"Caputo's book is riveting. . . . A singular achievement of stylistic brio and impeccable scholarship, it breaks new ground in making a powerful case for treating Derrida as homo religiosis. . . . There can be no mistaking the importance of Caputo's work." --Edith Wyschogrod "No one interested in Derrida, in Caputo, or in the larger question of postmodernism and religion can afford to ignore this pathbreaking study. Taking full advantage of the most recent and least discussed writings of Derrida, it offers a careful and comprehensive account of the religious dimension of Derrida's thought." --Merold Westphal
Written in response to John Caputo's The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida, this work gathers together cutting-edge theologians and philosophers to examine the relationship between Derridan deconstruction and religion. Containing a lengthy counter-response by Caputo, as well as an interview, Religion With/Out Religion will be required reading for all those involved in contemporary theological debate.
tofaník provides a unique, personal reading of weak theology and tries to inhabit the gap between it and its founder, John D. Caputo. In this distinctive exploration of John D. Caputos work, tefan tofaník traces Caputos journey of philosophical discovery from his earlier, more conventional academic writings to his later, almost confessional works of weak theology and his deep engagement with Derrida. tofaník draws upon Caputos life story to help explain sudden shifts in Caputos thinking, offers intricate readings of philosophical passages that have all too often been taken for granted, and joins in Caputos effort to find a theology that can be trusted and that does not rely upon dogmatic and hierarchical authority. At the same time, tofaník subtly disagrees with aspects of Caputos view and turns to the work of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry as a way to suggest that one cannot take leave of the tradition of theology as easily as Caputo thinks. At times, The Adventure of Weak Theology reads like a letter to Caputo, and tofaníks own passion for theology, his deep understanding of Caputos work, and his gift for writing makes this an immensely appealing book for both admirers and critics of Caputo. [tefan] has read my work with extraordinary care and he has done so with a very acute ear for my authorial voice, this person whom I impersonate when I write, this persona I inhabit in my books. I am not sure if this fellow who appears in print is the real me or a put-on, the one who I really am or the one I want to be. Either way, he only emerges, or emerges best of all, when I write, and tefan had a pitch-perfect ear for that voice. He didnt miss anything. He caught it every time it was important. from the Afterword by John D. Caputo
The Religious offers landmark texts from Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Levinas, Derrida, and Irigaray, excerpts from the famous debate between Jean-Luc Marion and Dominique Janicaud, and ten original selections, some of which include coverage of feminist theology.
The unique character of Rudolf Bultmann's thought has been missed by many traditional studies that cast him in exegetical or hermeneutic frameworks. His methods of source criticism and his concept of 'demythologizing' have led some to reject his thought in toto, others to label him as a subjectivist. Tim Labron steps out of such traditional studies by reading Bultmann as a unique scholar and leading to the keys that unlock the distinct character of Bultmann's thought, namely, John 1,14 and the principle of justification by faith. Bultmann uses them in a parallel function - to burn the traditional subject-object hierarchies and self-made foundations to the ground. Labron shows the implications this had for theology, religious studies and philosophy.
In Derrida, Myth and the Impossibility of Philosophy, Anais N. Spitzer shows that philosophy cannot separate itself from myth since myth is an inevitable condition of the possibility of philosophy. Bombarded by narratives that terrorize and repress, we may often consider myth to be constrictive dogma or, at best, something to be readily disregarded as unphilosophical and irrelevant. However, such dismissals miss a crucial aspect of myth. Harnessing the insights of Jacques Derrida's deconstruction and Mark C. Taylor's philosophical reading of complexity theory, Derrida, Myth and the Impossibility of Philosophy provocatively reframes the pivotal relation of myth to thinking and to philosophy, demonstrating that myth's inherent ambiguity engenders vital and inescapable deconstructive propensities. Exploring myth's disruptive presence, Spitzer shows that philosophy cannot separate itself from myth. Instead, myth is an inevitable condition of the possibility of philosophy. This study provides a nuanced account of myth in the postmodern era, not only laying out the deconstructive underpinnings of myth in philosophy and religion, but establishing the very necessity of myth in the study of ideas.
