The paper focuses on how Paul Ricoeur arrives at identifying the essence of the religious phenomenon with the "trust in the word of the Other", an expression that in Ricoeur's works refers to a foundational word that in intended to be over-and-beyond and the origin of them. Faith however is not the real mover of Ricoeur's research; it is rather his conviction in the possibility, for human beings, to comprehend the religious phenomenon in its universality, by generalizing from its different historical, linguistic and geographical realizations. Ricoeur's way is a hermeneutic process that renounces to the immediact in undertanding, preferring the longer and more laborious route of the interpretation of signs. Ricoeur explores the Jewish and Christian tradition, revisiting them through a kind of époché that permits him identifyng " a place outside alla places", a sort of "overhang" to wich the differnt religious beliefs can ultimalely be referred. In order to make this identification clear, Ricoeur underscores the need of expanding our imagination et "sympathy", obtaining in this way a "second extension" by analogy, an extension, that is, wich enables human beings to expand their cognitive horizons through a series of hermeneutical circles: for example, the image of the "gift" of the word from the Other, the ralatonship between living word and the Word of the Holy Scripture, between scriptural word and tradition, or between scriptural word and the different cultural and conceptual mediations that lead human beings to ask about their existence.
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