John Caputo has a lengthy (93 pages!) new article in the Spring 2011 issue of JCRT (11.2) called "The return of anti-religion: from radical atheism to radical theology." Some of you Meillassoux fans might be a bit insulted! From the intro:

"Postmodern theology has come of age. It now has its own counter-movement, a new generation of philosophers marching under the flag of materialism, realism, and anti-religion who complain that the theologians are back at their old trick of appropriating attempts to kill off religion in order to make religion stronger.

Martin Hägglund‘s Radical Atheism [RA] is a closely argued contribution to the recent debate that fits hand in glove with the new counter-movement. His book has reinvented Derrida for the younger generation of restless realists and comes as a timely refutation of any attempt to reduce Derrida to an anti-realist or anti-materialist. The book is especially welcome in the light of Meillassoux‘s caricature of correlationism, which treats continental philosophers from Kant on as ―creationists. (That is not an exaggeration. I understand the need to kill the father, but one ought at least to make some sense when asked for the motive for the murder. Besides, such caricatures invite an obvious counter-argument: if treating Derrida and Foucault as creationists is where the new realism leads, then so much the worse for the new realism!)

In my view it [RA] presents a certain deconstruction, and a certain logic of deconstruction, but in an abridged edition of Derrida cut to fit the new materialism, all scrubbed up and sanitized, nothing written in the margins, deconstruction as logic not écriture. I wish it well. But in my view not only is the unabridged edition of deconstruction considerably more interesting it also provides the basis for a criticism of religion from within, rather than mounting a frontal attack from without that tries to hammer religion senseless. In deconstruction religion is more than one, and that opens up a possibility never considered in RA, what we might call a religious materialism, a religion without the immaterialism of two-worlds Augustinianism, another Augustine and another religion, which is in fact the unedited view of Jacques Derrida. Interestingly, Meillassoux himself tried his hand at propounding something of a religious materialism, one that even sounds a bit like the specter of a coming god in Derrida, but with ridiculous results (a fanciful version of eternal recurrence). His position is especially ridiculous when viewed against the subtle and careful analysis of a certain faith and a certain religion and a certain à venir that Derrida provides, an analysis that is unfortunately completely suppressed in Hägglund‘s abridged edition of deconstruction."

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This looks very interesting, Theurj.  Thanks.  It will take time to read, but it looks worthwhile.
Here's a link to other debates with Hagglund, which includes his response to Caputo (JCRT also includes the latter).

Well I am just wondering why a radical theology should only be framed through a judeo-christian centric perpective?

 

We can also perceive here a Derrida´s "habitus" "lamenting", him as arab jew, in a kind of geo-centric identification to his illustrious numidian predecessor, Saint Augustin, an early church father, but basically anti-semite. This is a paradox because the Roman Catholic Church has also been unconsciously been represented as a lackey of french colonialism and its ill-treatment of jews during the infamous Vichy years in Algeria.

 

So the trajectory Heidegger-Augustine representations of Being in the hidden structures of Derrida´s habitus, these two symbolic poles representing the metaphors of oppression of the jewish diaspora by the gentiles seem quite intelligible in a sense. This is my interpretation of course but it is also empirically grounded on my interaction with sephardic jews of north african origins and their marginalized status during the colonial period. To remember his deep friendship with Bourdieu,  himself a boy of poor rural origins, at the prestigious Ecole normale supérieure, the school which has "given" Sartre, Foucault, the nest of the french intellectual bourgeoisie. These two brilliant persons, sons of "nobody" were encountering an alien social context for them, the world of the rich and their habitus. This common experience has deeply shaped their intellectual trajectories.

 

 

 

 

 

There's no reason for anyone to be "insulted." Confrontation is inevitable and should be invited. Besides I think that mediation without compromise is possible here.

On pp. 38-39, Caputo notes that the "cosmic merciless" that Meillassoux and Brassier refer to "only intensifies the religious condition." Well, that was to be my point in criticizing the new anthropocentric tendency in some of the "new cosmologies," that there is a value to this mercilessness -- a bitter pill, but medicine nonetheless.

We might return, for that matter, to the distinction between religion as consolation and religion as "transformation" and "transcendence." As is known, I don't entirely like the latter two terms, and one reason is the normative one that such terms contain the residue of consolation. In any case, I think that there are aspects of the new materialism that resonate with the latter aspect of religion. This aspect, it strikes me, is also what Caputo is talking about when he refers to Eckhart's saying the he "prays to God to rid him of God."

