Novitas Mundi

Perception of the History of Being

By D. G. Leahy

Subjects: Theology
Paperback : 9780791421383, 434 pages, July 1994
Hardcover : 9780791421376, 434 pages, July 1994

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents


Section A.   Prolegomena in Comprehension of the History of Being

Section B.   Reflection on the History of Being

Part I.   A Retrospect: Faith and Self-Consciousness

1.   Aristotle: The Paradox of Good Sense
2.   Thomas Aquinas: A New Reality

3.   Descartes: A New Thought
4.   The Infinite Practical. I: Kant
5.   The Infinite Practical. II: Hegel
6.   Kierkegaard and Lessing: The Leap of Faith
Part II.   The Prospect: Introductory Presentations in the Essential History of Thought

7.   Augustine: The Knowledge of Existence

8.   Leibniz: The Ideal of The History of Being
9.   Hegel: The Absolute Truth
10.   Clarification of The Absolute. I: Kierkegaard

11.   Clarification of The Absolute. II: Husserl
12.   Clarification of The Absolute. III: Heidegger
Section C.   Epilogue: The Essential Anticipation of the Finality of the Fact
Section D.    Appendices

Appendix a :  The Reality of Transcendental Historical Thinking
Appendix b :  The Now Existing Thought of Faith
Appendix g :  Missa Jubilaea:  The Celebration of the Infinite Passover


The "Prolegomena" sets out the fundamental perception of the history of being now operative in consciousness. The center of the book is comprised of a two-part "Reflection on the History of Being": Part I is an examination of the impact made on the shape of scientific philosophy by the fact of Christian faith. Aristotle, the sacra doctrina of Thomas Aquinas, and their relationship with the modern thinkers, Descartes, Kant, Hegel, and Kierkegaard are examined in this section. In Part II the history of the conception of time becomes the measure of a prospective analysis of the limits essential to the modern enterprise. Augustine, Leibniz, Husserl, and Heidegger become the major figures here, and there is a specific delineation of the relationship of the phenomenologists to Kierkegaard and Hegel.

D. G. Leahy is Associate Professor of Religion at New York University. He is the author of Foundation: Matter the Body Itself, also published by SUNY Press.


"This is a most remarkable undertaking, that, while immensely erudite, transcends its own scholarship to convey the sense of a world of thought to come. I have been particularly impressed by the success with which this book takes fully into account Heidegger's notion of the history of Being—surely one of the most provocative contentions of twentieth-century philosophy—and yet in the end provides an alternative reading of this history, one that is in certain ways more convincing and nuanced than Heidegger's own version. This is an accomplishment of the highest level. " — Edward S. Casey

"In my judgment, Novitas Mundi is quite simply the most important work of philosophical theology published in our century. " — Thomas J. J. Altizer