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Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

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Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

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Is There a Sabbath for Thought?

Between Religion and Philosophy

William Desmond

Seeking to renew an ancient companionship between the philosophical andthe religious, this book's meditative chapters dwell on certain elementalexperiences or happenings that keep the soul alive to the enigma of the divine.William Desmond engages the philosophical work of Pascal, Kant, Hegel,Nietzsche, Shestov, and Soloviev, among others, and pursues with a philosophicalmindfulness what is most intimate in us, yet most universal: sleep, poverty,imagination, courage and witness, reverence, hatred and love, peace and war.Being religious has to do with that intimate universal, beyond arbitrarysubjectivism and reductionist objectivism.In this book, he attempts to look at religion with a fresh and open mind,asking how philosophy might itself stand up to some of the questions posed toit by religion, not just how religion might stand up to the questions posed to it byphilosophy. Desmond tries to pursue a new and different policy, one faithfulto the light of this dialogue.

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Material Spirit

Religion and Literature Intranscendent

Gregory C. Stallings

The essays in this collection examine philosophical, religious, and literary or artistic texts using methodologies and insights that have grown out of reflection on literature and art. In them, them phrase “material spirit” becomes a point of departure for considering the continuing spectral effects of religious texts and concerns in ways that do not simply call for, or assume, new orrenewed forms of religiosity. The writers in this collection seek to examine religion beyond traditional notions of transcendence: Their topics range from early Christian religious practices to global climate change. Some of the essays explore religious themes or tones in literary texts, for example, works by Wordsworth, Hopkins, Proust, Woolf, and Teresa of Avila. Others approach—in a literarycritical mood—philosophical or para-philosophical writers such as Bataille, Husserl, Derrida, and Benjamin. Still others treat writers of a more explicitly religious orientation, such as Augustine, Rosenzweig, or Bernard of Clairvaux.

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The Metamorphosis of Finitude

An Essay on Birth and Resurrection

Emmanuel Falque

This book starts off from a philosophical premise: nobody can be in the world unless they are born into the world. It examines this premise in the light of the theological belief that birth serves, or ought to serve, as a model for understanding what resurrection could signify for us today. After all, the modern Christian needs to find some way of understanding resurrection, and the dogma of the resurrection of the body is vacuous unless we can relate it philosophically to our own world of experience. Nicodemus first posed the question "How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother's womb and be born?" This book reads that problem in the context of contemporary philosophy (particularly the thought of Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, and Deleuze). A phenomenology of the body born "from below" is seen as a paradigm for a theology of spiritual rebirth, and for rebirth of the body from "on high." The Resurrection changes everything in Christianity--but it is also our own bodies that must be transformed in resurrection, as Christ is transfigured. And the way in which I hope to be resurrected bodily in God, in the future, depends upon the way in which I live bodily today.

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Miracle and Machine:Jacques Derrida and the Two Sources of Religion, Science, and the Media

Jacques Derrida and the Two Sources of Religion, Science, and the Media

Michael Naas

Miracle and Machine is a sort of "reader's guide" to Jacques Derrida's 1994 essay "faith and knowledge," his most important work on the nature of religion in general and on the unprecedented forms it is taking today through science and the media. It provides essential background for understanding Derrida's essay, commentary on its unique style and its central figures (e.g., Kant, Hegel, Bergson, and Heidegger), and assessment of its principal philosophical claims about the fundamental duplicity of religion and the ineluctably autoimmune relationship among religion, science, and the media. Along the way it offers in-depth analysis of Derrida's treatment of everything from the nature of religious revelation, faith, prayer, sacrifice, testimony, messianicity, fundamentalism, and secularism to the way religion is today being transformed by globalization, technoscience, and worldwide telecommunications networks.But Miracle and Machine is much more than a commentary on a single Derrida text. Through references to scores of other works by Derrida, both early and late, it also provides a unique introduction to Derrida's work in general. It demonstrates that one of the very best ways to understand the terms, themes, claims, strategies, and motivations of Derridean deconstruction from the early 1960s through 2004 is to read critically and patiently, in its spirit and in its letter, an exemplary text such as "Faith and Knowledge." Finally, Miracle and Machine attempts to put Derrida's ideasabout religion to the test by reading alongside "Faith and Knowledge" an already classic work of American fiction that is more or less contemporaneous with it, Don DeLillo's 1997 Underworld, a novel that explores the same relationship between faith and knowledge, religion and science, religious revelation and the World Wide Web,messianicity, and weapons of mass destruction in a word, in two words, miracles and machines.

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Negative Ecstasies

Georges Bataille and the Study of Religion

Edited by Jeremy Biles, and Kent L. Brintnall

Despite Georges Bataille’s acknowledged influence on major poststructuralist thinkers—including Foucault, Derrida, Kristeva, Lacan, Baudrillard, and Barthes—and his prominence in literary, cultural, and social theory, rarely has he been taken up by scholars of religion, even as issues of the sacred were central to his thinking. Bringing together established scholars and emerging voices, Negative Ecstasies engages Bataille from the perspective of religious studies and theology, forging links with feminist and queer theory, economics, secularism, psychoanalysis, fat studies, and ethics. As these essays demonstrate, Bataille’s work bears significance to contemporary questions in the academy and vital issues in the world. We continue to ignore him at our peril.

