The Biblioblog Reference Library

[«] Posts From the Blog "An und für sich"(#25)

October 19 2017, 1PM

When conservatives hear the suggestion that they should do something good, they hear it as an accusation and a threat. Instinctively, they turn it around on the accuser, exhorting them sarcastically to do this supposedly good thing and predicting that dis... [neoliberalism] [politics of the absurd]

October 16, 12 PM

How does a system of domination maintain its hold? If it wants to stand the test of time, it will need to use multiple strategies. For those who are expected to implement and enforce it, a system of domination will use some combination of rewards and mo... [ethics]

October 8, 6AM

At the time that Westworld first aired, I wasn’t interested. I partly blame the marketing, which presented it as an anchor-style show on the scale of Game of Thrones — and the premise made it sound like it would be just as nihilistically expl... [Political Theology] [Psychoanalysis] [Television]

October 5, 7AM

This week, we discussed the Oresteia in the Shimer capstone course. I have always marvelled at the conceptual daring of the Eumenides, which attempts to depict the transition from a divinely-sanctioned cycle of violence to a system of civil law. What Ae... [apocalyptic]

October 4, 8AM

I am not optimistic that the Supreme Court will rule partisan gerrymandering unconstitutional. This is not only because the majority is Republican and the phenomenon benefits Republicans, though that is also a factor. Basically, I think Constitutional l... [neoliberalism]

October 2, 5AM

When people open fire on crowds of strangers to let off steam, that’s a sign that you don’t have a society anymore. Crime is bad enough, but it at least follows a certain rationality — the motives are anti-social and dangerous, but legi... [nihilism]

September 27, 8AM

Thanks to everyone who commented on the last version of my close reading worksheet, now re-named a critical reading worksheet after it turned out that “close reading” is its own specific kind of thing, and tweaked a bit in response to suggesti... [blog posts] [pedagogy]

5AM

I received word recently that the editor and contributor copies of Agamben’s Philosophical Lineage, the volume I co-edited with Carlo Salzani, would be coming out soon. I am excited for it to be available, because I think it will serve as a very us... [blog posts]

September 25, 6AM

I’m teaching my first Great Christian Thinkers class on Friday, and because it’s meant to be a course that orients my students to their degree as a whole and we’re opening on the theme of ‘What Matters Most?’, we’re goi... [blog posts] [pedagogy] [The University]

September 18, 6AM

Why is the Teacher so depressed? When I was a teenager, the existential angst felt natural and obvious. Returning to the text as an adult who will be teaching it in class, I felt less secure. It seemed almost like an American arthouse film from the 70s... [Biblical Studies] [Hebrew Scripture] [Political Theology]

September 15, 1PM

Palgrave Macmillan just released Pedagogies in the Flesh: Case Studies on the Embodiment of Sociocultural Differences in Education. The volume contains over 30 short, true stories, anecdotes, vignettes, illustrations, what have you, as well as a preface b... [blog posts]

September 12, 9AM

I’m planning to give my first year undergraduates a worksheet designed to help them engage with the theological and philosophical texts we study during our course. I’ve noticed that a lot of my students struggle to find critical ways into the ... [blog posts] [pedagogy]

September 9, 7AM

Thanks to everyone who made suggestions for the course I’m teaching this semester on Gender, Sexuality and the Bible. I’ve now finished the module handbook and am pretty excited about teaching it. At my institution we run a bunch of courses fo... [blog posts] [Gender] [sexuality] [syllabi]

September 4, 7AM

The current “best practice” for course/curriculum design is to start from the learning objectives and then fill in gradually more detail, only supplying the actual course content at a relatively late stage. When Shimer was going through some c... [Academia] [neoliberalism]

September 3, 7AM

This summer, a lot has changed in my life. We moved from the apartment and neighborhood where we had lived for seven years, which felt more like home to me even than my hometown did when I was a child. I am in the midst of a job transition as a result o... [Books] [boredom] [education] [family values] [Memoir Material]

