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Theology and the Political: The New Debate (Series: SIC 5) Paperback – June 17, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books (June 17, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822334720
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822334729
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,872,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Underlying all the very varied essays in this volume is a set of issues about how we understand human action. And what the essays have in common, I believe, is a conviction that the fundamental requirement of a politics worth the name is that we have an account of human action that decisively marks its distance from assumptions about action as the successful assertion of will. If there is no hinterland to human acting except the contest of private and momentary desire, meaningful action is successful action, an event in which a particular will has imprinted its agenda on the ‘external’ world. Or, in plainer terms, meaning is power . . . and any discourse of justice is illusory."--Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, from the introduction


Theology and the Political is a helpful book because it gathers in one volume a representative sample of very serious theologians. . . .”
(Stephen H. Webb, First Things)

“[A] collection of this caliber on such a timely subject is to be welcomed.”
(D. W. Congdon, Princeton Theological Review)

“[A] patient reader will be rewarded with some intriguing perspectives and insights that take seriously the difficult challenge confronting political action in the context of global capitalism.”
(Christopher Craig Brittain, The Dalhousie Review)

“[T]hat there is no majority discourse in the book is to the credit of the editors for it has increased the depth and variance of the analyses presented, allowing the book to become more fully a ‘debate.’ Though this format often leads the reader to feel as if the book is somewhat schizophrenic, this is ultimately its greatest strength and precisely why it is worth reading.”
(Anthony Paul Smith, Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory)

“The new debate referenced in this rich, lengthy, and important collection is a desperately urgent debate. . . . [T]he work itself functions as a symphony, building between and among chapters to orchestrate a complex and fruitful investigation of some of the most crucial theoretical issues we face in our contemporary world and includes some of the most influential contemporary philosophers and theologians working today.”
(Clayton Crockett, Journal of the American Academy of Religion)

“This book is another ‘deliberate kick against the tide of the times.’”
(Stephen Webb, Insights)

“This volume is . . . . a welcome and much-needed wake-up call— if not a call to arms, then no less radically because it is a scandal to the postmodern mind, at least a call to truth and its consequences.”
(Jeffrey W. Robbins, Political Theology)

“Underlying all the very varied essays in this volume is a set of issues about how we understand human action. And what the essays have in common, I believe, is a conviction that the fundamental requirement of a politics worth the name is that we have an account of human action that decisively marks its distance from assumptions about action as the successful assertion of will. If there is no hinterland to human acting except the contest of private and momentary desire, meaningful action is successful action, an event in which a particular will has imprinted its agenda on the ‘external’ world. Or, in plainer terms, meaning is power . . . and any discourse of justice is illusory.”—Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, from the introduction
(N/A)

From the Publisher

“Underlying all the very varied essays in this volume is a set of issues about how we understand human action. And what the essays have in common, I believe, is a conviction that the fundamental requirement of a politics worth the name is that we have an account of human action that decisively marks its distance from assumptions about action as the successful assertion of will. If there is no hinterland to human acting except the contest of private and momentary desire, meaningful action is successful action, an event in which a particular will has imprinted its agenda on the ‘external’ world. Or, in plainer terms, meaning is power . . . and any discourse of justice is illusory.”â€"Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, from the introduction --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

"The most dangerous philosopher in the West," (says Adam Kirsch of The New Republic) Slavoj Zizek is a Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic. He is a professor at the European Graduate School, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His books include "First as Tragedy, Then as Farce;" "Iraq: The Borrowed Kettle;" "In Defense of Lost Causes;" "Living in the End Times;" and many more.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Richard Hattchet on August 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a solid contribution to the burgeoning intersection of the religious and the secular (post-Marxist) especially as it relates to the reemergence of political theology (after communism) and the reexamination of St. Paul in continental theory (Agamben, Badiou, Taubes, Zizek, Graham Ward et al). This volume does not ring as a manifesto--there is not enough agreement among the essays to forge such a possibility. However, insofar as atheists (Zizek/Surin/Goodchild/Critchley/Eagleton/de Vries?) join in the chorus of voices with orthodox theologians (Milbank/Blond/Cunningham/Davis/Riches/Pickstock/Schwartz/Ward) in regards to the need to think beyond capitalism, then something genuinely new has taken place. It seems like this is the new trend in the humanities that finally gets beyond the secular/religious split in a constructive way. This is a worthy text to discover for this reason alone. I highly recommend it.
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