Ryan Coyne's monograph on Heidegger and Augustine is clever in both the acclamatory and the critical sense of that word. The book is intelligent and subtle. It is informed by an assured familiarity with Heidegger's writings of the 1920s and beyond, and it raises hard questions about the internal consistency of the detheologized concepts central to Heidegger's analysis of human existence. At the same time, the complexity of its arguments, particularly in their attempt to play Heidegger against himself, sometimes seems contrived rather than illuminating, and the author should have exposed himself more fully to the counter-criticisms and counter-narratives that others have offered to pugnacious theological critiques like his own.

The book rehearses the claim that key concepts employed to frame human existence in Being and Time—especially fallenness, conscience, and care—are abstracted with only partial success from Christian tradition. Coyne's distinctive contribution is...

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