September 1, 10AM

A new issue of Parrhesia has appeared, which includes my translation (PDF link) of Nicole Loraux’s essay “War in the Family.” This previously untranslated essay is discussed at length in the first half of Agamben’s Stasis. Filed ... [Agamben] [Loraux] [translation]

6AM

Earlier this week, a fellow academic who shall remain nameless posted a link to this story of an academic being fired for expressing their own private political views. The lesson this individual had drawn from this incident is that academics need to lear... [Academia] [Academic freedom]

August 31, 5AM

Thanks to everyone who made suggestions for my Great Christian Thinkers course. It’s taken me a lot of work to figure out how to balance all the different elements I needed to incorporate: how to make it interesting to philosophers and theologians, ... [blog posts]

August 30, 4PM

Word on the street is that the PC police are at it again. Their new unreasonable expectation is that people should avoid “cultural appropriation,” which in the minds of anti-PC columnists means that literally no one should ever engage with an... [politics of the absurd] [pop culture]

August 27, 5AM

Yesterday, two prominent centrist luminaries, Joy Reid and Kos of Daily Kos, took to Twitter to blame low voter turnout among minorities for Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio. This is a disturbing example of victim blaming, not least because Trump actua... [politics of the absurd]

August 26, 5AM

On Election Day — you know, the day when millions of Americans showed up to stand in line and cast their votes — Hillary Clinton won a commanding plurality of the vote. The fact that Trump was installed as president despite losing the popular... [politics]

August 24, 8AM

I have written before about my struggle to come to terms with my parents’ decision to vote for Trump, and I have it relatively easy. My family has tended to avoid politics over the years, and few if any of them appear to be pure Fox News zombies. ... [family values] [neoliberalism]

August 20, 5AM

Whenever I picture talking to my Republican parents about Trump, I always anticipate an “I know you are but what am I”-style response. Obama was narcissistic, too. Democrats have supported racism in the past. You only think that because you... [neoliberalism] [politics of the absurd]

August 16, 7AM

Shortly after the election, there was a dispute on the left as to whether “alt-right” was an acceptable term. Many rightly viewed it as a euphemism meant to obscure white-supremacist, Nazi-sympathizing beliefs and concluded that those who use... [blog posts]

August 10, 5AM

I have created a new professional site at adamkotsko.com, which incorporates all the information from my CV in a more aesthetically pleasing form. The site also has a blog feature, which I will be using to cross-post announcements about publications and ... [Academia]

August 4, 6AM

Exactly sixty years ago, Jacques Lacan conducted his 5th seminar, Formations of the Unconscious, treating the phallus, castration, and jokes, and presenting the first version of the graph of desire. One year ago, InterCcECT conducted a mini-seminar with P... [blog posts] [Chicago] [Interccect] [Lacan] [Psychoanalysis]

August 3, 6AM

When people are trying to justify a military intervention in another country, they often present it as a case of rescuing the people of that country from their own oppressive regime. In such cases, we learn that the rulers are extremists with no popular ... [politics of the absurd]

August 2, 5AM

Yesterday, we learned that the Trump administration plans to investigate “reverse discrimination” against white college applicants. As always, the very term tacitly admits that white racism against others is the standard or natural kind —... [Academia] [Race]

July 31, 5AM

I spent last week at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C., where Gregory Nagy and Kenneth Morrell were holding an intensive faculty seminar on “The Verbal Art of Plato” (you can look over the agenda and readings here). It was w... [Academia] [Plato]

July 25, 7PM

The notion that political enemies are human, too, sharing our common human hopes and fears, triumphs and vulnerabilities, is often deployed in a way to downplay political division and enmity. In reality, though, the fact that our enemies are human, too, ... [politics of the absurd]

1PM

Patrick Blanchfield recently interviewed me for The Revealer, on topics related to The Prince of This World and my follow-up project. I am really happy with the way it turned out and grateful for the opportunity. Readers may be particularly interested i... [The Prince of This World (book)]

