Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Back in February, I took part in an online book symposium at Political Theology’s blog, There is Power in the Blog, on Simon Critchley’s The Faith of the Faithless: Experiments in Political Theology (Verso, 2012). My piece, “The Faith of the Faith/less?”, introduced Critchley’s notion of ‘meontological association’ to frame a tentative answer to my question of how religious collectives might take part in this experiment in political theology; how, in other words, they might become more ‘faithless’ and thereby more ‘faithful’.
Along with the other contributors, (John Reader, Ward Blanton, and Creston Davis), I’m now starting to work this blog post up into an article for the Political Theology journal. Part of this Issue will be an interview with Critchley based on questions raised by our blog posts, so the symposium organiser has asked us to send them in to him today. These are mine:
- As a ‘fiction of association’ and ‘an implied generality’ (40), is the ‘community’ of the faithless a universality that cuts across ‘really existing’ communities, identities and traditions, including across conventional divisions between religion and ‘non-religion’, theism and atheism?
- If so, can religious communities cultivate this faithless faith? In other words, if religious faith can become more faithless and, thereby, more ‘faithful’, how might it become more able to ‘sustain the rigor of faith without requiring security, guarantees, or rewards’ (252)?
- Would, then, you in any way link the notion of ‘the faith of the faithless’, of a form of faith without guarantees, to other theological, philosophical and psychoanalytic conceptualisations of faith, and of the possibility of religion, ‘after the death of God’?
- If not, can religious communities take part in this experiment in political theology at all?
The deadline for our articles is July 1, but I’m not yet sure in which Issue of Political Theologythe symposium will be.