One point I had also hoped to show, in a post that is yet to come, is that in certain sense, the point of view of Melllassoux and Brassier -- the "merciless" of the cosmos, and so on -- is already contained in the philosophy (as a way of life) of the Stoics, Kynics, and particularly the Epicureans. I also think that this position can be shown to resonate with certain aspects of Buddhist thought and its search for "objectivity" ("tathata" or "things are they are").

 

Well I am just wondering why a radical theology should only be framed through a judeo-christian centric perpective?We can also perceive here a Derrida´s "habitus" "lamenting", him as arab jew.

See section 2 on p. 39 and footnote 20 on p. 40.

hummm

pauvre Derrida aux states

 

 

Ce que l'enfer que tu racontes maintenant?

We might return, for that matter, to the distinction between religion as consolation and religion as "transformation" and "transcendence." As is known, I don't entirely like the latter two terms, and one reason is the normative one that such terms contain the residue of consolation. In any case, I think that there are aspects of the new materialism that resonate with the latter aspect of religion. This aspect, it strikes me, is also what Caputo is talking about when he refers to Eckhart's saying the he "prays to God to rid him of God."

Au contraire, see pp. 47-8:

"Of course, one might speak of a 'mystical atheism' in apophatic theology, but this would be in the name of inscribing a zone of sacredness around the unnamable and omni-namable name of God. Eckhart could and did deploy a radical mystical atheism to keep the name of God safe from the idols of theism—'I pray God to rid me of God'—although that earned him the wrath of the Inquisition. That venerable and classical strategy of mystical theology is not what I am about. Like Derrida and unlike Hägglund, I do not trust any discourse not "contaminated with negative theology," and like Derrida and unlike Hägglund, I heed the non-ousiological voices in mystical theology, voices of errancy, of being lost. If strong theology is a handbook for being saved, weak theology is a circum-confession of being lost....The unavoidability of being lost, the impossibility of being saved, is the condition of possibility of an aporetic soteriology, which meditates the mercilessness and mortality of our condition."

The next quote reminds me of the perversion thread:

"In deconstruction the impossible is less a noun than an action-word, a process, an event, designed to track how things happen, plotting a kind of dynamics or kinesthetics. Things come to pass by the impossible, so that deconstruction is first and foremost not a 'theory,' not a 'methodology,' not a 'logic' but a performance, and it is not a garden variety performance but a per-ver-formance, because it subverts the protocols in virtue of which performances are possible, lest the results be pro forma" (50-1).

Ha! Deconstruction fucks God sideways! From here to Kingdom Cum! Now this is radical a/theology.

Section 6 on "ultratranscendental aesthetics" starting on p. 52 looks interesting but no time to read it now, just the opening paragraphs. It goes into time, how Hägglund and Meillassoux both see time as going "all the way down" and being inescapable. Whereas Derrida is not interested in time per se but what makes time possible. i.e., per above, the impossible. I'm reminded of some of our discussions with Tom on QM. More "to come."

Some more:

Once again, I hasten to add, contra Meillassoux, that the theory of constitution is the theory of the constitution of experience, not of the creation of the world or the origin of being in the metaphysical sense. It is an account of experience (Erfahrung) not of our own subjective Erlebnisse; it is an account of our experience of the world not of some subjective buzz. Husserl, Heidegger, and Derrida all claimed that experience is temporal all the way down, and that experience is experience of the world. Experience is not 'merely subjective' even as the trace is not the Demiurge or a creating God” (63)

 

The merit of Hägglund‘s account is to show that différance is not an immaterial being or a transcendental form and that its effects are always spatio-temporal effects.... The effects of its (quasi-)formality are found, as it were, only in the materiality of space-time. But for Derrida différance of itself cannot be situated as an object in its own field. Différance is not a spatial or a temporal thing (res). It is not the infinite flow of time or the spread of space. In the language of the tradition, it is, not a quod or a quid est but a quo. Différance neither is nor is not, is neither ideal nor real, is neither a form nor a material substrate, is 'not more sensible than intelligible,' is not a matter of matter or materialism, of form or formalism or of idea or idealism, just because it supplies the quasi-condition, 'before all determination of the content,' under which all such differences are constituted” (65).

 

Recall how I showed the difference between différance and Kennilingam's consciousness per se in this thread. Which might indeed be the difference between deconstrucive experience (awareness in Tom's sense?) and absolute consciousness.

In the Hajime thread I focused on the use of “qua” so here's a brief excerpt from Derrida's SOP entry:

 

“What becomes foundational therefore in Derrida is this 'as': origin as the heterogeneous 'as.'”

 

Some counsel to not make an ass of yourself; I counter but do make an as of your self.

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