Friday, July 20, 2012
Taking a Break
After my summer of job disappointment (see here and here), I’ve decided to take a bit of a break from applying for jobs. It’s unlikely that any will come up now for this academic year, anyway, and I really need to be focusing on writing. Applying for jobs has really distracted me from writing my books, which is, after all, what will ultimately help me get a job, so it’s been a rather counterproductive few months, I think. I’ve applied for 28 teaching and 23 research positions since submitting my PhD in 2010, which is an average of 1 every fortnight and each application takes at least 2 days to prepare, since I thoroughly research the university, matching myself to the job and person specification, and thinking hard about how I could contribute to existing teaching provision and departmental research clusters. Over the past 6 weeks, I’ve spent 3 weeks preparing solidly for the Nijmegen job and another week preparing for the Liverpool Hope one. I feel utterly exhausted by my job search and distracted from my writing projects. So I think a break from applying for jobs will help me both to recoup emotionally and to concentrate on these manuscripts.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Intensities Book Series
#the association for continental philosophy of religion
#books by me
I’m on a working holiday in Liverpool, being a conference monkey for my friends Steve Shakespeare and Patrice Haynes, who are organising the 2012 Association for Continental Philosophy of Religion conference, “Thinking the Absolute: Speculation, Philosophy and the End of Religion”, which starts tomorrow. On Saturday night we’ll be launching Steve and Patrice’s Ashgate book series, “Intensities: Contemporary Continental Philosophy of Religion”.
Here’s some blurb from the flyers we’re handing out in the conference tote bags I packed today:
This series sits at the forefront of contemporary developments in continental philosophy of religion. It engages especially with radical reinterpretations and applications of the continental ‘canon’ from Kant to Derrida and beyond, but also with significant departures from that tradition. A key area of focus is the emergence of new ‘realist’ and materialist schools of thought (associated with speculative realism, object-oriented ontology, Zizek, Meillassoux and Badiou), whose potential contribution to philosophy of religion is at an early stage. The series is therefore rooted in a vibrant tradition of thinking about religion, whilst positioning itself at the cutting edge of emerging agendas. This series has a clear focus on continental and post-continental philosophy of religion and complements Ashgate’s British Society for Philosophy of Religion series with its more analytic approach.
Series Editors Patrice Haynes and Steven Shakespeare
Sponsored by The Association for Continental Philosophy of Religion
Steve and I co-edited the first book in the series, Intensities: Philosophy, Religion and the Affirmation of Life (Nov 2012), based on papers from ACPR’s inaugural conference in 2009. Here’s blurb for our volume:
This book breaks new ground in religious and philosophical thinking on the concept of life. It captures a moment in which such thinking is regaining its force and attraction for scholars, and the relevance of thought to social, cultural, political and religious dilemmas about how and why to live.
Paperback ISBN 978-1-4094-4329-2 £18.99
Hardback ISBN 978-1-4094-4328-5 £50.00
Other volumes in the series will be Pamela Sue Anderson’s Revisioning Gender in Philosophy of Religion: The Ethics and Epistemology of Belief (Nov 2012), and my own Truth as Event: Radical Theology and Emerging Christianity (Spring 2013).
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Book Contract with Wipf and Stock
#wipf and stock
#john d. caputo
#james k.a. smith
I got an email last night from US publishers Wipf and Stock to say that they’ve accepted my book for publication under their imprint Cascade. It means that I’ll have two monographs stemming from my doctoral research on how the notion of truth is conceptualized in emerging Christian discourse.
The first book, Truth as Event: Radical Theology and Emerging Christianity (forthcoming in Spring 2013 with Ashgate), focuses on truth as an event, tracing this notion as it emerges in the work of Jacques Derrida, John D. Caputo, Alain Badiou and Slavoj Zizek, and exploring how these ‘thinkers of the event’ impact contemporary religious practice within the emerging church milieu.
The second book, currently entitled Post-Secular Theology and the Church: A New Kind of Christian is A New Kind of Atheist (although I keep changing my mind on the main title), focuses on the relationship between Radical Orthodoxy, deconstruction, and emerging Christianity. Here’s some blurb:
Both Radical Orthodoxy and deconstruction have been suggested as theologically apt for emerging Christianity. This book provides an accessible introduction to these ‘post-secular’ theologies, demonstrating how emerging church discourse positions them into narratives to make sense of two divergent forms of emergent religiosity: Deep Church and A/Theism.
