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Radical Democracy And Political Theology

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Radical Democracy and Political Theology :

Philosophy

Author - Jeffrey W. Robbins
Publisher - Columbia University Press
Pages - 232
ISBN - 0231156367


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Detail - Alexis de Tocqueville once wrote that "the people reign over the American political world like God over the universe," unwittingly casting democracy as the political instantiation of the death of God. According to Jeffrey W. Robbins, Tocqueville's assessment remains an apt observation of modern democratic power, which does not rest with a sovereign authority but operates as a diffuse social force. By linking radical democratic theory to a contemporary fascination with political theology, Robbins envisions the modern experience of democracy as a social, cultural, and political force transforming the nature of sovereign power and political authority. Robbins joins his work with Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri's radical conception of "network power," as well as Sheldon Wolin's notion of "fugitive democracy," to fashion a political theology that captures modern democracy's social and cultural torment. This approach has profound implications not only for the nature of contemporary religious belief and practice but also for the reconceptualization of the proper relationship between religion and politics. Challenging the modern, liberal, and secular assumption of a neutral public space, Robbins conceives of a postsecular politics for contemporary society that inextricably links religion to the political. While effectively recasting the tradition of radical theology as a political theology, this book also develops a comprehensive critique of the political theology bequeathed by Carl Schmitt. It marks an original and visionary achievement by the scholar the Journal of the American Academy of Religion hailed "one of the best commentators on religion and postmodernism."

Radical Political Theology : Religion and Politics After Liberalism

Religion

Author - Clayton Crockett
Publisher - Columbia University Press
Pages - 216
ISBN - 0231149832


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Detail - In the 1960s, the strict opposition between the religious and the secular began to break down, blurring the distinction between political philosophy and political theology. This collapse contributed to the decline of modern liberalism, which supported a neutral, value-free space for capitalism. It also deeply unsettled political, religious, and philosophical realms, forced to confront the conceptual stakes of a return to religion. Gamely intervening in a contest that defies simple resolutions, Clayton Crockett conceives of the postmodern convergence of the secular and the religious as a basis for emancipatory political thought. Engaging themes of sovereignty, democracy, potentiality, law, and event from a religious and political point of view, Crockett articulates a theological vision that responds to our contemporary world and its theo-political realities. Specifically, he claims we should think about God and the state in terms of potentiality rather than sovereign power. Deploying new concepts, such as Slavoj Žižek's idea of parallax and Catherine Malabou's notion of plasticity, his argument engages with debates over the nature and status of religion, ideology, and messianism. Tangling with the work of Derrida, Deleuze, Spinoza, Antonio Negri, Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou, John D. Caputo, and Catherine Keller, Crockett concludes with a reconsideration of democracy as a form of political thought and religious practice, underscoring its ties to modern liberal capitalism while also envisioning a more authentic democracy unconstrained by those ties.

Christianity, Democracy, and the Radical Ordinary : Conversations between a Radical Democrat and a Christian

Religion

Author - Stanley Hauerwas, Roman Coles
Publisher - Lutterworth Press
Pages - 378
ISBN - 0718892178


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Detail - These essays reflect on possibilities and practices of radical democracy and radical ecclesia that take form in the textures of relational care for the radical ordinary. Hauerwas and Coels point out political and theological imaginations beyond the political formations, which seems to be the declination and the production of death. The authors call us to a revolutionary politics of 'wild patience' that seeks transformation through attentive practices of listening, relationship-building, and a careful tending to places, common goods, and diverse possibilities for flourishing.

Lutheran Identity and Political Theology :

Religion

Author - Carl-Henric Grenholm, Goran Gunner
Publisher - Wipf and Stock Publishers
Pages - 254
ISBN - 1630877360


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Detail - Lutheran tradition has in various ways influenced attitudes to work, the economy, the state, education, and health care. One reason that Lutheran theology has been interpreted in various ways is that it is always influenced by surrounding social and cultural contexts. In a society where the church has lost a great deal of its cultural impact and authority, and where there is a plurality of religious convictions, the question of Lutheran identity has never been more urgent. However, this question is also raised in the Global South where Lutheran churches need to find their identity in a relationship with several other religions. Here this relationship is developed from a minority perspective. Is it possible to develop a Lutheran political theology that gives adequate contributions to issues concerning social and economic justice? What is the role of women in church and society around the world? Is it possible to interpret Lutheran theology in such a way that it includes liberating perspectives? These are some of the questions and issues discussed in this book.

