Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Joint Ph.D. Program in Study of Religion

First Advisor

Carl Raschke, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Scott Howard

Third Advisor

Mark George


Fall, Falling, Gods, Heidegger, Verfallen


This dissertation examines and develops Martin Heidegger’s concept of “falling” as a significant historical-philosophical principle. Falling, however, is primarily understood as a concept of the early Heidegger, whereas I argue that Heidegger continues to rely upon it, both explicitly and implicitly, throughout his career. Falling is a description of philosophical and Western history, known as metaphysics, and the description of man’s relationship to Being. Thus, falling relates to the most significant streams in Heidegger’s later thought, too, including the truth of Being, the death of God, the gods, the overcoming of metaphysics, and meditative thinking.

I then reinterpret the traditional theology of the Fall narrative from Genesis in light of falling as philosophical concept, extending Heidegger’s own “destruction” of Western metaphysics in relation to one of its grounding myths. I move on to demonstrate the significance of a falling understanding in a rereading of the death of God and the end of metaphysics by examining Heidegger’s engagement with Nietzsche. I conclude by incorporating Jacques Lacan’s psychoanalysis as a further extension of Heidegger’s discourse on falling, showing that the subject’s discourse and relationship to the truth of Being is at the core of his constitution and neurosis.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Tyler Akers


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

359 p.


Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy