Theology and the Political

[sic] Series

Book 5
Duke University Press
Free sample

The essays in Theology and the Political—written by some of the world’s foremost theologians, philosophers, and literary critics—analyze the ethics and consequences of human action. They explore the spiritual dimensions of ontology, considering the relationship between ontology and the political in light of the thought of figures ranging from Plato to Marx, Levinas to Derrida, and Augustine to Lacan. Together, the contributors challenge the belief that meaningful action is simply the successful assertion of will, that politics is ultimately reducible to “might makes right.” From a variety of perspectives, they suggest that grounding human action and politics in materialist critique offers revolutionary possibilities that transcend the nihilism inherent in both contemporary liberal democratic theory and neoconservative ideology.

Contributors. Anthony Baker, Daniel M. Bell Jr., Phillip Blond, Simon Critchley, Conor Cunningham, Creston Davis, William Desmond, Hent de Vries, Terry Eagleton, Rocco Gangle, Philip Goodchild, Karl Hefty, Eleanor Kaufman, Tom McCarthy, John Milbank, Antonio Negri, Catherine Pickstock, Patrick Aaron Riches, Mary-Jane Rubenstein, Regina Mara Schwartz, Kenneth Surin, Graham Ward, Rowan Williams, Slavoj Žižek

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About the author

Creston Davis is a doctoral candidate in philosophical theology at the University of Virginia.

John Milbank is a professor of religion, politics, and ethics at the University of Nottingham. His books include Being Reconciled: Ontology and Pardon and Theology and Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason.

Slavoj Žižek is a senior researcher at the Institute for Social Studies in Ljubljana, Slovenia. He is the author of Tarrying with the Negative: Kant, Hegel, and the Critique of Ideology, editor of Cogito and the Unconscious: Kant, Hegel, and the Critique of Ideology, and coeditor of Perversion and the Social Relation and Gaze and Voice as Love Objects, all also published by Duke University Press.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Duke University Press
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Published on
Jun 17, 2005
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Pages
491
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ISBN
9780822386490
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Language
English
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Genres
Religion / Religion, Politics & State
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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This collection is the first extended interrogation in any language of Jacques Lacan's Seminar XVII. Originally delivered just after the Paris uprisings of May 1968, Seminar XVII marked a turning point in Lacan’s thought; it was both a step forward in the psychoanalytic debates and an important contribution to social and political issues. Collecting important analyses by many of the major Lacanian theorists and practitioners, this anthology is at once an introduction, critique, and extension of Lacan’s influential ideas.

The contributors examine Lacan’s theory of the four discourses, his critique of the Oedipus complex and the superego, the role of primal affects in political life, and his prophetic grasp of twenty-first-century developments. They take up these issues in detail, illuminating the Lacanian concepts with in-depth discussions of shame and guilt, literature and intimacy, femininity, perversion, authority and revolt, and the discourse of marketing and political rhetoric. Topics of more specific psychoanalytic interest include the role of objet a, philosophy and psychoanalysis, the status of knowledge, and the relation between psychoanalytic practices and the modern university.

Contributors. Geoff Boucher, Marie-Hélène Brousse, Justin Clemens, Mladen Dolar, Oliver Feltham, Russell Grigg, Pierre-Gilles Guéguen, Dominique Hecq, Dominiek Hoens, Éric Laurent, Juliet Flower MacCannell, Jacques-Alain Miller, Ellie Ragland, Matthew Sharpe, Paul Verhaeghe, Slavoj Žižek, Alenka Zupancic

Lenin Reloaded is a rallying call by some of the world’s leading Marxist intellectuals for renewed attention to the significance of Vladimir Lenin. The volume’s editors explain that it was Lenin who made Karl Marx’s thought explicitly political, who extended it beyond the confines of Europe, who put it into practice. They contend that a focus on Lenin is urgently needed now, when global capitalism appears to be the only game in town, the liberal-democratic system seems to have been settled on as the optimal political organization of society, and it has become easier to imagine the end of the world than a modest change in the mode of production. Lenin retooled Marx’s thought for specific historical conditions in 1914, and Lenin Reloaded urges a reinvention of the revolutionary project for the present. Such a project would be Leninist in its commitment to action based on truth and its acceptance of the consequences that follow from action.

These essays, some of which are appearing in English for the first time, bring Lenin face-to-face with the problems of today, including war, imperialism, the imperative to build an intelligentsia of wage earners, the need to embrace the achievements of bourgeois society and modernity, and the widespread failure of social democracy. Lenin Reloaded demonstrates that truth and partisanship are not mutually exclusive as is often suggested. Quite the opposite—in the present, truth can be articulated only from a thoroughly partisan position.