Thinking Radical Democracy : The Return to Politics in Post-War France

History

Author - Martin Breaugh, Christopher Holman, Rachel Magnusson, Paul Mazzocchi, Devin Penner
Publisher - University of Toronto Press
Pages - 277
ISBN - 1442650044


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Detail - Thinking Radical Democracy is an introduction to nine key political thinkers who contributed to the emergence of radical democratic thought in post-war French political theory: Hannah Arendt, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Pierre Clastres, Claude Lefort, Cornelius Castoriadis, Guy Debord, Jacques Ranci�re, �tienne Balibar, and Miguel Abensour. The essays in this collection connect these writers through their shared contribution to the idea that division and difference in politics can be perceived as productive, creative, and fundamentally democratic. The questions they raise regarding equality and emancipation in a democratic society will be of interest to those studying social and political thought or democratic activist movements like the Occupy movements and Idle No More.

Radical Theology : A Vision for Change

Philosophy

Author - Jeffrey W. Robbins
Publisher - Indiana University Press
Pages - 200
ISBN - 0253022126


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Detail - "Radical theology" and "political theology" are terms that have gained a lot of currency among philosophers of religion today. In this visionary new book, Jeffrey W. Robbins explores the contemporary direction of these movements as he charts a course for their future. Robbins claims that radical theology is no longer bound by earlier thinking about God and that it must be conceived of as postsecular and postliberal. As he engages with themes of liberation, gender, and race, Robbins moves beyond the usual canon of death-of-God thinkers, thinking "against" them as much as "with" them. He presents revolutionary thinking in the face of changing theological concepts, from reformation to transformation, transcendence to immanence, messianism to metamorphosis, and from the proclamation of the death of God to the notion of God’s plasticity.

Adventures of the Symbolic : Post-marxism and Radical Democracy

Philosophy

Author - Warren Breckman
Publisher - Columbia University Press
Pages - 384
ISBN - 0231512899


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Detail - 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 Žižek, Breckman uniquely situates these important theorists within two hundred years of European thought and extends their profound relevance to today’s political activism.

A Radical Philosophy of Saint Paul :

Religion

Author - Stanislas Breton
Publisher - Columbia University Press
Pages - 176
ISBN - 0231521766


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Detail - Newly translated and critically situated, this edition of A Radical Philosophy of Saint Paul takes a fresh approach to the philosopher's classic work, reacquainting readers with the remarkable ways in which an ancient apostle can reset our understanding of the political. Breton begins with Paul's biography and the texts of his conversion, which challenge common conceptions of identity. He broaches the question of allegory and divine predestination, introduces the idea of subjectivity as an effect of power, and he confronts Paul's critique of law, which leads to an exploration of the logics and limits of agency and power. Breton develops these and other insights in relation to Paul's subversive reflections on the crucified messiah, which challenge meaning and reason and upend our current world order.

Force of God : Political Theology and the Crisis of Liberal Democracy

Religion

Author - Carl A. Raschke
Publisher - Columbia University Press
Pages - 240
ISBN - 0231539622


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Detail - For theorists in search of a political theology that is more responsive to the challenges now facing western democracies, this book tenders a new political economy anchored in a theory of value. The political theology of the future, Carl Raschke argues, must draw on a powerful, hidden impetus—the “force of God”—to frame a new value-economy. It must also embrace a radical, “faith-based” revolutionary style of theory that reconceives the power of the “theological” in political thought and action. Raschke ties democracy’s retreat to the West’s failure to confront its decadence and mobilize its vast spiritual resources. Worsening debt, rising unemployment, and gross income inequality have led to a crisis in political representation and values that twentieth-century theorists never anticipated. Drawing on the thought of Hegel and Nietzsche as well as recent work by Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Jean-Joseph Goux, Giorgio Agamben, and Alain Badiou, among others, Raschke recasts political theology for a new generation. He proposes a bold, uncompromising critical theory that acknowledges the enduring relevance of Marx without relying strictly on his materialism and builds a vital, more spiritually grounded relationship between politics and the religious imaginary.

