Disimagination and Sentiment in Nishitani's Religious Aesthetics

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This paper discusses the notion of disimagination a translation of the German word Entbildung, which was devised by Meister Eckhart as a reinterpretation of the Neoplatonic categories of abstraction (aphairesis) and negation (apophasis) in connection with Nishitani Keiji's standpoint of emptiness. Nishitani proposes a nonsubjective, nonrepresentational, and nonconceptual type of knowledge to avoid the problem of representation implied in the modern subjective self-consciousness that prevents our access to the reality of things. It is argued that what he calls a knowing of non-knowing can be understood as a transposition of the problematics of aphairesis to a new context, that of the formless form. The ontology of images in the creative process, both cosmic and artistic, is examined from Nishitani's identification of likeness and suchness on the field of emptiness. It is suggested that the resulting denial of the traditional distinction between being and appearance approaches a critique closer to postfoundational metaphysics and, like disimagination, aims at an ascetic movement of self-negation and detachment from words and images that leads, in turn, to a creative and playful use of language free of representation.
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Archival date: 2021-05-25
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