In this Book

summary

Everyone agrees that theology has failed; but the question of how to understand and respond to this failure is complex and contested. Against both the radical orthodox attempt to return to a time before the theology’s failure and the deconstructive theological attempt to open theology up to the hope of a future beyond failure, Rose proposes an account of Christian identity as constituted by, not despite, failure. Understanding failure as central to theology opens up new possibilities for confronting Christianity’s violent and kyriarchal history and abandoning the attempt to discover a pure Christ outside of the grotesque materiality of the church.

The Christian mystical tradition begins with Dionysius the Areopagite’s uncomfortable but productive conjunction of Christian theology and Neoplatonism. The tensions generated by this are central to Dionysius’s legacy, visible not only in subsequent theological thought but also in much twentieth century continental philosophy as it seeks to disentangle itself from its Christian ancestry. A Theology of Failure shows how the work of Slavoj Žižek represents an attempt to repeat the original move of Christian mystical theology, bringing together the themes of language, desire, and transcendence not with Neoplatonism but with a materialist account of the world. Tracing these themes through the work of Dionysius and Derrida and through contemporary debates about the gift, violence, and revolution, this book offers a critical theological engagement with Žižek's account of social and political transformation, showing how Žižek's work makes possible a materialist reading of apophatic theology and Christian identity.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-viii
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Introduction: Failing
  2. pp. 1-14
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  1. Ontology and Desire in Dionysius the Areopagite
  2. pp. 15-28
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  1. Apophatic Theology and Its Vicissitudes
  2. pp. 29-55
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  1. The Death Drive: From Freud to Žižek
  2. pp. 56-85
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  1. The Gift and Violence
  2. pp. 86-118
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  1. Divine Violence as Trauma
  2. pp. 119-149
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  1. Mystical Theology and the Four Discourses
  2. pp. 150-174
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  1. Conclusion: Theology as Failure
  2. pp. 175-182
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 183-184
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 185-234
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 235-250
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 251-258
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  1. About the Author
  2. pp. 259-260
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  1. Recent Titles
  2. pp. 261-262
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780823284092
Related ISBN
9780823284078
MARC Record
OCLC
1090540080
Pages
240
Launched on MUSE
2019-04-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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