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Anatheism: Returning to God After God (Insurrections: Critical Studies in Religion, Politics, and Culture) Paperback – May 17, 2011
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Richard Kearney is an eminent contributor to Continental philosophy and to the Continental turn to religion. This book is an important contribution to the turn toward the philosophy of religion. Kearney helps to define a field that is new: the return of religion not only to the center of public and intellectual life but also to the center of significant discussion in the humanities.
Anatheism is an exciting, imaginative, and robust account of the life of faith in the postmodern world, a world marked by cultural plurality and religious strife, by militant faiths and militant attacks on faith. Richard Kearney moves with ease across a breathtaking amount of literature and cultures in an effort to retrieve a more mature and complex faith, beyond both doubt and dogmatism, to find the sacred in the secular, to see God in the world. Hospitality is first among the virtues for Kearney-both the hospitality that religion is and the hospitality to be shown among religions. This book is everything we have come to expect from Kearney-clear, fascinating, and engaging, all in all a major contribution to the contemporary continental philosophy of religion.
Anatheism is a philosophical and personal exploration, reminiscent of Augustine's Confessions, of how one might envisage God after his demise. The book weaves a rich philosophical tapestry of cultural, literary, political, and religious reflections that give witness and content to how the God who has become a stranger might be ethically welcomed today. This remarkable work is, in the most positive sense, an intellectual 'tour de faiblesse.' It advocates a form of post-theism that enables a rediscovery of a 'powerless' sacred in the midst of a self-assured secular. A phenomenological and hermeneutic exercise that is of great significance and assured controversy.
Kearney invites us all to a space he calls 'anatheism,' a place that precedes belief and unbelief where the close-minded dogmatism of either theism or atheism is left at the door and a respectful encounter ensues. It is a most welcome invitation.
A heartfelt, pragmatic, and eminently realistic argument about how one might continue to think aboutand even dedicate one's life toGod after the 'death' or 'disappearance' of God over the last hundred years or so.... Richard Kearney wants to see what is left of God, in the time after God, and he does so superbly well.(The New Yorker)
I enjoyed Kearney's book tremendously, especially the ana-theme: the distinction between going on believing as before or believing again. This is a profound distinction for our age. The possibilities opened up by the 'ana' offer a large palette of expanding choices combining and recombining new and old positions of belief and non-belief.
Numerous dogmatic believers possess the consummate art of rendering God utterly insupportable to any free spirit... while certain atheists can be so obtuse in their scientific utilitarianism that one feels like converting at the nearest altar. It is to avoid these extremes that the Irish philosopher, Richard Kearney, has written this remarkable hermeneutics of faith.... One must salute this thought-provoking book written with rare honesty and openness of mind.
I find the notion of ana-theism extremely pertinent as a way of witnessing to the death of the death of God (a double privative) while opening a third way: a path beyond both theism and atheism, beyond metaphysics and religion, which returns to the possibility of the divine event as such.
provides a thought-provoking exchange between the religious and contemporary continental philosophy.(Robert W.M. Kennedy Symposium)
As always, Kearney's work is poetic and thoughtful.(Forrest Clingerman Religious Studies Review)
This book is the outcome of a rich philosophical journey... I highly recommend this book to readers who wish to move beyond well-trodden paths in the debate between theism and atheism.(M. Moyaert Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses)
A heartfelt, pragmatic, and eminently realistic argument about how one might continue to think about―and even dedicate one's life to―God after the 'death' or 'disappearance' of God over the last hundred years or so.(James Wood Page-Turner blog, The New Yorker)
Rediscovering the sacred in a secular world.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Kearney's book is concerned with the fact that the "God" question is returning today with a new sense of urgency (xi). But the book is much more than this - it is about the experience of anatheism - the returning to God after the disappearance of one's sense of who or what God is or was (5). This experience he says is critical and centres on the idea to recover the presence of holiness in daily life one 'has to concede' that in fact we really know nothing about God. One has to begin with an epiphanal, anatheistic moment of not knowing, of doubt and disorientation, letting go of received certainties and opening to a faith beyond the taken-for-granted and one that which rebirths in an experience of second belief.
Part of this transition involves these anomic moments where one has to stand, at least for a time with the likes of Neitzsche, acknowledging/accepting that many of the received ideas of God don't actually work for us. He notes that atheism can be really useful in bringing to our attention the delusional, silly, destructive, harmful and oppressive aspects that have become part of so much religion today (73). Anatheism opens up the possibility for belief after experiences of un-belief, disbelief and atheism (74). And this is such a credible position as he brings forth the insight that much of systematised belief has grown out of limited human understanding of who or what God is. Individuals, he says, have drawn on their assumptions, presumptions (15), interpretations, insights and experience, all trying to make sense of the Other within limited cultural frames, bound in time and space, that have drawn upon the often under-developed intellects of the day.Read more ›
Sam Harris' new book Waking Up would probably be a good co-read with this.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent review of current issues -- despite difficulty of getting to footnotes -- and despite your carbitrary cancellation of my account.Published on December 24, 2012 by robert sweeney
This was shipped with haste and arrived well. I haven't yet read it, but I trust the judgement of friends who find it challenging and a fascinating exploration of our post modern... Read morePublished on October 11, 2011 by Isaac Schoepp
This book is about doubting atheists - whom it would be more honest to call agnostics, only atheism is more 'sexy' thanks to the machinations of the evil Ditchkins*. Read morePublished on July 20, 2011 by Simon Barrett 'Il Penseroso'