The Manifest and the Revealed


By Adam Y. Wells
Foreword by Kevin Hart

Subjects: Phenomenology, Theology, Religion, Philosophy Of Religion, Continental Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Theology and Continental Thought
Hardcover : 9781438472171, 206 pages, December 2018
Paperback : 9781438472164, 206 pages, July 2019

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Table of contents


Kevin Hart

Introduction: On Husserl’s Dream

Part I: Theoretical Considerations: Phenomenology as an Absolute Science of Scripture

Introduction to Part I

1. Phenomenology and Science in Husserl’s Early Work
A. Philosophy of Arithmetic and Logical Investigations
B. Ideas I

2. The Genetic Transformation of Absolute Science
A. Cartesian Meditations and Formal and Transcendental Logic
B. The Crisis
C. The Reduction from Givenness to Pre-givenness

3. Phenomenology as Self-Referential Science
A. The Fracturing of Transcendental Subjectivity
B. Mundane Science and Phenomenology
C. Absolute Science as Self-Referential Science

Conclusion to Part I: Phenomenology Ex Vivo

Part II: Absolute Science in Practice: The Kenotic Reduction

Introduction to Part II

4. The Life and Times of Philippians 2:5−11
A. The Hymn’s Purpose
B. Christ’s Equality with God
C. Kenōsis and Exaltation: Feminist Readings
D. Conclusion

5. Kenōsis and Phenomenological Reduction
A. A Brief Aside: What Does it Mean to Read Phenomenologically?
B. The Evolution of the Phenomenological Reduction
C. The Initial Hypothesis: The Kenōsis Hymn as a Reduction from Cosmos to Creation
D. Love and Power: Refining the Initial Hypothesis after the Kenotic Reduction
E. Ramifications of the Kenotic Reduction for Scriptural Studies
F. Ramifications of the Kenotic Reduction for Phenomenology

6. Kenotic Time: Husserl and Apocalyptic Eschatology
A. Apocalypses and Apocalyptic Eschatology
B. Husserlian Options for Characterizing Kenotic Time

7. Radicalizing Husserlian Temporality: Anticipation, Depresencing, and Represencing
A. The Phenomenality of Anticipation
B. Time as Depresencing
C. Kenotic Time as Eschatological Horizon: The Represencing of God

A. Precis
B. Absolute Science and Biblical Criticism
C. Absolute Science and Husserlian Phenomenology
D. Absolute Science and Christianity


Offers a new phenomenological method for biblical interpretation that opens up the possibility of an absolute science of scripture.


What is scripture and how does it function? Is there a "scientific" way to understand its meaning? In answer, Adam Wells proposes a phenomenological approach to scripture that radicalizes both phenomenology and its relation to Christianity. By reading the "kenōsis hymn" (Philippians 2:5–11) alongside the work of Edmund Husserl, Wells develops a kenotic reduction that rehabilitates the Husserlian idea of "absolute science" while also disclosing the radical philosophical implications of Paul's "new creation." More broadly, The Manifest and the Revealed pushes the fields of phenomenology and biblical studies forward. The turn to scripture, as a source for theological and philosophical reflection, marks an important advance for the recent "theological turn" in phenomenology. At the same time, by bringing to light the incredible complexity of scripture, phenomenology provides a ay for contemporary biblical studies to exceed its own limits. Wells demonstrates how phenomenology and scripture ultimately illuminate one another in profound and surprising ways.

Adam Y. Wells is Assistant Professor of Religion at Emory & Henry College and the editor of Phenomenologies of Scripture.


"The book joins careful and patient scholarship with a not-so-common ambition and daring in the multiple disciplinary contexts that it disrupts and illuminates." — W. Chris Hackett, coauthor of Quiet Powers of the Possible: Interviews in Contemporary French Phenomenology