Foucault and Religion seeks to unearth a new dimension of Foucault scholarship. Renowned Foucault scholar Jeremy Carrette reveals not simply how Foucault's work can be applied to religion but how a religious question at the heart of Foucault's own work offers a radical challenge to religious ideas. Carrette argues that Foucault offers a twofold critique of Christianity by bringing the body and sexuality into religious practice and exploring a political spirituality of the self. This first major commentary on Foucault and (...) religion opens up the diverse religious questions the philosopher raises in his work, and sheds new light on how Foucault challenges religious thinking and transforms religious understanding. (shrink)
Michel Foucault and Theology brings together a selection of essays by leading Foucault scholars on a variety of themes within the history, thought and practice of theology. Revealing the diverse ways that the work of Michel Foucault (1926-1984) has been.
In this essay, the author shows how Foucault's discussions of pastoral power relate to a wider “analytics” of religious power set down in 1975 and 1976 before he deploys the language of the “pastoral”. In shifting the discussion of pastoral power to a wider trajectory, the author considers the question of whether pastoral power persists after the historical shift to governmentality. The chapter maps the specific features of Foucault's idea of pastoral power in the 1977–78 College de France course and, (...) aided by the “dry and schematic character” of the lectures. It examines one of the most neglected aspects of pastoral power, the theological relation of pastoral power, something brought to light in the 1977–78 course. The priority Foucault gave to pastoral power is significant not only for its “decisive” historical importance, but also in showing something of how “religion is a political force”. (shrink)
William James's The Varieties of Religious Experience was an intellectual landmark, paving the way for modern study of parapsychology and religious experience. In this indispensable new companion to the Varietie s, key international experts in the fields of religious studies, psychology and mysticism offer contemporary responses to James's book, exploring its historical importance and modern relevance. As the only critical work dedicated to the cross-disciplinary influence of The Varieties of Religious Experience , it stands as a testament to James's genius (...) and ongoing legacy. (shrink)
This review locates the 1980 lectures within the context of the wider discussions of Foucault and religion; highlighting the influence of George Dumézil on the comparative and structural analysis. Assessing the problem of the historical accuracy of Christian history in Foucault’s work and the nature of the archaeological approach, the review explores what would be fair to ask of Foucault’s 1980 lectures on Christianity. The review focuses on the internal consistency, selections and theoretical tensions. While acknowledging that Foucault picks up (...) the important shift towards external ritual performance of early Christian life, the review questions Foucault’s lack of appreciation of the notion of “sacramentum,” which informs the central interpretative framework of “truth acts.” The review suggests that Foucault’s thinking is shaped by an “expressionist theology” and operates on a false binary distinction between faith and practice. It shows the problematic reading of Tertullian and the indivisibility between acts and faith in his work and reveals the counter-conduct and freedom practices in Tertullian’s later Montanist commitment—which rejected church authority for inner commitment to God—and also suggests a gendered dimension to expressionist acts. The review reveals Foucault’s own inability to split the faith-practice dichotomy—on which his expressionistic argument depends—and highlights the tensions that persist in maintaining a “truth-act” model from early Christian life. It concludes by suggesting that the philosophy-theology relation in Foucault opens more questions than it resolves. (shrink)
Using Foucault’s conceptual frame from The Archaeology of Knowledge to read Foucault’s late deployment of “spirituality,” this article argues that Foucault’s enigmatic gesture in using this concept reveals a refusal of “rupture” from the Christian pre-modern discourse of “spirit.” Despite attempts to alter the “field of use,” Foucault’s genealogical commitment ensures a Christian continuity in modern discourses of transformation. In a detailed examination of the 1982 Collège de France lectures, the article returns Foucault’s use of “spirituality” to the Alexandrian joining (...) of philosophy and theology and the specificity of Christian practice and belief. (shrink)
In this book Grace Jantzen constructs a Quaker spirituality of beauty as a theological-philosophical response to a world preoccupied with death and violence. Having mapped the foundations of western cultural violence in the Greco-Roman period and the Judea-Christian tradition in _Foundations of Violence_ and _Violence to Eternity_, she now offers her alternative vision. This vision is an original and creative feminist reading of the Quaker tradition, considering George Fox and the writings of Quaker women, exploring the themes of inner light (...) and beauty as alternatives to violence and the obstacles to building such an alternative world. After showing how seventeenth-century Quakers offered a different option for modernity, she maps the philosophical and ethical implications of engaging with the world through beauty and its transforming power. Written for everyone interested in contemporary spirtuality, it explains how Quaker ideas can provide a way to transform our violent world into one that celebrates life rather than death, peace rather than violence. This work is the second of two posthumous publications to complete Grace M. Jantzen’s _Death and the Displacement of Beauty_ collection, which began with Foundations _of Violence_. (shrink)
Introduction: The politics of religious experience -- The ethics of knowledge in the human sciences -- The ethical veil of the knowledge economy -- Binary knowledge and the protected category -- Economic formations of psychology and religion -- Religion, politics, and psychoanalysis -- Maslow's economy of religious experience -- Cognitive capital and the codification of religion -- Conclusion: Critique and the ethics of not-knowing.
In this volume _Grace M. Jantzen_ continues her groundbreaking analysis of death and beauty in western thought by examining the religious roots of death and violence in the Jewish and Christian tradition, which underlie contemporary values. She shows how man’s fear of the female is often implicated in religious violence and in her critique of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament she examines a range of themes that show the western preoccupation with necrophilia. She examines the relation of (...) death to the Jewish covenant, the nature of monotheism, Holy War and the Christian covenant and kingdom. However, Jantzen recognises that submerged beneath these themes in Judaism and Christianity are traces of an alternative world of beauty and life. Jantzen’s internationally recognised feminist philosophy of religion puts forward a powerful analysis of patriarchy and violence and reveals the hidden power of natality. Her work is a searching challenge for our times and one that gives hope in a violent world. This work is the first of two posthumous publications to complete her impressive genealogy death and beauty of western thought. (shrink)
This book offers a radical new reading of William James’s work on the idea of ‘religion.’ Moving beyond previous psychological and philosophical interpretations, it uncovers a dynamic, imaginative, and critical use of the category of religion. This work argues that we can only fully understand James’s work on religion by returning to the ground of his metaphysics of relations and by incorporating literary and historical themes. Author Jeremy Carette develops original perspectives on the influence of James’s father and Calvinism, on (...) the place of the body and sex in James, on the significance of George Eliot’s novels, and Herbert Spencer’s ‘unknown,’ revealing a social and political discourse of civil religion and republicanism and a poetic imagination at the heart of James understanding of religion. These diverse themes are brought together through a post-structural sensitivity and a recovery of the importance of the French philosopher Charles Renouvier to James’s work. This study pushes new boundaries in Jamesian scholarship by reading James with pluralism and from the French tradition. It will be a benchmark text in the reshaping of James and the nineteenth-century foundations of the modern study of ‘religion.’. (shrink)