July 21, 7AM

As political slogans go, “Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages” is in many respects… suboptimal. Yet I do think that it represents mainstream Democrats’ vision in an authentic way. They agree with the Republicans that all of ... [film] [neoliberalism] [politics of the absurd]

July 20, 5AM

The transition from the independent Shimer College to the Shimer Great Books School at North Central College entails a switch from semesters to quarters — meaning that my summer break is approximately a month longer than usual. Between my work on N... [Language] [to-do lists] [translation]

July 14, 5AM

Michael Patrick Murphy of Loyola University Chicago has posted a very nice review of The Prince of This World at Reading Religion, a book review site sponsored by the American Academy of Religion. It is the first “official” review to appear, ... [The Prince of This World (book)]

July 7, 7AM

Reading over some of my old work on the theme of divine and revolutionary violence in Žižek today it struck me how odd it is that although his discussion of these themes relies very heavily on Benjamin’s Critique of Violence, whose discussion of ... [blog posts] [Marxism] [politics] [Zizek]

July 6, 9PM

Below you will find a long review essay on three relatively recent books in Object-Oriented Ontology as they attempt to engage with ecology and ecological concerns (you may also download it as a PDF if you prefer). For those who read the essay, you will s... [blog posts] [ecology] [ontology]

June 29, 5AM

If you believe that you have caught your enemy in a contradiction, you are mistaken. At best, you have misjudged their real priorities and goals. At worst, you have fallen for a deliberate smokescreen, designed to confuse and distract you. In a politic... [politics of the absurd]

June 28, 2PM

From Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy: In a symbolic painting, Raphael, himself one of these immortal “naive” ones, has represented for us this demotion of appearance to the level of mere appearance, the primitive process of the naive artist a... [blog posts]

June 21, 6PM

It’s summer! Hopefully this means you have a little down time to read books you might not otherwise. Though it is literally my job to make such recommendation, I thought I might do so here for free, as well. I’m focusing on independent presses... [blog posts]

June 19, 11AM

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. –Matthew 16:19 Pagans and infidels are bound by the power and judgement of the keys, because... [blog posts]

5AM

The Hulu series The Handmaid’s Tale is a curious cultural document. It is very well-produced and well-acted and makes the dystopian world feel eerily plausible — and yet the big question that was always lingering for me was, “What exact... [Television]

June 14, 4AM

I have completed a full draft of my translation of Agamben’s Karman: A Brief Treatise on Action, Guilt, and Gesture. A lot of work remains to polish and whip it into bibliographical shape, but that is all mop-up. The Italian version does not seem to... [Agamben] [translation]

June 13, 6AM

It’s becoming increasingly clear that Democrats want people to suffer. They conceive this suffering as educational, teaching people a valuable lesson about not choosing the smart, sensible party. Yet there is an undeniable element of jouissance wh... [politics of the absurd]

June 12, 11AM

Approximately every two weeks, I go on a mini-rant on Twitter about people pointing out Republican hypocrisy. The most recent occasion was a juxtaposition between two tweets from Newt Gingrich, one praising the special prosecutor and the other freaking o... [politics of the absurd]

June 8, 6AM

The existence of a chief executive officer of the state introduces a conceptual problem: how can you enforce the law against the person who has the final say on law enforcement? It is not possible for this enforcement to come from within the executive it... [politics of the absurd]

June 6, 5AM

I’ve inherited a first year course called ‘Great Christian Thinkers’, which has two parts: in one semester the idea is to help students understand what’s expected of them in the transition from school to university (high school to ... [blog posts]

June 4, 5AM

A basic principle of the social sciences is that systemic effects have systemic causes. A classic example is Durkheim’s Suicide, where he argues that none of the individual reasons that people choose to take their own lives can account for the suici... [Christian Theology] [Political Theology] [politics of the absurd] [Race]

June 2, 11AM

Yesterday, North Central College’s acquisition of Shimer College was finalized. Here is the official announcement from North Central. This is the culmination of at least two years of negotiations, planning, curriculum redesign, and more work by mo... [blog posts]

