Multiple Enlightenment

Milbank (Beyond Secular Order: The Representation of Being and the Representation of the People) points out that the Enlightenment was not simple one thing: “it can bedivided into (a) a Christian and sometimes post -Christian Ciceronian Stoicreaction against the voluntarism of ‘modern . . . . Continue Reading »

End of Dialogue

Rosenstock-Huessy points out in one of the letters collected in Judaism Despite Christianitythat Kant worked out his entire philosophy in conscious dialogue with Rousseau: “While he himself wants to stand metaphysics on its head, just as Kepler and Newton stood physics, yet he compares for his . . . . Continue Reading »

One Flesh

Rosenzweig (Judaism Despite Christianity: The 1916 Wartime Correspondence Between Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy and Franz Rosenzweig, 115) says that “Only what belongs to both man and woman belongs to all men, and everything else has only sectional interest.”Rosenstock agrees, and elaborates: . . . . Continue Reading »

Giving Descartes his Due

In Desire, Dialectic, and Otherness: An Essay on Origins, recently reprinted by Wipf & Stock, William Desmond concedes that “the modern self has been excessively subjectivized” (45). But he thinks that, for all its faults, Cartesianism focused attention on an inescapable . . . . Continue Reading »

Derrida the Tactician

O’Regan (Theology and the Spaces of Apocalyptic, 113-4) deftly captures the limits and use of Derrida.Limits first, and there are severe: Derrida is not “adequate for Christian theology,” he argues, because “as theo-logy, there is presumtively a reality whose very nature it . . . . Continue Reading »

Flicker

Christian reception of the work of Walter Benjamin is often set in the context of Christian reception of Jewish messianism or Jewish apocalyptic. In a brilliant summary of Benjamin, Cyril O’Regan (Theology and the Spaces of Apocalyptic, 61-8) contests this characterization.Despite . . . . Continue Reading »

Modes of Existence

Jonathan Ree reviews Bruno Latour’s An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Modernsin the TLS, and along the way sums up some of Latour’s contributions to social science.Latour’s early work in the anthropology of science, emphasizing the “social . . . . Continue Reading »

No incarnation

Zizek (The Monstrosity of Christ: Paradox or Dialectic?) consider’s John Caputo’s On Religionto be the “ultimate formulation of Derridean deconstructive messianism” (256). Caputo reveals that deconstruction is a “Jewish science” at war with idols and even, Caputo . . . . Continue Reading »

Kierkegaard the Catholic?

In his introduction to Kierkegaard’s Kierkegaard’s Attack Upon “Christendom” 1854-1855, Walter Lowrie suggests that Kierkegaard was “moreevidently andmore fundamentally a Catholicor perhaps it would be better to say,more consciously in revolt against . . . . Continue Reading »

Final Cause

Modernity is marked by the reduction of causes to efficient causes, and the elimination of final causation, of teleology or purpose.Final causes are not so easily eliminated, Hart argues (The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss, 78-9).Our experience is not “an immediate perception . . . . Continue Reading »