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Reexamining Deconstruction and Determinate Religion
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Reexamining Deconstruction and Determinate Religion addresses the conventional conflicts between those who desire a more objective, determinate, and quasi-evidentialist perspective on faith and religious truth and those who adopt a more poetic, indeterminate, relativistic, and radical one. Drawing on both continental and analytic philosophy, this unique volume offers a sustained challenge to the prominent paradigm of a “religion without religion,” proposed in a deconstructive philosophy of religion. Articulated by Jacques Derrida and advanced by John D. Caputo, “religion without religion” challenges the epistemic certainty, political exclusivism, and theological absolutism with which specific religious traditions have tended to operate and recommends rejecting or maintaining an ironic distance from the determinate truth-claims and practices of particular religious communities. Without simplistically rejecting deconstruction, Simmons and Minister maintain that a specifically deconstructive approach to religion does not necessarily dictate the complete indeterminancy of a “religion without religion.” Rather, “religion with religion” is offered as a particular way of practicing determinate religions that rejects binary options between undecidability and safety, or between skepticism and dogmatism. Thus, the truths of determinate religions are not assumed, but their possibility is embraced, which invites vigorous and charitable dialogue. Within this framework, the contributors assert that postmodern religious identity is necessary for contemporary ethical and political existence. Organized in what might be called a “polylogue,” chapters 1–5 function dialogically, including two response essays to each of the primary essays. In these chapters, the authors explore topics including politics, faith, and biblical interpretation, but ultimately focus on the philosophical basis for a “religion with religion” and the practice or application of it. Finally, the book ends with two important new essays by Merold Westphal and John D. Caputo, respectively, that consider the conversation of the book as a whole and the very idea of “religion with religion.” Westphal’s essay offers a rigorous analysis and productive response to the essays by the other contributing authors, while Caputo’s lengthy chapter offers a clear and accessible introduction to his philosophical theology. While especially relevant to anyone interested in an overview of and constructive dialogue with deconstructive philosophy of religion, Reexamining Deconstruction and Determinate Religion will be of interest to scholars and students interested in all areas of continental philosophy of religion and its potential benefit to determinate faith practices.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Introduction: On Necessary Interruptions
  2. pp. 1-20
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  1. Part One: The Philosophical Basis for Religion with Religion
  2. pp. 21-22
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  1. Ch. 1. Apologetics after Objectivity
  2. pp. 23-60
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  1. Chapter 1, Reply 1 “As Radical as One Needs to Be” — A Response to J. Aaron Simmons
  2. pp. 61-68
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  1. Chapter 1, Reply 2 Apologetics after Identity? — A Response to J. Aaron Simmons
  2. pp. 69-74
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  1. Ch. 2. Faith Seeking Understanding
  2. pp. 75-112
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  1. Reply 1. Thinking More Positively...and Indeed Why Not? — A Response to Stephen Minister
  2. pp. 113-118
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  1. Chapter 2, Reply 1 Thinking More Positively . . . and Indeed Why Not? — A Response to Stephen Minister
  2. pp. 119-128
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  1. Part Two: Religion with Religion in Practice
  2. pp. 129-130
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  1. Ch. 3. The Phenomenon of the Good: Reconstructing Religion in the Wake of Deconstruction
  2. pp. 131-154
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  1. Reply 1. My Lies Are Always Wishes: Reflections on the Fictional Structure of the Statement of Faith — A Response to Jeffrey Hanson
  2. pp. 155-160
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  1. Reply 2. Silence, Faith, and (the Call to) Goodness — A Response to Jeffrey Hanson
  2. pp. 161-166
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  1. Ch. 4. The Greatest of These: Toward a Phenomenology of Agapic Love
  2. pp. 167-198
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  1. Reply 1. A Tale of Two Logics: Some Further Questions about Agape — A Response to Drew M. Dalton
  2. pp. 199-204
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  1. Reply 2. True Religion — A Response to Drew M. Dalton
  2. pp. 205-210
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  1. Ch. 5. “You Are Not Far from the Kingdom”: Christianity as Self-Disruptive Messianism
  2. pp. 211-228
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  1. Reply 1. The Liturgy of Hermeneutics: Midrash as Open Religion with Religion — A Response to Bruce Ellis Benson
  2. pp. 229-234
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  1. Reply 2. Perhaps Still a Bit Farther Off Than We Think — Engaging Bruce Ellis Benson
  2. pp. 235-244
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  1. Part Three: Responses to Religion with Religion
  2. pp. 245-246
  1. Ch. 6. Conversations on Religion with or without Religion
  2. pp. 247-270
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  1. Ch. 7. On Not Settling for an Abridged Edition of Postmodernism: Radical Hermeneutics as Radical Theology
  2. pp. 271-354
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 355-400
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  1. About the Contributors
  2. pp. 401-402
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 403-409
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  1. Back Cover
  2. pp. 410-410
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