Focusing in particular on James K.A. Smith’s ‘Reformed’ Radical Orthodoxy and Deep Church, on the one hand, and John D. Caputo’s deconstructive ‘weak theology’ and A/Theism, on the other, Post-Secular Theology and the Church is about the relationship between institutional religion and the ‘postmodern turn’.
While Smith has distinguished between his own ‘two cheers approach’ to postmodernism and others’ three cheers, Caputo has recently argued against the tendency to settle for ‘an abridged postmodernism’. This book uses emerging church participants’ own words, stories and practices, gathered through interviews, observations, literature and media, to chart some of the ways in which these differing postmodern theologies are impacting lived religion. It details how contemporary Christianity has responded to the postmodern turn to create what Brian McLaren calls ‘a new kind of Christian’ and suggests that such a new kind of Christian is also a new kind of atheist – the ‘a/theist’.
I’m hoping that it will come out some time in 2013.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Abandoning Funding Bid
Having spent yesterday writing my Expression of Interest for the University of Nottingham’s Advance Research Fellowship Scheme, I’m abandoning this funding bid after advice from the department I had hoped would support my application. I was told that the key criteria they are looking for are:
- a steller track record at the world’s top universities;
- a considerable list of significant publications, including at least a contract for a major book based on a PhD dissertation; and
- prior experience of a post-doctoral fellowship.
They then said that only after these criteria are met do they consider the intrinsic significance of the research project.
The Dean of Faculty has specified that a published book should be the minimum for a successful candidate, so I’m wasting my time applying. “It is probably not worth re-working the EOI [Expression of Interest] at this stage.”
Well, at least they were honest about my chances and didn’t string me along giving me false hope!
I’m coming to the conclusion that I need to stop applying for jobs, since it has been distracting me from writing my book which, in turn, stops me from getting appointed when I do get shortlisted for interview.
So I’m going to spend the next few months on my various writing projects and hope that enough things are published by the 31 Dec 2013 REF publication submission deadline to make me irresistible to employers.
I have to remind myself to stop getting distracted by applying for jobs.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
The Poet and The Critic: Transformation and Information
#articles by me
Pete Rollins has responded to my reflections on his book Insurrection in a piece for Church and Pomo entitled ”I Don’t Need to Doubt, Peter Does That For Me.”
In “Becoming Church Mice: From Refusing to Lead to Refusing to be Led,” I emphasised Pete’s use of a Kierkegaardian distinction between the Poet and the Critic:
What is a poet? An unhappy man who hides deep anguish in his heart, but whose lips are so formed that when the sigh and cry pass through them, it sounds like lovely music… And the critics come forward and say, “That’s the way, that’s how the rules of aesthetics say it should be done.” Of course a critic resembles a poet to a hair, except he has no anguish in his heart, no music on his lips. (Kierkegaard, Either/Or, 1992, 43; cited in Insurrection, 2011, 73).
I argued that Pete seeks to refuse leadership (pushing us, like the Poet, back into our own participation in the fullness of life, in joy and suffering, in doubt, disbelief and a/theism).
But my concern was with the ways in which Pete’s audience (his “fans”) might flock around him like the Critics who assent cognitively to what he is doing, to the importance of doubt and disbelief, but refuse to participate fully in life, to honestly face up to, work through, and celebrate their own experiences of real life.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Call for Contribution to Intensities: Philosophy, Religion and the Affirmation of Life (document link) →
Due to the late withdrawal of a contributor, Steve and I are looking for an additional essay for our edited collection, Intensities: Philosophy, Religion and the Affirmation of Life (forthcoming with Ashgate).
We’re looking for a piece that will fit into either a section on “Life, Death, and Natality,” which examines the potential of philosophical tropes of birth and death to impel the thinker into a more fruitful engagement with life, or a section on “The Politics of Life,” which takes up the way in which the definition and deployment of the category of life plays a key role on questions of political power.
Other contributors include Pamela Sue Anderson, Philip Goodchild, Nina Power, Don Cupitt and Jack Caputo.