February 15, 2010

Malabou deserves to be considered one of the major contemporary philosophers in the world today

Zizek told me I should read Catherine Malabou’s book on Hegel, The Future of Hegel. I’d heard of Malabou before, since she wrote Counter-Path with Derrida, but it’s just not possible to read every book Derrida has published, and I had not read it. By the way, this meeting in Philadelphia was also the seed that became the Insurrections book series with Columbia University Press, particularly when Jeff Robbins contacted Wendy Lochner at Columbia about the project, since Columbia was reviewing the book he edited with Caputo and Vattimo, After the Death of God, which became the first book in the series… Fordham was already working on What Should we do with our Brain?, so I read La plasticité au soir de l’écriture and again, was blown away by the clarity and forcefulness of her thought, as well as its manifesto-like quality…

I have been and still am influenced and impressed by the weak messianic force that Derrida draws from Walter Benjamin and deploys in ethical and political contexts. It was with considerable fear and trembling that I developed a critique, relying upon Malabou’s philosophy…. Nancy’s brief explication of the term déclosion (translated as dis-enclosure) has resonances with Malabou’s idea of plasticity. I develop this reading more fully in the last chapter of my book on Radical Political Theology, forthcoming from Columbia University Press. Plasticity at the Dusk of Writing—Introduction from An und für sich by clayton crockett

Most sociologists of religion seem to agree on two things. First, that the growth of interest in religion---in academia, the media, and society at large---has been accompanied by an increasingly vigorous research agenda in the sub-discipline. And second, that the sociology of religion is currently in a period of paradigmatic reflection. While the “new paradigm” put forward by Stephan Warner in 1993 helped awaken the field from the “dogmatic slumber” into which it was lulled by secularization theory, scholars continue to reflect on the basic conceptualization of religion and religious practice, as well as on the nature of the relationship between religious practice, institutions, and the sociology of religion itself. The emerging strong program in the sociology of religion from The Immanent Frame by David Smilde

As Cardinal Schönborn points out in his foreword to Gilson's From Aristotle to Darwin & Back Again: A Journey in Final Causality, Species and Evolution, "reductionist accounts of evolution" are only "the visible parts of an intellectual iceberg," so that "the issues that lie under the surface of the current evolution debate are ultimately far larger and more important." 

Something unique and unprecedented in human history occurred with the American founding. Somehow, Americans stumbled upon the very means to unleash human potential through liberty, individual initiative, free markets and representative democracy, to become the unrivaled economic, scientific, and political leader of the world. How did they do it?

I just recently read What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848, and there is an instructive passage about the American intellectual consensus of the early 19th century, at the very time we began our ass-kicking world-historical ascent (and bear in mind that this is a secular scholar with no religious agenda whatsoever): The Fractured Fairy Tale of Darwinian Evolution from One Cosmos by Gagdad Bob

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