Applying an ever more radical hermeneutics, John D. Caputo breaks down the name of God in this irrepressible book. Instead of looking at God as merely a name, Caputo views it as an event, or what the name conjures or promises in the future. For Caputo, the event exposes God as weak, unstable, and barely functional. While this view of God flies in the face of most religions and philosophies, it also puts up a serious challenge to fundamental tenets of (...) theology and ontology. Along the way, Caputo’s readings of the New Testament, especially of Paul’s view of the Kingdom of God, help to support the "weak force" theory. This penetrating work cuts to the core of issues and questions—What is the nature of God? What is the nature of being? What is the relationship between God and being? What is the meaning of forgiveness, faith, piety, or transcendence?—that define the terrain of contemporary philosophy of religion. (shrink)
There can be no mistaking the importance of Caputo's work." —Edith Wyschogrod "No one interested in Derrida, in Caputo, or in the larger question of postmodernism and religion can afford to ignore this pathbreaking study.
"Against Ethics is beautifully written, clever, learned, thought-provoking, and even inspiring." —Theological Studies "Writing in the form of his ideas, Caputo offers the reader a truly exquisite reading experience.... his iconic style mirrors a truly refreshing honesty that draws the reader in to play." —Quarterly Journal of Speech "Against Ethics is, in my judgment, one of the most important works on philosophical ethics that has been written in recent years.... Caputo speaks with a passion and a concern that are rare (...) in academic philosophy. His profound sense of humor deepens the passion of the viewpoints he develops." —Mark C. Taylor "Obligation happens!" declares Caputo in this brilliant and witty postmodern critique of ethics, framed as a contemporary restaging of Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling. (shrink)
The Insistence of God presents the provocative idea that God does not exist, God insists, while God’s existence is a human responsibility, which may or may not happen. For John D. Caputo, God’s existence is haunted by "perhaps," which does not signify indecisiveness but an openness to risk, to the unforeseeable. Perhaps constitutes a theology of what is to come and what we cannot see coming. Responding to current critics of continental philosophy, Caputo explores the materiality of perhaps and the (...) promise of the world. He shows how perhaps can become a new theology of the gaps God opens. (shrink)
In these original essays and interviews, leading hermeneutical philosophers and postmodern theorists John D. Caputo and Gianni Vattimo engage with each other's past and present work on the subject and reflect on our transition from ...
"This is a remarkable book: wide-ranging, resonant, and well-written; it is also reflective and personable, warm and engaging." —Philosophy and Literature "With this book Caputo takes his place firmly as the foremost American, continental post-modernist... " —International Philosophical Quarterly "One cannot but be impressed by the scope of Radical Hermeneutics." —Man and World "Caputo’s study is stunning in its scope and scholarship." —Robert E. Lauder, St. John’s University, The Thomist For John D. Caputo, hermeneutics means radical thinking without transcendental justification: (...) attending to the ruptures and irregularities in existence before the metaphysics of presence has a chance to smooth them over. Radical Hermeneutics forges a closer collaboration between hermeneutics and deconstruction than has previously been attempted. (shrink)
John D. Caputo explores the very roots of religious thinking in this thought-provoking book. Compelling questions come up along the way: 'What do I love when I love my God?' and 'What can Star Wars tell us about the contemporary use of religion?' Why is religion for many a source of moral guidance in a postmodern, nihilistic age? Is it possible to have 'religion without religion'? Drawing on contemporary images of religion, such as Robert Duvall's film _The Apostle_, Caputo also (...) provides some fascinating and imaginative insights into religious fundamentalism. (shrink)
Pushing past the constraints of postmodernism which cast "reason" and"religion" in opposition, God, the Gift, and Postmodernism, seizes the opportunity to question the authority of "the modern" and open the limits of possible experience, including the call to religious experience, as a new millennium approaches. Jacques Derrida, the father of deconstruction, engages with Jean-Luc Marion and other religious philosophers to entertain questions about intention, givenness, and possibility which reveal the extent to which deconstruction is structured like religion. New interpretations of (...) Kant, Heidegger, Husserl, and Derrida emerge from essays and discussions with distinguished philosophers and theologians from the United States and Europe. The result is that God, the Gift, and Postmodernism elaborates a radical phenomenology that stretches the limits of its possibility and explores areas where philosophy and religion have become increasingly and surprisingly convergent. Contributors include: John D. Caputo, John Dominic Crossan, Jacques Derrida, Robert Dodaro, Richard Kearney, Jean-Luc Marion, Frangoise Meltzer, Michael J. Scanlon, Mark C. Taylor, David Tracy, Merold Westphal and Edith Wyschogrod. (shrink)
In 15 insightful essays, Jacques Derrida and an international group of scholars of religion explore postmodern thinking about God and consider the nature of forgiveness in relation to the paradoxes of the gift. Among the themes addressed by contributors are the possibilities of imagining God as unthinkable, imagining God as non-patriarchal, imagining a return to Augustine, and imagining an age in which praise is far more important than narrative. Questioning God moves readers beyond the parameters of metaphysical reason and modernist (...) rationality as it attempts to think the questions of God and forgiveness in a postmodernist context. Contributors include John D. Caputo, Jacques Derrida, Mark Dooley, Francis Schüssler Fiorenza, Robert Gibbs, Jean Greisch, Kevin Hart, Richard Kearney, Cleo McNelly Kearns, John Milbank, Regina M. Schwartz, Michael J. Scanlon, and Graham Ward. Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Religion—Merold Westphal, general editor. (shrink)
_The Religious_ offers landmark texts from Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Levinas, Derrida, and Irigaray, excerpts from the famous debate between Jean-Luc Marion and Dominique Janicaud, and ten original selections, some of which include coverage of feminist theology.
