the hour, predicting the moment so as to make necessary arrangements, but resolutely making death the meaning of life. To anticipate death is to will possibility over actuality. Since Dasein is nothing other than possibility, a being whose existence is ‘to be’ (in the futural sense), the anticipation of death is a willing of oneself as journey without destination, a being-toward-possibility without the closure of actuality. “Being-towards-death is the anticipation of a potentiality-for-Being of that entity whose kind of Being is anticipation itself” (Being and Time, 262). Living toward death is owning oneself as an unanswerable question.
(McGrath, Heidegger, 48)

“Being-towards-death is the anticipation of a potentiality-for-Being of that entity whose kind of Being is anticipation itself” – this sounds like it could be turned into a phenomenological description of Christian discipleship. For us, death surely is the meaning of life, the problem is, whose death?
By answering, ‘Christ’s’ we too quickly slip back into inauthenticity by evading death as our particular death and negation. But it is only in this form that it can be my death and thus my meaning. Yet Christ died for me, creating an anticipation of life through death, possibility beyond impossibility. How do I live towards a death that is both mine and someone else’s? How can it be a real death and thus give my being-towards-this-death a real meaning?
If this doesn’t work, what do we need to change in Heidegger’s phenomenology?

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2 thoughts on “Heidegger, Anticipation, and authentic Discipleship

  1. This is a conundrum that I've wondered about too. How do we regard these two deaths, Christ's, and my own? Is this not the very 'mystery' for paul?

    Echoing Adorno, perhaps, in my suspicion here, how does authenticity play out within a Christian life – who or what is authentic?

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