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Nietzsche and the Becoming of Life

Vanessa Lemm

Throughout his writing career Nietzsche advocates the affirmation of earthly life as a way to counteract nihilism and asceticism. This volume takes stock of the complexities and wide-ranging perspectives that Nietzsche brings to bear on the problem of life’s becoming on earth by engaging various interpretative paradigms reaching from existentialist to Darwinist readings of Nietzsche. _x000B__x000B_In an age in which the biological sciences claim to have unlocked the deepest secrets and codes of life, the essays in this volume propose a more skeptical view. Life is both what is closest and what is furthest from us, because life experiments through us as much as we experiment with it, because life keeps our thinking and our habits always moving, in a state of recurring nomadism. Nietzsche’s philosophy is perhaps the clearest expression of the antinomy contained in the idea of “studying” life and in the Socratic ideal of an “examined” life, and remains a deep source of wisdom about living._x000B__x000B_

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Nietzsche's Animal Philosophy

Culture, Politics, and the Animality of the Human Being

Vanessa Lemm

This book explores the significance of human animality in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche and provides the first systematic treatment of the animal theme in Nietzsche's corpus as a whole Lemm argues that the animal is neither a random theme nor a metaphorical device in Nietzsche's thought. Instead, it stands at the center of his renewal of the practice and meaning of philosophy itself. Lemm provides an original contribution to on-going debates on the essence of humanism and its future. At the center of this new interpretation stands Nietzsche's thesis that animal life and its potential for truth, history, and morality depends on a continuous antagonism between forgetfulness (animality) and memory (humanity). This relationship accounts for the emergence of humanity out of animality as a function of the antagonism between civilization and culture. By taking the antagonism of culture and civilization to be fundamental for Nietzsche's conception of humanity and its becoming, Lemm gives a new entry point into the political significance of Nietzsche's thought. The opposition between civilization and culture allows for the possibility that politics is more than a set of civilizational techniques that seek to manipulate, dominate, and exclude the animality of the human animal. By seeing the deep-seated connections of politics with culture, Nietzsche orients politics beyond the domination over life and, instead, offers the animality of the human being a positive, creative role in the organization of life. Lemm's book presents Nietzsche as the thinker of an emancipatory and affirmative biopolitics.This book will appeal not only to readers interested in Nietzsche, but also to anyone interested in the theme of the animal in philosophy, literature, cultural studies and the arts, as well as those interested in the relation between biological life and politics.

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On Becoming God

Late Medieval Mysticism and the Modern Western Self

Ben Morgan

Do we have to conceive of ourselves as isolated individuals, inevitably distanced from other people and from whatever we might mean when we use the word "God"? On Becoming God offers an innovative approach to the history of the modern Western self by looking at human identity as something people do together rather than on their own, as a way of managing and keeping at bay the impulses and experiences associated with the word "God." The "self" is a way of doing things, or of not doing things, with "God." The book draws on phenomenology (Heidegger), gender studies (Beauvoir, Butler), and contemporary neuroscience. It surveys existing approaches to modern selfhood (Foucault, Charles Taylor) and proposes an alternative account by investigating late medieval mysticism, in particular texts written in Germany by Meister Eckhart and others. It concludes by exploring the parallel between late medieval confessors and their spiritual charges, and late-nineteenth-century psychoanalysts and their patients, in search of a vocabulary for acknowledging and nurturing our everyday commitments to others and to our spiritual longings.

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Overcoming Onto-Theology

Toward a Postmodern Christian Faith

Merold Westphal

Overcoming Onto-theology is a stunning collection of essays by Merold Westphal, one of America's leading continental philosophers of religion, in which Westphal carefully explores the nature and the structure of a postmodern Christian philosophy. Written with characteristic clarity and charm, Westphal offers masterful studies of Heidegger's early lectures on Paul and Augustine, the idea of hermeneutics, Schleiermacher, Hegel, Derrida, and Nietzsche, all in the service of building his argument that postmodern thinking offers an indispensable tool for rethinking Christian faith. A must read for every student and professor of continental philosophy and the philosophy of religion, Overcoming Onto-theology is an invaluable collection that brings together in one place fourteen provocative and lucid essays by one of the most important thinkers working in American philosophy today.

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A Passion for the Possible

Thinking with Paul Ricoeur

Brian Treanor

Paul Ricoeur's entire philosophical project narrates a passion for the possibleexpressed in the hope that in spite of death, closure, and sedimentation, life is opened by superabundance, by how the world gives us much more than is possible. Ricoeur's philosophical anthropology is a phenomenology of human capacity, which gives onto the groundless ground of human being, namely, God. Thus the story of the capable man, beginning with original goodness held captive by a servile will and ending with the possibility of liberation and regeneration of the heart, underpins his passion for the more than possible. The essays in this volume trace the fluid movement between phenomenological and religious descriptions of the capable self that emerges across Ricoeur's oeuvre and establish points of connection for future developments that might draw inspiration from this body of thought.

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