6AM

Lately, for reasons that are unclear to me, my thoughts have turned to the doctrine of transubstantiation, and those thoughts have reached a form that is probably blog post-worthy — hence I share them with you now. One very basic point we learn from... [Christian Theology]

June 1, 8AM

A while back, I wrote an article on social media as a platform for passing judgment. Now I’m thinking about the same problem from another angle — basically, social media often feels a lot to me like my evangelical church did growing up. Ther... [Christian Theology] [Social networks]

May 31, 7AM

Friends of the blog Simon Podmore, Duane Williams and David Lewin have a new book out featuring chapters from Agata Bielik-Robson, Steve Shakespeare, Alex Dubilet and myself. My chapter in the book is titled ‘Not peace but a sword: Dionysius, Žiže... [blog posts] [publications]

May 30, 10AM

Over the last few months, I have received a number of complaints about the blog template, in terms of both readability and searchability. I must admit that I myself had trouble with the search functionality when I wanted to link to old posts. In selecti... [housekeeping]

May 26, 9AM

Amidst its present Russian turmoil, 2017 is also distinct as the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution and the 150th anniversary of the publication of Karl Marx’s Capital, Volume 1. Join InterCcECT for 2 linked sessions on what is to be done... [blog posts] [Chicago] [Interccect] [Marx]

May 24, 1PM

If Trump colluded with the Russians to influence the election, it would be a very bad thing. If said collusion provides a path to remove him from office, then that would be a good thing. That both of those points are true, however, does not detract from... [politics of the absurd]

May 15, 6AM

Next year I’ll be teaching a course titled, ‘Gender, Sexuality and the Bible’. I’ve inherited a module description, which includes the following elements: Module Summary The module will introduce the range and complexity of the Bib... [blog posts] [teaching]

May 13, 9AM

‘The female person who enacts the existence of women in patriarchal society must live a contradiction: as human she is a free subject who participates in transcendence, but her situation as a woman denies her that subjectivity and transcendence. My ... [Academia] [blog posts] [Gender]
‘The female person who enacts the existence of women in patriarchal society must live a contradiction: as human she is a free subject who participates in transcendence, but her situation as a woman denies her that subjectivity and transcendence. My ... [Academia] [blog posts] [Gender]

May 12, 4AM

In the phrase “toxic call-out culture,” I’m interested in the word “toxic.” The last time it was part of a widely used set phrase was back in the good old days of the Global Financial Crisis, when we heard a lot about “... [politics of the absurd]

May 9, 11AM

I am aware that it is my male privilege speaking here in part, but when I read older texts that use “man” to designate all of humanity generically, it doesn’t sound offensive and exclusionary so much as old-timey and mildly comical. I c... [blog posts]

May 4, 11AM

Today, I hope there is a hell. If such a place has a use, it is to house people who celebrate with a cold beer after voting to endanger the lives of millions to enrich the already wealthy. These people should be trembling in fear before the justice and wr... [apocalyptic] [Saint Paul]

6AM

My experience teaches me that the online left abides by certain unspoken rules that help everyone to remain as woke and unproblematic as possible. At the risk of breaking the code of silence, I will list the most important rules as I have come to underst... [politics of the absurd]

May 2, 7AM

My thanks to everyone who participated in the book event. This has been a fun and varied conversation about Adam’s excellent book. In case you missed it, Adam has responded to each post in the comments sections. The Anselm discussion below Linn To... [Prince of This World Book Event]

April 29, 7AM

Vivid thoughts of disaster and apocalyptic dreams have haunted him since childhood. It began at the level of the personal. A mother and child in a car. The framing of the dream shot reminiscent of the telling falseness of driving scenes in movies from the... [apocalyptic] [blog posts]

