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Vattimo and Theology (Philosophy and Theology) Paperback – November 1, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'Tom Guarino's VATTIMO AND THEOLOGY proves the possibility that Vattimo's Nietzschean nihilism can and does enter into a fruitful dialogue with contemporary theology and thereby makes an important and timely contribution to a multivalent culture of tolerance. It works effectively as an introduction to the key themes and concepts from Vattimo's post-metaphysical weak thought and distinctly postmodern faith, and also provides a constructive and critical dialogue that calls to question what Guarino ultimately concludes is the axiomatic nature of Vattimo's thinking.'

(Jeff Robbins, Department of Religion & Philosophy, Lebanon Valley College, USA.)

'By analyzing Vattimo, Tom Guarino has put together a sweeping survey of the postmodern conditions of religious thought. Vattimo is a quintessentially European thinker, restlessly seeking more stable ground for philosophy, and Guarino just as relentlessly follows him to the metaphysical dead ends of reason without faith. Vattimo's conviction that intellectual frameworks for making sense of the world are diminishing in power is both a warning and an opportunity for theology. Guarino marks the hazards on the trail that leads beyond secularism. Highly recommended.' — Stephen H. Webb, Wabash College, USA
(Stephen H. Webb)

'This book truly reads the "signs of the times.". Guarino masterfully introduces the Torinese's oeuvre and skilfully assays his subtle sublimations. He illuminates Vattimo's eschewal of postmodern apophatic play and decision to present "weak thought" as a forcibly diluted twist on Christian charity. Guarino dissects this genial misprision while still recognizing the sterling coinage of Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Joachim da Fiore. Guarino remains a generous interpreter throughout. In the end the reader is offered not only a compelling rebuke of weak thought's pretension to emancipate reason but also good reasons to admire the Augustinian cor inquietum buried within Vattimo's fascinating provocations. All in all, an impressive achievement.' — Peter Casarella, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, DePaul University, Chicago, IL, USA
(Peter Casarella)

'Guarino's book functions as a clear an dengaging introduction to the thought of Vattimo, one of the most important philosophers of our era. In the first two chapters Guarino outlines key principles of Vatitimo's philosophy, before evaluating his thought in relation to the concerns and methods of theology in chapters four and five.' - Matthew Edward Harris, University of Bristol & Queen Elizabeth's Hospital, Bristol
(Matthew Edward Harris Theological Book Review)

'Guarino's book is an excellent guide...a readable introduction to Vattimo and will also be thought-provoking for those already acquainted with the Italian's work.'
(onlinelibrary.wiley.com)

'Tom Guarino's VATTIMO AND THEOLOGY proves the possibility that Vattimo's Nietzschean nihilism can and does enter into a fruitful dialogue with contemporary theology and thereby makes an important and timely contribution to a multivalent culture of tolerance. It works effectively as an introduction to the key themes and concepts from Vattimo's post-metaphysical weak thought and distinctly postmodern faith, and also provides a constructive and critical dialogue that calls to question what Guarino ultimately concludes is the axiomatic nature of Vattimo's thinking.'

(Sanford Lakoff)

 'By analyzing Vattimo, Tom Guarino has put together a sweeping survey of the postmodern conditions of religious thought. Vattimo is a quintessentially European thinker, restlessly seeking more stable ground for philosophy, and Guarino just as relentlessly follows him to the metaphysical dead ends of reason without faith. Vattimo’s conviction that intellectual frameworks for making sense of the world are diminishing in power is both a warning and an opportunity for theology. Guarino marks the hazards on the trail that leads beyond secularism. Highly recommended.’ – Stephen H. Webb, Wabash College, USA
(Sanford Lakoff)

'This book truly reads the "signs of the times.". Guarino masterfully introduces the Torinese's oeuvre and skilfully assays his subtle sublimations. He illuminates Vattimo's eschewal of postmodern apophatic play and decision to present "weak thought" as a forcibly diluted twist on Christian charity. Guarino dissects this genial misprision while still recognizing the sterling coinage of Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Joachim da Fiore. Guarino remains a generous interpreter throughout. In the end the reader is offered not only a compelling rebuke of weak thought's pretension to emancipate reason but also good reasons to admire the Augustinian cor inquietum buried within Vattimo's fascinating provocations. All in all, an impressive achievement.’ – Peter Casarella, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, DePaul University, Chicago, IL, USA
(Sanford Lakoff)

'Guarino's book functions as a clear an dengaging introduction to the thought of Vattimo, one of the most important philosophers of our era. In the first two chapters Guarino outlines key principles of Vatitimo's philosophy, before evaluating his thought in relation to the concerns and methods of theology in chapters four and five.' - Matthew Edward Harris, University of Bristol & Queen Elizabeth's Hospital, Bristol
(Sanford Lakoff Theological Book Review)

'Guarino's book is an excellent guide...a readable introduction to Vattimo and will also be thought-provoking for those already acquainted with the Italian's work.'
(Sanford Lakoff)

Reviewed in Bijdragen, International Journal in Philosophy and Theology 71 (1)

About the Author

Thomas G. Guarino is Professor of Systematic Theology at the School of Theology, Seton hall University, New Jersey
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Product Details

  • Series: Philosophy and Theology
  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury T&T Clark; 1 edition (November 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0567032337
  • ISBN-13: 978-0567032331
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,361,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
It seems that if you want to look enlightened these days you have to declare that you are either 1) an atheist, or 2) spiritual but not religious. If you fall into the atheist camp then your most ballyhooed polemicists are Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, or anyone else with a Ph.D. in science (or English literature) who not only knows that there is no God, but who can also prove it in a classroom, in an essay, or in five minutes on the O'Reilly Factor.

If, however, you're not quite ready to chuck the whole concept of God, but you can't stand anyone else telling you what to do or what to believe (i.e., religion), then you are unwittingly an heir to the philosophy of the subject of this book, and that would be, Mr. Gianni Vattimo. Never heard of him? Well, neither had I prior to reading this. But his "secular preaching" is ubiquitous among the post-Christian elites of the Western world. He's like the thinking man's Deepak Chopra, Oprah Winfrey, and William Young, author of The Shack (see my review of The Shack).

Putting sarcasm aside, and to the point, Vattimo maintains that only two valid concepts remain from Christianity. The first is the notion of "kenosis," or self-emptying. The second is that of "caritas," or charity, or more commonly put, love. In the Christian model of God's self-emptying, in His becoming a man in the person of Jesus Christ, we have the ultimate example of Him letting go of all the attributes normally ascribed to Him, for example, omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, and even, for Vattimo, the very essence of his Being.
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A professor of mine encouraged me to read Vattimo's work(s), specifically "After Christianity." To familiarize myself with the material, I first rented this book from the library, only to be so drawn in to purchase the text from this seller. It's a fascinating read, positioning Vattimo among the greats of Continental Philosophy.

The seller was wonderful too. Prompt delivery, excellent price!
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