April 27, 2009

Jean-Luc Nancy’s ontology

Narrative CV: Adam Kotsko Sunday, April 26, 2009

As I look at my dissertation project, I am impressed by how much of my previous work has come together. Influences from as far back as my time studying with Craig Keen at Olivet –namely Barthian theology and “postmodern theory” — have made themselves felt, though significantly displaced by now. Though I remain a great admirer of the work of Barth and hope my theology evinces a certain kind of loyalty to him, I am now much more interested in the later German theology that followed in his wake, as illustrated by my use of Bonhoeffer and Soelle.

My interest in “postmodern theory” began with a focus on Derrida but increasingly mutated into an interest in Marxism after my encounter with Zizek, and several core convictions that I would call “Marxian” — convictions surrounding notions of property and community — are very much at work in the dissertation. At the same time, I have followed up on my initial interest in Derrida by using the basic concepts of Jean-Luc Nancy throughout. [...]

My question now is where to go from here. My initial obligations are to produce more work related to contemporary continental philosophy, in the form of a book chapter and a review essay (and perhaps an additional article), along with a side project on the concept of awkwardness for Zer0 Books, which will also be drawing on continental philosophy. My ultimate goal is to go through all the major loci of systematic theology by means of a close reading of representative texts, as I have already done with atonement theory — all with a focus on developing the social-relational ontology that I believe is implicit in the Christian tradition.

Given my social-relational focus, my first step along these lines will most likely be the doctrine of the Trinity, with a particular focus on Augustine’s De trinitate. Yet I believe that I need to enrich the philosophical side of my approach as well, and that will most likely take the form of a book-length study of Jean-Luc Nancy’s ontology. Posted by Adam Kotsko Filed in narrative CV 3 Comments »

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