Michael Haneke is one of Europe's most successful and controversial film directors. Awarded the Palme d'Or and numerous other international awards, Haneke has contributed to and shaped contemporary auteur cinema and is becoming more and more popular among academics and cinephiles. His mission is as noble as it is provocative: he wants "to rape the audience into independence," to wake them up from the lethargy caused by the entertainment industry. The filmic language he employs in this mission is both highly characteristic and efficient, and yet his methods are open to criticism for their violence toward and manipulation of the audience. The aim of this book is to analyze critically Haneke's aesthetics, his message, as well as his ethical motivation from an interdisciplinary and intercultural perspective. Contributors to the book come from a variety of academic disciplines and cultural backgrounds-European and North American.
'Deconstruction is not neutral. It intervenes' Jacques Derrida An idiosyncratic and highly controversial French philosopher, Jacques Derrida inspired profound changes in disciplines as diverse as law, anthropology, literature and architecture. In Derrida's view, texts and contexts are woven with inconsistencies and blindspots that provide us with a chance to think in new ways about, among other things, language, community, identity and forgiveness. Derrida's suggestions for 'how to read' lead to a new vision of ethics and a new concept of responsibility. Penelope Deutscher discusses extracts from the full range of Derrida's work, including Of Grammatology, Dissemination, Limited Inc, The Other Heading: Reflections on Europe, Monolinguism of the Other, Given Time and Force of Law.
Marxism's collapse in the twentieth century profoundly altered the style and substance of Western European radical thought. To build a more robust form of democratic theory and action, prominent theorists moved to reject revolution, abandon class for more fragmented models of social action, and elevate the political over the social. Acknowledging the constructedness of society and politics, they chose the "symbolic" as a concept powerful enough to reinvent leftist thought outside a Marxist framework. Following Maurice Merleau-Ponty's Adventures of the Dialectic, which reassessed philosophical Marxism at mid century, Warren Breckman critically revisits these thrilling experiments in the aftermath of Marxism. The post-Marxist idea of the symbolic is dynamic and complex, uncannily echoing the early German Romantics, who first advanced a modern conception of symbolism and the symbolic. Hegel and Marx denounced the Romantics for their otherworldly and nebulous posture, yet post-Marxist thinkers appreciated the rich potential of the ambiguities and paradoxes the Romantics first recognized. Mapping different ideas of the symbolic among contemporary thinkers, Breckman traces a fascinating reflection of Romantic themes and resonances, and he explores in depth the effort to reconcile a radical and democratic political agenda with a politics that does not privilege materialist understandings of the social. Engaging with the work of Claude Lévi-Strauss, Cornelius Castoriadis, Claude Lefort, Marcel Gauchet, Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, and Slavoj i ek, Breckman uniquely situates these important theorists within two hundred years of European thought and extends their profound relevance to today's political activism.
Groundless Gods: The Theological Prospects of Post-Metaphysical Thought deals with possible interpretations of an emerging interest in contemporary theology: postmetaphysical theology. This book attempts to openly come to grips, not only with what metaphysics and postmetaphysics imply, but also with what it could mean to do or not do theology from the standpoint of the nonmetaphysician. The book asks, for instance, whether this world has any singular definition, and whether God is some being standing apart from the world or an experience within the world.
This book is a collection of engaging, entertaining, and often confronting dialogues with nine thinkers of faith in postmodernity, some of them more prominent than others, all of them possessing the rare quality or gift of thinking rigorously-tentatively-passionately: John D. Caputo, Kevin Hart, Robyn Horner, Richard Kearney, Catherine Keller, Kate Rigby, Mark C. Taylor, Mark I. Wallace, and Merold Westphal. The project was driven by two ambitions: to seek out their thoughts on the question of the gift, which has become a hot topic since the early 1990s in philosophy, theology, and a whole range of academic disciplines, and which was the subject of the interviewer's doctoral work; and, more generally, to examine key elements of these thinkers' most important works. Hence, the dialogues traverse a splendid range of issues - philosophical, theological, ecological, hermeneutical, biblical, scientific, and more. What's more, the dialogical medium has the advantage of casting complex issues in extremely accessible terms, thereby making this collection a must-read for anyone interested in contemporary Continental theory.
