“Even in its accepted modern meaning, which converts scandal into a mere matter of representation, the notion of the scandalous cannot be defined univocally.” “I recognize in scandal a rigorous definition of the mimetic process.” Not all rigorous definitions are univocal. But a reader of Girard’s works may be forgiven for thinking that the New Testament, or at least the Gospels, contain a uniform teaching on scandal. As Girard writes in Things Hidden: “A whole group of texts in the Gospels (...) centers on the notion of scandal, and in others it makes a significant appearance. Bring all these together, and you will reach a definite conclusion, even though the texts are quite heterogeneous” (416). .. (shrink)
In this radical reinterpretation of Rousseau, Jeremiah Alberg reveals the neglected theological dimension of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s philosophy. Alberg shows how only Christianity can bring the coherence of Rousseau’s system to light, arguing that the philosopher's system of thought is founded on theological scandal and on his inability to accept forgiveness through Christianity. This book explores Rousseau’s major works in a novel way, advancing his system of thought as an alternative to Christianity.
Jeremiah Alberg’s fascinating book explores a phenomenon almost every news reader has experienced: the curious tendency to skim over dispatches from war zones, political battlefields, and economic centers, only to be drawn in by headlines announcing a late-breaking scandal. Rationally we would agree that the former are of more significance and importance, but they do not pique our curiosity in quite the same way. The affective reaction to scandal is one both of interest and of embarrassment or anger at the (...) interest. The reader is at the same time attracted to and repulsed by it. _Beneath the Veil of the Strange Verses _describes the roots out of which this conflicted desire grows, and it explores how this desire mirrors the violence that undergirds the scandal itself. The book shows how readers seem to be confronted with a stark choice: either turn away from scandal completely or become enthralled and thus trapped by it. Using examples from philosophy, literature, and the Bible, Alberg leads the reader on a road out of this false dichotomy. By its nature, the author argues, scandal is the basis of our reading; it is the source of the obstacles that prevent us from understanding what we read, and of the bridges that lead to a deeper grasp of the truth. (shrink)
KantObservations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and the Sublime’ reveal a deep concern with the way in which the human drives to equality and unity lead inevitably to a drive for honour and its attendant delusions. He developed his thinking about these problems in the context of his reading of Rousseau. In his published Dreams of a Spirit-Seer, Kant tries to overcome the influence of the drive for honour by appealing to a metaphysics that is critical of itself. The (...) problem is how to distinguish what is grounded in reason when that reason is so easily influenced by others. (shrink)
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus blesses those who “find no scandal” in him. Whatever the word “scandal” might mean in this beatitude, it cannot simply denote our usual sense of shock at flagrantly bad behavior. The scandal that one takes in Christ is the scandal of the Cross and, as such, it has to do with the crucial issues of evil, violence, and suffering, as well as redemption and salvation. The kind of scandal experienced in different ways by Jean-Jacques (...) Rousseau and by Jacques Derrida reading Rousseau.It might come as a surprise to learn that these two thinkers had some important things to say about scandal, but it should come as no surprise that they were drawn to the.. (shrink)
Both Rousseau and Kant wrote their works with the intention of contributing to the well-being of humans. The ways in which Kant followed Rousseau to achieve this aim were many and go beyond those easily recognized. This article presents evidence for Rousseau’s influence in the Discipline of Pure Reason chapter of the Doctrine of Method in the First Critique. Both Rousseau and Kant emphasized discipline as a necessary part of a proper education that leads to a well-ordered life. Kant’s form (...) of discipline is modeled on the education given to Emile. This approach to the Discipline chapter also affords an enlightening view of Kant’s position in Dreams of a Spirit-Seer. (shrink)