Grammars of the Immanent: or, Will the Real Catholic Žižek Please Stand Up?

Dissertation, Toronto Baptist Seminary & Bible College (2021)


The high-profile debate between John Milbank and Slavoj Žižek in The Monstrosity of Christ comprises an immensely important work in the contemporary intersection of Church dogmatics and ontology. This study consists of an indirect commentary on this debate, using Milbank and Žižek’s dispute as a foil for mobilizing an ontology favorable to Eastern Orthodox dogmatics. The starting point here is that Orthodoxy simply bypasses Neo-Platonism as the definitive philosophical expression of its dogmatic theology, and, on this score, Žižek’s powerful criticisms of theurgic Neo-Platonism can be embraced and redirected in support of an ontology of the Orthodox dogma of synergy. It will be shown that Milbank’s position that there is a “Catholic Žižek” who embraces theurgy—that is, analogical, Neo-Platonist ontology—is mistaken; the dismantling of the “suspended middle” is necessary for the Žižekian and that, therefore, a Catholic version of this figure does not exist. But it will be suggested that, instead, there is a latent Orthodox Žižek whose criticism of analogical ontology can pave the way for a more profitable dialogue between Žižek and Orthodoxy. The conclusion will provide a playful reading of an Orthodox Žižek—an entirely fictional but ontologically serviceable character—who can begin new conversations between ontology and dogmatic theology. The upshot of the study is the extension of Terry Eagleton’s claim that the historical materialist, but not the dialectical materialist, can legitimately venerate the Virgin Mary—to the surprising suggestion that even the dialectical materialist can justifiably venerate her, too.

Download options


External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

85 (#140,076)

6 months
59 (#13,330)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Similar books and articles

Fichte Und Die Analogia Entis.Faustino Fabbianelli - 2019 - Fichte-Studien 47:129-146.
A Trace of Similarity Within Even Greater Dissimilarity.Mariusz Tabaczek - 2018 - Forum Philosophicum: International Journal for Philosophy 23 (1):95-132.
Hegel, Adorno and the Origins of Immanent Criticism.James Gordon Finlayson - 2014 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 22 (6):1142-1166.
Erich Przywara on Sieg-Katholizismus, Bolshevism, the Jews, Volk, Reich and the Analogia Entis in the 1920s and 1930s.Paul Silas Peterson - 2012 - Journal for the History of Modern Theology/Zeitschrift für Neuere Theologiegeschichte 19 (1):104-140.
A Trace of Similarity Within Even Greater Dissimilarity.Mariusz Tabaczek - 1970 - Forum Philosophicum: International Journal for Philosophy 23 (1):95-132.
Barth and Žižek: Dialectical Theologians.Michael Jimenez - 2012 - International Journal of Žižek Studies 6 (1).