Even though the postmodern return of religion is dramatically shaping the future of twenty-first-century theology, its riches for preaching are rarely mined. Preaching After God highlights the trajectories of the postmodern return of religion by introducing readers to the positive theological themes stirring in the work of influential philosophers like Jacques Derrida, John Caputo, and Slavoj Žižek. Phil Snider shows how engaging their thought provides possibilities for preaching that highly resonate with postmodern listeners. Preachers familiar with the postmodern return of religion will appreciate its homiletical appropriation, while those introduced to it for the first time will discover just how much it is helpful for the preaching task. Six lectionary-based sermons are included as examples.
Although deconstruction has become a popular catchword, as an intellectual movement it has never entirely caught on within the university. For some in the academy, deconstruction, and Jacques Derrida in particular, are responsible for the demise of accountability in the study of literature. Countering these facile dismissals of Derrida and deconstruction, Herman Rapaport explores the incoherence that has plagued critical theory since the 1960s and the resulting legitimacy crisis in the humanities. Against the backdrop of a rich, informed discussion of Derrida's writings—and how they have been misconstrued by critics and admirers alike—The Theory Mess investigates the vicissitudes of Anglo-American criticism over the past thirty years and proposes some possibilities for reform.
The author of What Would Jesus Deconstruct? makes “a bold attempt to reconfigure the terms of debate around the topic of divine omnipotence” (Choice). Applying an ever more radical hermeneutics—including Husserlian and Heideggerian phenomenology, Derridian deconstruction, and feminism—John D. Caputo breaks down the name of God in this irrepressible book. Instead of looking at God as merely a name, Caputo views it as an event, or what the name conjures or promises in the future. For Caputo, the event exposes God as weak, unstable, and barely functional. While this view of God flies in the face of most religions and philosophies, it also puts up a serious challenge to fundamental tenets of theology and ontology. Along the way, Caputo’s readings of the New Testament, especially of Paul’s view of the Kingdom of God, help to support the “weak force” theory. This penetrating work cuts to the core of issues and questions—What is the nature of God? What is the nature of being? What is the relationship between God and being? What is the meaning of forgiveness, faith, piety, or transcendence?—that define the terrain of contemporary philosophy of religion. “Caputo comes out of the closet as a theologian in this work.” —Catherine Keller, Drew University “Caputo has a gift for explaining Continental philosophy’s jargon succinctly and accurately, and despite technical and foreign terms, this book will engage upper-level undergraduates. Includes scriptural and general indexes . . . Highly recommended.” —Choice
What do the philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche, Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Marion have in common with Christianity? Surprisingly, they are all concerned about idolatry, about the tendency we have to create God in our own image and about what we can do about it. Can we faithfully speak of God at all without interposing ourselves? If so, how? Bruce Ellis Benson explores this common concern by clearly laying out the thought of each of these postmodern thinkers against the background of modern philosophers such as Descartes, Locke and Hume and in light of the rise of phenomenology as developed by Husserl and Heidegger. All these thinkers he brings into conversation with a full range of biblical teaching. The result is an illuminating survey of some key postmodern thinkers and profound insight into the nature of conceptual idolatry. Benson also exposes some of the limitations inherent in postmodern attempts to provide a purely philosophical solution to the problem of ideological idolatry. Ultimately, he argues, there is a need for something greater than human philosophy, religion or theology--namely, the biblical revelation of God in Jesus Christ.
In Faithful Doubt Guy Collins explores the role of doubt within theology and philosophy. Focusing on three philosophers--Giorgio Agamben, Jacques Derrida, and Slavoj Žižek--Faithful Doubt argues that atheism can be redeeming. Far from being inhospitable to faith, doubt is increasingly necessary for theology. As well as introducing the thought of contemporary philosophers, Faithful Doubt examines the significance of popular entertainment and narrative. Novels of Ursula Le Guin, Neal Stephenson, China Mieville, and others are read alongside Star Wars, Star Trek, and Battlestar Galactica. Fiction highlights the fluid nature of the sacred and the secular. On the question of evil, Faithful Doubt suggests that wisdom lies in acknowledging uncertainty. Weaving the story of Job together with St. Augustine, Donald MacKinnon, and Eleonore Stump, evil exemplifies the necessity for doubt within theology. Faithful Doubt brings a new perspective to debates about the relationship between faith and reason. Concluding with a discussion of Soren Kierkegaard, Collins presents a compelling case for harnessing atheism and doubt in service to Christian faith. In order to "doubt wisely" we need to heed the "faith of the faithless."