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God Is Unconscious: Psychoanalysis and Theology Kindle Edition
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--Ingolf U. Dalferth, Danforth Professor of Philosophy of Religion, Claremont Graduate University
''Tad Delay has bravely explored and mapped the notoriously difficult territory of Lacan that others have only dared to read about second-hand. We should not only salute his courage, but be hugely grateful for the gifts he has returned with in this rich and important book at the bleeding edge of psychoanalysis and theology.''
--Kester Brewin, author of After Magic
''God is Unconscious is a brilliant and accessible overview of Lacan's thought, demonstrating how it directly applies to religion and politics. Delay develops an original understanding of perversion, and how it applies to contemporary conservative Christianity. Anyone interested in understanding how religion works in social, political, and psychological terms should read this book.''
--Clayton Crockett, Professor and Director of Religious Studies, University of Central Arkansas --Wipf and Stock Publishers --This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
- File size : 2184 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publication date : March 19, 2015
- Print length : 166 pages
- Publisher : Wipf & Stock, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers (March 19, 2015)
- Screen Reader : Supported
- ASIN : B00UZKSF7K
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Language: : English
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1498208495
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,044,790 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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P.S. Dr. DeLay is a fantastic writer, for those who might be concerned with readability and prose.
But don't take my word for it! Read the book!
-Rev. Toy Adams
In the wake of these complications, Tad Delay wants to expose both the dead and unconscious gods of religion and secularism, perhaps forever complicating the aims of theology. “Christianity was a bitter plague upon the empire until its absorption into imperial ideology”, he writes. “My wager is that if Christianity desires a prophetically incisive role beyond the mere servitude of concealed interests, we should bring the Freudian plague against Christianity first” (xxiii). Offering a theological mediation on the work of Jacques Lacan, God Is Unconscious seems to ask one primary question: do people ever truly mean what they say? Offering a materialist protest against theologies that do not work, Delay enters the trauma of the real, and he offers his reader a chance to come face to face their own big Other.
While contemporary Continental philosophers of religion are quite aware of psychoanalysis, the incorporation of this methodology into the theological front has been relatively minimal. This puts Delay on the forefront of a new way of understanding theology, which means that there is not much to compare this project with. Also, Jacques Lacan is one of the most complex theorists of the twentieth century, making application of his work not just challenging, but often infuriating.
Delay does a phenomenal job of creating a sort of dialectic between theology and psychoanalysis, and that is what makes God is Unconscious an intriguing read. Essentially arguing that there is no aesthetic difference between atheism and theism, the strongest part of this book is in its ability to complicate the a/theism binary. Delay treats both psychoanalysis and theology as fictions, which is what gives him the credibility to speak into both methods. God is Unconscious genuinely forces the reader to confront the complications of her belief, and that sort of reflections is critical in a world so clearly attempting to escape its need for a big Other.
Weaving together intricate theories and methods, Delay offers a reflection on the work of Jacques Lacan that is not just helpful, but often haunting. To engage this work is to dance on the edge of the abyss, but in the aftermath of the death of God that may be only place left for theology to speak. God is Unconscious clearly argues that the divide between atheism and theism is not actually a divide at all, and that both psychoanalysis and theology have the potential to work together at exposing this falsehood.
Similar to other materialist readings of theology, at the core of this book seems to rest an inherent desire for justice. Delay is well aware of the humanitarian and violent issues around the globe, many of which seem to stem directly from metaphysical conflict. Rejecting both the secular and religious response, Delay wants us to examine why these are still plaguing civilized society. God is Unconscious is a book that should be taken seriously by anyone who truly wants to do the hard work of looking at the nature of belief, and it serves as a valuable tool for examining the aesthetics of a/theism. I greatly enjoyed this book and learned so much from it. I look forward to reading everything else Delay will write in the future.
Tad does a great job at breaking down Lacan to the layman and seamlessly weaves together ideas from other great thinkers (Freud, Zizek etc.) to create a framework for the reader to understand some of the subtle and dense topics psychoanalysis can cover. I've never felt more compelled to write in a book as much as I have with this one. There were so many "a-ha" moments I had about myself personally while reading the book and gave me a much deeper understanding of how psychoanalysis transfers into our other social structures (religion, politics, fiscal policy, relationships).
I'm not saying I fully understood all of it. It will take me another read or two because it's such a dense book, but what I did gather from it I've found invaluable personally. If you're ready for it, dive in.
After reading this book, I do feel like I have a foundation upon which to build up my understanding of Lacan's concepts; although I might have to read through it a second time to make sure that I have a truly solid grasp. Lacan is complex, but the author did a nice job of making him more accessible to a lay reader like myself.
Reading "God is Unconscious" has, furthermore, had the effect of increasing my desire to study Lacanian psychoanalysis (and the philosophy of Slavoj Zizek, for that matter). Very thankful that I came across it.