Wednesday, February 27, 2013
The overarching difference between the other contributors [to the book Reexamining Deconstruction and Religion: Toward a Religion with Religion] and me can be seen as a debate between a postmodernism that descends from Kant and a postmodernism that descends from Hegel. We both take our lead from postmodern critiques of modernist rationality, but we strike out on different paths from that common point of departure. They think that postmodernism plays the role of Kant on the contemporary scene, whereas I think it plays the role of Hegel. They think postmodernism is the contemporary way to delimit knowledge in order to make room for faith. I think that it is a strategy they have come up with for limiting the exposure of Christian faith to postmodern analysis and that postmodernism interprets Christianity more holistically and comprehensively by treating religion as an historical form of life…
…On the Kantian model, postmodernism provides a shelter in which believers can keep their faith dry; it is no more than a way to delimit atheism in order to make room for Christians to lay claim to representational truths about Christ and God. On my Hegelian model, postmodernism returns any given community of believers to the living-breathing, concrete-determinate, linguistic-historical form of life to which it belongs … and in which its truth is generated, nourished, and expressed.
They think that they are loyal to the concrete and determinate and criticize me for taking flight from the concrete. … I think they are in fact avoiding the contingency of the concrete and determinate, which goes all the way down.
John D. Caputo, “On Not Settling for an Abridged Edition of Postmodernism: Radical Hermeneutics as Radical Theology” in J. Aarson Simmons and Stephen Minister, eds, Reexamining Deconstruction and Determimate Religion: Toward a Religion with Religion (Duquesne University Press, 2012), pp. 271-272.
#john d caputo
#john d. caputo
#j. aaron simmons
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Thinking the Absolute: Speculation, Philosophy and the End of Religion
#the association for continental philosophy of religion
#end of metaphysics
#iain hamilton grant
I hadn’t thought that I’d be able to get to this year’s Association for Continental Philosophy of Religion conference (poster here), since a) it clashed with a conference in London at which I was already due to present on Poetry and Prayer, and b) it was pretty expensive (£195 reduced rate!) and I’m unemployed.
But I had to withdraw from the London conference anyway (because I’m unemployed and couldn’t afford to go to that either - I also withdrew from the Haunting Memories conference).
So the organisers of ACPR 2012 have asked me to attend as a ‘working delegate’, which is great!
Meillassoux identifies the ‘turn to religion’ in contemporary continental philosophy with a failure of thinking. The Kantian refusal to think the absolute leads to scepticism about reality in itself. Ironically, this lends itself to ‘fideism’, the decision to project religious meaning on to the unknowable beyond. According to Meillassoux, a philosophy obsessed with mystery becomes the accomplice of irrational faith. The solution is to find ways of once more thinking the absolute in its reality, severed from its dependence upon a knowing subject, or upon language and social norms. At the same time, new possibilities for thinking religion (exemplified by Meillassoux’s own Divine Inexistence) are emerging.