Self and Emotional Life : Philosophy, Psychoanalysis, and Neuroscience

Philosophy

Author - Adrian Johnston, Catherine Malabou
Publisher - Columbia University Press
Pages - 304
ISBN - 023153518X


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Detail - Adrian Johnston and Catherine Malabou defy theoretical humanities’ deeply-entrenched resistance to engagements with the life sciences. Rather than treat biology and its branches as hopelessly reductive and politically suspect, they view recent advances in neurobiology and its adjacent scientific fields as providing crucial catalysts to a radical rethinking of subjectivity. Merging three distinct disciplines—European philosophy from Descartes to the present, Freudian-Lacanian psychoanalysis, and affective neuroscience—Johnston and Malabou triangulate the emotional life of affective subjects as conceptualized in philosophy and psychoanalysis with neuroscience. Their experiments yield different outcomes. Johnston finds psychoanalysis and neurobiology have the potential to enrich each other, though affective neuroscience demands a reconsideration of whether affects can be unconscious. Investigating this vexed issue has profound implications for theoretical and practical analysis, as well as philosophical understandings of the emotions. Malabou believes scientific explorations of the brain seriously problematize established notions of affective subjectivity in Continental philosophy and Freudian-Lacanian analysis. She confronts philosophy and psychoanalysis with something neither field has seriously considered: the concept of wonder and the cold, disturbing visage of those who have been affected by disease or injury, such that they are no longer affected emotionally. At stake in this exchange are some of philosophy’s most important claims concerning the relationship between the subjective mind and the objective body, the structures and dynamics of the unconscious dimensions of mental life, the role emotion plays in making us human, and the functional differences between philosophy and science.

Philosophical Temperaments : From Plato to Foucault

Philosophy

Author - Peter Sloterdijk
Publisher - Columbia University Press
Pages - 136
ISBN - 0231527403


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Detail - Peter Sloterdijk turns his keen eye to the history of western thought, conducting colorful readings of the lives and ideas of the world’s most influential intellectuals. Featuring nineteen vignettes rich in personal characterizations and theoretical analysis, Sloterdijk’s companionable volume casts the development of philosophical thinking not as a buildup of compelling books and arguments but as a lifelong, intimate struggle with intellectual and spiritual movements, filled with as many pitfalls and derailments as transcendent breakthroughs. Sloterdijk delves into the work and times of Aristotle, Augustine, Bruno, Descartes, Foucault, Fichte, Hegel, Husserl, Kant, Kierkegaard, Leibniz, Marx, Nietzsche, Pascal, Plato, Sartre, Schelling, Schopenhauer, and Wittgenstein. He provocatively juxtaposes Plato against shamanism and Marx against Gnosticism, revealing both the vital external influences shaping these intellectuals’ thought and the excitement and wonder generated by the application of their thinking in the real world. The philosophical “temperament” as conceived by Sloterdijk represents the uniquely creative encounter between the mind and a diverse array of cultures. It marks these philosophers’ singular achievements and the special dynamic at play in philosophy as a whole. Creston Davis’s introduction details Sloterdijk’s own temperament, surveying the celebrated thinker’s intellectual context, rhetorical style, and philosophical persona.

The Incident at Antioch/L'Incident d'Antioche : A Tragedy in Three Acts/Tragedie en trois actes

Drama

Author - Alain Badiou
Publisher - Columbia University Press
Pages - 216
ISBN - 023152773X


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Detail - Widely translated and considered to be the most important philosopher of our time, Alain Badiou is also a novelist and the author of four celebrated comedies and two tragedies. The Incident at Antioch is the last of his plays to be published in French and the first to be published in English, introducing a side of Badiou the Anglophone world has never encountered before. As a crucial link between Badiou’s key early philosophical work, Theory of the Subject, and his magnum opus, Being and Event, The Incident at Antioch marks the philosopher’s transition from classical Marxism to a “politics of subtraction” far removed from party and state. Written with striking eloquence and extraordinary poetic richness, and shifting from highly serious emotional and intellectual drama to surreal comic interlude, the play features statesmen, workers, and revolutionaries struggling to reconcile the nature and practice of politics. This bilingual edition presents L’Incident d’Antioche in its original French and, on facing pages, an expertly-executed English translation. Badiou adds a special preface, and an introduction by the scholar Kenneth Reinhard connects the play to its primary influences: Paul Claudel’s The City, Saint Paul and the early history of the Church, and the innovative mathematical thinking of Paul Cohen. The translation includes Susan Spitzer’s extensive notes clarifying allusions and quotations and hinting at Badiou’s intentions. The volume concludes with an interview with Badiou on the play’s settings, themes, and events, as well as his ongoing literary and conceptual experimentation on stage and off.