April 28, 11AM

This response in our book event on Adam’s The Prince of This World is by Dotan Leshem, senior lecturer in the School of Political Science at the University of Haifa. The Prince of the World is a very ambitious and most welcome book. It offers an importa... [Prince of This World Book Event]

April 27, 1PM

Francis Fukuyama was right: we were at the end of history, the ‘happy 90s’ a brief millennarian period before the arrival of judgment day: the global financial crisis. We live now in a secularized version of the medieval world structure. At the founda... [blog posts] [Prince of This World Book Event]

April 25, 12 PM

Approach the page with trepidation. Writing is a miracle of creation ex nihilo; to begin to write is to take a step off a precipice. There may be nothing there to stop your fall. Procrastinate until you are too tired not to write, until it is easier to wr... [blog posts] [Writing]

5AM

Let’s start at the end. The end of Adam Kotsko’s timely and compelling book and the end of my general exams. In fact, we might start at the beginning of the end of my exams when I finished a review of Kotsko’s book for the Anglican Theol... [Prince of This World Book Event] [The Prince of This World (book)]

April 24, 6AM

The mainstream debate about social constructs shows how deeply engrained individualism is in the American psyche. From an individualist viewpoint, there are two categories that a claim to knowledge can fall into: objective (existing “out there̶... [blog posts] [politics of the absurd]

April 23, 7PM

This response in our book event on Adam’s The Prince of This World is by Jared Rodríguez, Doctoral Candidate in African American Studies, Northwestern University. MIRANDA: But who is that? He doesn’t look very benevolent! If I weren’t afraid of bla... [Prince of This World Book Event]

April 19, 7AM

This response in our book event on Adam’s The Prince of This World is by Linn Tonstad, Yale Divinity School.  Adam Kotsko’s The Prince of This World traces the subterranean logic by which the devil developed first as God’s opponent, then as God’... [Prince of This World Book Event]

April 17, 6AM

The first response in our book event on Adam’s The Prince of This World is by Bruce Rosenstock, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I’m beginning to write my response to Adam Kotsko’s wonderful new book, The Prince of This World, in t... [blog posts] [Prince of This World Book Event]

April 13, 10AM

The brutal ejection of a paying and duly seated passenger from a United Airlines flight has prompted a flourishing of contrarian hot takes. “Actually,” our clever subversive thinkers opine, “if you’ll let me play devil’s adv... [blog posts] [politics of the absurd] [The Prince of This World (book)]

April 11, 10AM

In a week we will be starting a book event on Adam’s latest, The Prince of This World. If you don’t yet have a copy, Stanford University Press has posted the introduction here. Digital and physical copies are available wherever fine books a... [Prince of This World Book Event]

April 6, 3PM

The only safe answer is no. Don’t get caught up on the merits. Don’t talk about how the Hitler-of-the-week may be bad, but the chaos we’ll create is even worse. Don’t get on your high horse about how U.S. meddling caused the sit... [blog posts]

April 4, 7AM

The outraged traveller, the disappointed gourmet, the lazy tweeter, the postoffice grouser: there are as many complainer genres as there are varieties of neurosis or flavors of potato chips. Everyone’s a critic, but what possible theory can unite th... [Awkwardness (the book)] [blog posts] [Chicago] [Deleuze] [Freud] [I am Larry David] [Interccect] [Lacan] [Psychoanalysis]

March 31, 5AM

I have taken particular joy in the jokes surrounding Mike Pence’s refusal to eat dinner with a woman other than his wife. This is because I grew up in an evangelical Christian culture where such rules were very much in force — to the extent t... [blog posts] [family values]

March 30, 9PM

Hannah Strømmen and Thomas Lynch are organizing a conference at Chichester University entitled “RADICAL/IZED RELIGION: Religion as a Resource for Political Theory and Practice” that may be of interest to readers of the blog. The keynotes for ... [CFP]

March 28, 4PM

As a student whose research deals prominently with what Gil Anidjar refers to as the ‘Christian question’–the significance of Christianity for the distribution of things like the divide between religion and politics, philosophy and ec... [Agamben] [blog posts] [Political Theology]