Contributors. Kevin B. Anderson, Alain Badiou, Etienne Balibar, Daniel Bensaïd, Sebastian Budgen, Alex Callinicos, Terry Eagleton, Fredric Jameson, Stathis Kouvelakis, Georges Labica, Sylvain Lazarus, Jean-Jacques Lecercle, Lars T. Lih, Domenico Losurdo, Savas Michael-Matsas, Antonio Negri, Alan Shandro, Slavoj Žižek

The Cartesian cogito—the principle articulated by Descartes that "I think, therefore I am"—is often hailed as the precursor of modern science. At the same time, the cogito's agent, the ego, is sometimes feared as the agency of manipulative domination responsible for all present woes, from patriarchal oppression to ecological catastrophes. Without psychoanalyzing philosophy, Cogito and the Unconscious explores the vicissitudes of the cogito and shows that psychoanalyses can render visible a constitutive madness within modern philosophy, the point at which "I think, therefore I am" becomes obsessional neurosis characterized by "If I stop thinking, I will cease to exist."

Noting that for Lacan the Cartesian construct is the same as the Freudian "subject of the unconscious," the contributors follow Lacan's plea for a psychoanalytic return to the cogito. Along the path of this return, they examine the ethical attitude that befits modern subjectivity, the inherent sexualization of modern subjectivity, the impasse in which the Cartesian project becomes involved given the enigmatic status of the human body, and the Cartesian subject's confrontation with its modern critics, including Althusser, Bataille, and Dennett. In a style that has become familiar to Žižek's readers, these essays bring together a strict conceptual analysis and an approach to a wide range of cultural and ideological phenomena—from the sadist paradoxes of Kant's moral philosophy to the universe of Ayn Rand's novels, from the question "Which, if any, is the sex of the cogito?" to the defense of the cogito against the onslaught of cognitive sciences.

Challenging us to reconsider fundamental notions of human consciousness and modern subjectivity, this is a book whose very Lacanian orthodoxy makes it irreverently transgressive of predominant theoretical paradigms. Cogito and the Unconscious will appeal to readers interested in philosophy, psychoanalysis, cultural studies, and theories of ideology.

Contributors. Miran Bozovic, Mladen Dolar, Alain Grosrichard, Marc de Kessel, Robert Pfaller, Renata Salecl, Slavoj Žižek, Alenka Zupancic

This collection is the first extended interrogation in any language of Jacques Lacan's Seminar XVII. Originally delivered just after the Paris uprisings of May 1968, Seminar XVII marked a turning point in Lacan’s thought; it was both a step forward in the psychoanalytic debates and an important contribution to social and political issues. Collecting important analyses by many of the major Lacanian theorists and practitioners, this anthology is at once an introduction, critique, and extension of Lacan’s influential ideas.

The contributors examine Lacan’s theory of the four discourses, his critique of the Oedipus complex and the superego, the role of primal affects in political life, and his prophetic grasp of twenty-first-century developments. They take up these issues in detail, illuminating the Lacanian concepts with in-depth discussions of shame and guilt, literature and intimacy, femininity, perversion, authority and revolt, and the discourse of marketing and political rhetoric. Topics of more specific psychoanalytic interest include the role of objet a, philosophy and psychoanalysis, the status of knowledge, and the relation between psychoanalytic practices and the modern university.

Contributors. Geoff Boucher, Marie-Hélène Brousse, Justin Clemens, Mladen Dolar, Oliver Feltham, Russell Grigg, Pierre-Gilles Guéguen, Dominique Hecq, Dominiek Hoens, Éric Laurent, Juliet Flower MacCannell, Jacques-Alain Miller, Ellie Ragland, Matthew Sharpe, Paul Verhaeghe, Slavoj Žižek, Alenka Zupancic

Lenin Reloaded is a rallying call by some of the world’s leading Marxist intellectuals for renewed attention to the significance of Vladimir Lenin. The volume’s editors explain that it was Lenin who made Karl Marx’s thought explicitly political, who extended it beyond the confines of Europe, who put it into practice. They contend that a focus on Lenin is urgently needed now, when global capitalism appears to be the only game in town, the liberal-democratic system seems to have been settled on as the optimal political organization of society, and it has become easier to imagine the end of the world than a modest change in the mode of production. Lenin retooled Marx’s thought for specific historical conditions in 1914, and Lenin Reloaded urges a reinvention of the revolutionary project for the present. Such a project would be Leninist in its commitment to action based on truth and its acceptance of the consequences that follow from action.

These essays, some of which are appearing in English for the first time, bring Lenin face-to-face with the problems of today, including war, imperialism, the imperative to build an intelligentsia of wage earners, the need to embrace the achievements of bourgeois society and modernity, and the widespread failure of social democracy. Lenin Reloaded demonstrates that truth and partisanship are not mutually exclusive as is often suggested. Quite the opposite—in the present, truth can be articulated only from a thoroughly partisan position.

Contributors. Kevin B. Anderson, Alain Badiou, Etienne Balibar, Daniel Bensaïd, Sebastian Budgen, Alex Callinicos, Terry Eagleton, Fredric Jameson, Stathis Kouvelakis, Georges Labica, Sylvain Lazarus, Jean-Jacques Lecercle, Lars T. Lih, Domenico Losurdo, Savas Michael-Matsas, Antonio Negri, Alan Shandro, Slavoj Žižek

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