An Immanence without the World: On Dispossession, Nothingness, and Secularity
- Qui Parle: Critical Humanities and Social Sciences
- Duke University Press
- Volume 30, Number 1, June 2021
- pp. 51-86
- Additional Information
This essay proposes to rethink the conceptual associations that bind immanence to the secular and oppose it to (divine) transcendence. It asks: What if immanence is divorced from the conceptual opposition between the world and its openings to (divine) other(s), between enclosure and the trace of a transcendent outside? What might arise if immanence is severed from its link with secularity, if it ceases to be merely another conceptual support in secularism’s metaphysical armature? To pursue these questions, the essay engages a variety of materials, including medieval mysticism, anthropological critiques of the secular, work in Black studies, critiques of the subject, and François Laruelle’s non-philosophical thought.Theresult linksimmanence more intimately with dispossession than with the subject’s selfpossession— and entwines it with the undercommons, as the atopic lowest place, rather than with the nomos and topos imposed by the (modern) world and its regime of the proper. Immanence is thought of as anti- and antenomian force, a groundless ground coming underneath the conceptual logics of the world, its normative order of things, and life lived according to its distributions. As a result, rather than a weapon in modernity’s endless self-justifying polemics with religion, immanence opens forth trajectories for its destitution and delegitimation.