10AM

For some reason, my mind has been drawn over the past few days to what I owe to Zizek, intellectually. I have not kept up with his recent work and have been mostly critical of his political “interventions,” but I think that there are some assu... [blog posts] [Zizek]

March 20, 6AM

There are a lot of popular memes going around to the effect that one weekend of Trump’s security “could pay for” Meals on Wheels. This is true in the very narrow sense that they cost approximately the same amount of money. But savings on... [politics of the absurd]

March 17, 6AM

Trump voters have been mocked for believing that a pampered billionaire is somehow a man of the people. Yet on an important level, he really is one of them. That is to say, he really believes the right-wing conspiracy mongering that the Republican Party... [politics of the absurd]

March 16, 1PM

The Trump budget proposal is a nightmare — petty and vindictive, short-sighted and cruel. Inexpensive programs that literally save lives are being cut, apparently out of sheer spite. Surely, we are in the terminal phases of what I once called the ... [apocalyptic] [fascism] [politics]

March 14, 6AM

Pictured above is the courtyard of my building. I cannot describe how relieved I am to see snow. Chicago has not had any significant snow through all of January and February — the first time this has happened in recorded history — and some day... [apocalyptic] [Plato-to-NATO] [Race]

March 8, 10AM

In my previous post, I advocate excluding harmful ideas (my example is white supremacy, but I would include Holocaust denial, climate change denial, and others) from the public sphere. Whenever this kind of suggestion comes up, it is inevitable that some... [blog posts] [politics of the absurd]

6AM

Liberals are concerned. It appears that the Campus Left is squelching free speech by protesting right-wing speakers. The answer to bad speech, we are told, is more speech. The only way that tired bromide could be true, though, would be if it were possi... [politics of the absurd]

March 6, 4PM

Every election under capitalism is of course conducted on a terrain of ideological distortion, but there are degrees. One the one hand, one could think of the kind of ideological distortion that narrows the range of acceptable debate artificially, but th... [politics of the absurd]

February 28, 5PM

Having just finished teaching The Black Jacobins, I wanted to pay tribute to C.L.R. James’s genius by pointing to one short passage — namely, the first two sentences of the fourth chapter of that book: The slaves worked on the land, and, like ... [blog posts] [CLR James]

February 27, 6AM

Miya Tokumitsu’s Jacobin article on lecture pedagogy is something of a mess. It does argue that lectures at their best can be engaging and community-building, but almost everything it is saying could be recouched as a defense of in-person learning ... [Academia] [blog posts]

February 21, 6AM

Two fantasies have arisen in the wake of Trump’s unexpected ascension to the White House. The first is that the Deep State will save us. The second is that the media, fighting for its survival, will finally grow a spine and a conscience and, well, s... [politics]

February 13, 4PM

Today we compiled and submitted the final manuscript for Agamben’s Philosophical Lineage, the edited volume on Agamben’s many interlocutors that Carlo Salzani and I have been working on for seemingly all eternity (in reality, at least 18 month... [Agamben] [blog posts]

February 11, 7AM

It never fails. Any time someone expresses approval of a protest, a nice liberal will come along and declare that it’s counterproductive because it makes Trump (or whichever right-wing figure) look like a victim, further legitimating him in people&... [blog posts] [politics of the absurd]

February 9, 8AM

It’s fair to say that I am a productive person, both academically and personally. I view getting my work done as an opportunity to finally get some work done. I’ve written before about the somewhat sad origins of this productivity, which sta... [blog posts] [life of the mind] [Memoir Material]

February 2, 1PM

On Thursday, February 16, I am doing two events at Northwestern — a discussion of the intro and chapter 1 of The Prince of This World and a talk on political theology and neoliberalism. Details are included in this PDF flyer.Filed under: blog posts... [blog posts] [Lectures] [The Prince of This World (book)]

