A Companion to Homo Abyssus (Paperback)
Ferdinand Ulrich's Homo Abyssus: The Drama of the Question of Being (Humanum, 2018), originally published in 1961, is one of the most groundbreaking works in Christian metaphysics from the 20th Century. But it is also a difficult book, posing unique challenges to the new reader because of its particular vocabulary, its unusual approach to traditional themes, and the philosophical background that it takes for granted. A Companion to Homo Abyssus is intended to offer readers initial assistance entering into the text and navigating their way once there. Rather than commenting on the text page by page, this book includes five relatively brief essays on basic themes in the original volume and a simplified "digest" of the work's arguments as they appear in each section. Moreover, it provides a translation of a paper Ulrich delivered just after publishing Homo Abyssus, in which he presents the essential argument of that work in a more concise scope. A Companion to Homo Abyssus will be indispensable to those who are encountering Ulrich's challenging but profoundly rewarding book for the first time, and beneficial for those who wish to deepen their understanding of the book's broader implications.
D.C. Schindler is Associate Professor of Metaphysics and Anthropology, Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at The Catholic University of America.