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Category Archives: Philosophers

How to dedicate a book

Terry Eagleton doesn’t seem to be losing his flare. In fact, he’s just revolutionized the genre of book dedications. From his forthcoming book, On Evil we read the following on the dedication page: To Henry Kissinger. H/T: dotCommonweal

Hegel vs. Glenn Beck

Thanks to David for posting this: “Since the man of common sense makes his appeal to feeling, to an oracle within his breast, he is finished and done with anyone who does not agree; he only has to explain that he has nothing more to say to anyone who does not find and feel the […]

Religion for Radicals

The Immanent Frame has an interview up with Terry Eagleton that is well-worth a read. Here are just a couple of his memorable quotes: Religion has become a very comfortable ideology for a dollar-worshipping culture. The scandal of the New Testament—the fact that it backs what America calls the losers, that it thinks the dispossessed […]

Round Again with Intentions

In light of the ensuing discussion, it seemed like a good idea to fill out the whole issue of the ethical relevance of intentions a bit more. What is absolutely important in regard to this issue is to understand the way “intention” must never be used to absolve us of our actions. This is at […]

More of Eagleton’s Quips

Eagleton seems to be the king of disarming, funny one-liners. For example: With dreary predictability, Daniel C. Dennett defines religions at the beginning of his Breaking the Spell as “social systems whose participants avow belief in a supernatural agent or agents whose approval is to be sought,” which as far as Christianity goes is rather […]

Eagleton on Dawkins and Creation

Terry Eagleton’s new book, Reason, Faith, and Revolution is, like most Eagleton books eminently entertaining and easy to read. I’ll have more developed (and actually rather critical) thoughts on the book later, but for now I’ll leave you with one of Eagleton’s trademark rhetorical flourishes: Creation “out of nothing” is not testimony to how devilishly clever God […]

Fish on Religion and Science

Stanley Fish has a great new post following up on criticism of his review of Terry Eagleton’s new book: Some readers find a point of vulnerability in what they take to be religion’s flaccid, Polyanna-like, happy-days optimism. Religious people, says Delphinias, live their lives “in a state of blissfully blind oblivion.” They rely on holy […]

The Monstrosity of Milbank

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 […]

Where Eagleton’s Definitely Right

From Salon’s review of his new book: Eagleton’s terminology is deliberately provocative, and some Christians won’t find his account of their beliefs, colored as it clearly is by the Catholic “liberation theology” of his youth, to be mainstream at all. Still, he is incontestably correct about two things: There is a long Judeo-Christian theological tradition […]

Fish on Eagleton on “Ditchkins”

Stanley Fish investigates Terry Eagleton’s new book, Reason, Faith and Revolution. Whatever one thinks of Stanley Fish he is a great reader. Here’s a snippet of the article which describes Eagleton’s assault on Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens whom Eagleton derisively labels “Ditchkins.” “Ditchkins,” Eagleton observes, cannot ground his belief “in the value of individual […]

Terry Eagleton in Commonweal

The always interesting and entertaining Terry Eagleton has a fascinating article in the latest issue of Commonweal entitled “Culture and Barbarism.” A couple quotes: Islamic fundamentalism confronts Western civilization with the contradiction between the West’s own need to believe and its chronic incapacity to do so. The West now stands eyeball-to-eyeball with a full-blooded “metaphysical” […]

Violence and Anarchism

The critic of any Christian appropriation of anarchism tends to argue that anarchy is more violent than the current order, and, as such always inherently worse than our desires to oppose whatever hegemony happens to be in place. It seems incontrovertible that the recommendation of anarchism is, by its very nature more violent, dangerous, and […]

If we Speak for God, then Everything is Permitted

Žižek takes Dostoyevsky’s dictum “If God doessn’t exist, then everything is permitted” to task, claming, in true Žižek fashion, that the opposite is in fact true: if God does exist everything is permitted to those who speak for God: “[Dostoyevsky] couldn’t have been more wrong: the lesson of today’s terrorism is that if there is […]

Žižek and the Logic of Religious Violence

In his book, Violence, Slavoj Žižek contests the standard story that religious adherents use in response to the claim that religion causes violence. Generally it is claimed that perpetrators of religious violence are “only abusing and perverting the noble spiritual message of their creed.” Žižek argues instead that we should wise up and admit that […]

Žižek in a Crowd of Urban Hipsters

It was a delight last night to go and listen to Slovoj Žižek speak here in Portland. Though he was, allegedly here to speak on and promote his most recent book, his actual lecture, was of course something rather different. He spoke about the “culture of politeness,” the nature of academic discourse, the problems with […]

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