Adam Kotsko has a lengthy and helpful rumination on Milbank’s contribution to the new Milbank-Žižek book, The Monstrosity of Christ. Here’s a bit:
The more serious point, however, is that despite the capaciousness of Milbank’s Catholicism, it seems to be unable to “account for” one thing — precisely Christ. Everything seems to work just fine without him, and the attempts to shoehorn the Incarnation into the system strike me as afterthoughts for the most part. The Neoplatonism is where Milbank’s heart really is, and he’s into his idealized version of “Catholicism” because that’s been the primary historical carrier of Neoplatonism in his part of the world. (Presumably an Iranian Milbank would’ve been a Muslim who believed himself to be providing the Ayatollah with some intellectual “wiggle room,” and an Indian Milbank would be wondering aloud if the caste system hasn’t gotten a bad rap due to poor implementation.) For all his talk about history and thick contingency, he doesn’t seem to me to have any serious sense of the contingent historical event that should be central to all his reflections. And so for me, Milbank’s argument suffers from a problem much worse than being an unconvincing argument for Christianity — it’s unclear to me that what it’s arguing for even is Christianity.
This is like, pretty much exactly what I think. Spot on.