ALTHOUGH hailed as a sign of a thaw in the cold war between Anglo-American and continental philosophy, Richard Rorty's beguiling appropriation of the thought of Heidegger in his recent writings has produced no small measure of confusion. How seriously, one wonders, has Rorty moved towards Heidegger? Or contrariwise, just how close does Heidegger come to saying the sorts of things Rorty does? Is Rorty just trying to shock the Anglo-American community by invoking the name of Heidegger? Is he being intentionally (...) outrageous in order to draw attention to what he takes to be the more sober part of his argument? Is there only a grain of truth to this assimilation of Heidegger, while the real positions of the two thinkers are vastly different? (shrink)
The essays in this book, by a variety of leading Augustine scholars, examine not only Augustine's multifaceted philosophy and its relation to his epoch-making theology, but also his practice as a philosopher, as well as his relation to other philosophers both before and after him. Thus the collection shows that Augustine's philosophy remains an influence and a provocation in a wide variety of settings today.
The introduction by Merold Westphal sets the scene: "Two books, two visions of philosophy, two friends and sometimes colleagues...". Modernity and Its Discontents is a debate between Caputo and Marsh in which each upheld their opposing philosphical positions by critical modernism and post-modernism. The book opens with a critique of each debater of the other's previous work. With its passionate point-counterpoint form, the book recalls the philosphical dialogues of classical times, but the writing style remains lucid and uncluttered. Taking the (...) failure of Englightenment ideals as their common ground, the debaters challenge each other's ideas on the nature of post-foundationalist critique. At the core of the argument lies the timely question of the role that each person can play in creating a truly humane society. (shrink)
I characterize Merold Westphal’s synthesis of Christian faith and postmodern philosophy as an “epistemological” or “methodological,” postmodernism, one that sees postmodern thought as describing certain limits upon human understanding while leaving open the question of how things are in the nature of things, that is, how things are understood by God. Postmodernism is not denying God, but only that we are God. In a characteristically postmodern way, Westphal has found it useful to limit knowledge in order to make room for (...) faith, in the tradition of Kant, where these limits are historical and linguistic rather than ahistorical and apriori. In the second half of this paper, I advance the notion that postmodernism cuts deeper than epistemology and makes questionable certain features of the self and God. (shrink)
In his epistles, St. Paul sounded a universalism that has recently been taken up by secular philosophers who do not share his belief in Christ, but who regard his project as centrally important for contemporary political life. The Pauline project—as they see it—is the universality of truth, the conviction that what is true is true for everyone, and that the truth should be known by everyone. In this volume, eminent New Testament scholars, historians, and philosophers debate whether Paul's promise can (...) be fulfilled. Is the proper work of reading Paul to reconstruct what he said to his audiences? Is it crucial to retrieve the sense of history from the text? What are the philosophical undercurrents of Paul's message? This scholarly dialogue ushers in a new generation of Pauline studies. (shrink)
The issue of the institution is not addressed systematically anywhere in the literature on Foucault, although it is everywhere to be found in Foucault's writings._ Foucault and the Critique of Institutions_ not only interprets the work of Foucault but also applies it to the question of the institution. Foucault is a master at analyzing the web of social relations that effectively shape the modern individual. While these social relations are smaller and finer than institutions, institutions are, by Foucault's account, saturated (...) with such relations. This study is the first sustained account to follow up the implications of Foucault's provocative theses about power for the analysis of institutions. _Foucault and the Critique of Institutions _offers a set of preliminary essays that raise basic questions about the theoretical character of Foucault's thought and then several groups of other essays that go on to take up the practical issues raised by his work. Joseph Margolis and Jitendra Mohanty address one of the most complex problems posed by Foucault's texts: his status as a philosopher. Mark Poster explores the problem of the "self" in Foucault, while Judith Butler focuses her searching investigation of the self on its gendered nature. Joseph Rouse examines the functioning of the natural sciences within the institutional setting of the university and the academic profession, while Chuck Dyke and Mary Schmelzer present vigorous critiques of the normalizing power of the university. Robert Moore and Mark Yount offer original studies of the implications of Foucault's work for the workplace, labor law, and affirmative action. Finally, John Caputo studies Foucault's famous history of madness and raises the question of the possibility of exercising a "healing" and not merely a "normalizing" power in the mental hospital and the church. (shrink)
Using Kierkegaard’s Works of Love, I advocate a theory of interpretation as a conversation with the dead, of the same sort Kierkegaard was practicing in the last discourse of his book. I do not mean reading the works of dead white European males, but looking at things from the perspective of the grave where, as Kierkegaard says, we are all equal before God. I will maintain that the creative conflict of interpretations arises from the ambiguity of this conversation, from the (...) difficulty we have in making out just what the dead are saying, which I will relate to what Derrida calls the absolute “secret.” Whence the Derridean idea that only as “hauntology” is hermeneutics possible. I insert the interpretation of religious faith within this hauntological hermeneutical framework. (shrink)