February 1, 11AM

I have a new piece out in Real Life on the culture of judgment in social media. It is a much-expanded version of my post from a while back entitled “Critique of Judgment.” Thanks to Rob Horning for inviting me to do this. Filed under: blog p... [blog posts]

January 30, 3PM

The Hebrew Bible and New Testament both say very unequivocal things in favor of helping the poor and excluded, welcoming the stranger, and a host of other topics immediately relevant to our political environment. But unfortunately, all of the people who ... [Biblical Studies] [ethics]

January 26, 10AM

Like everyone, I mocked the tweet. Deep down, I never thought it could happen to me. Now I wish I had stopped to think things through, because I didn’t know how to respond. A terrorist had actually kidnapped my baby. By all indications, he had rigge... [blog posts] [politics of the absurd]

January 25, 6AM

One thing that is strange about the debate over free will between Erasmus and Luther is that they are arguing on two very different levels. Erasmus is the voice of common sense — “if we don’t have free will, then how can we be morally j... [Agamben] [Martin Luther]

January 22, 8AM

There’s a lot of common advice that amounts to political due diligence: know who your representatives and other elected officials are, hold them accountable by contacting them about important matters, support more progressive candidates wherever pos... [blog posts] [politics]

January 21, 8AM

Yesterday, a dapper Nazi was punched while giving an interview about how the white race has an inborn right to domination. (I am not naming him in an effort to shield myself from the attention of his ilk; I imagine his identity is easily ascertainable via... [blog posts] [fascism]

January 20, 7AM

I remember back the last time the Electoral College delivered us an incompetent overreaching fool — one of our watchwords in those years was that the Constitution is not a suicide pact. And so, on November 9, Obama should have said, “We all kn... [apocalyptic] [blog posts] [politics]

January 19, 10AM

I have a chapter in a new book out now: Afxentis Afxentiou, Robin Dunford and Michael Neu (eds), Exploring Complicity: Concepts, Cases and Critiques (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017). My chapter is called ‘For Our Sins: Christianity, Complicity and t... [blog posts] [publications]

7AM

While engaging with the classical Greek sources and particularly with Nicole Loraux’s work last semester in class, I found myself increasingly sounding like John Milbank. In very broad and abstract terms, the question that guided my path through the... [augustine] [blog posts] [Plato] [Plato-to-NATO]

January 18, 4PM

Today someone made me angry, and I made that person angry in turn. I happen to think my anger was more justified, but my interlocutor’s was apparently more intense — after a certain point, I was inclined to mend bridges and they pointedly refu... [blog posts] [Memoir Material]

January 17, 6AM

Last night, I gave a talk on the Temptation of Christ at an event for the DePaul Humanities Center. My focus was on the devil’s offer to give Christ all the kingdoms of this world, which I used as a starting point for tracing the roots of apocalypt... [New Testament]

January 16, 6AM

Walter Benjamin famously, and somewhat enigmatically, declared that “even the dead won’t be safe from the enemy if he is victorious.” The example that leaps to mind for me is Martin Luther King, the increasingly revolutionary leader who ... [Martin Luther King Jr.]

January 15, 10PM

Wake up, check the weather, and dress appropriately. People do it everyday. Sure, some climates, like that in the UK, are unpredictable and change throughout the day. That 20% of rain means it’ll probably rain at some point and that’s what th... [blog posts]

January 14, 2PM

I was shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Mark Fisher. Mark was one of the pioneers of theory blogging and para-academic independent publishing. I learned a great deal from his blogging at K-punk, where he wrote incisive political commentary a... [in memoriam]
I was shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Mark Fisher. Mark was one of the pioneers of theory blogging and para-academic independent publishing. I learned a great deal from his blogging at K-punk, where he wrote incisive political commentary a... [in memoriam]

7AM

For the past couple months, I’ve been working on a couple projects that fulfill long-term goals. I’m going to finally have a published French translation on the books, which I have been hoping to do ever since I was thwarted in my attempt to ... [to-do lists]
For the past couple months, I’ve been working on a couple projects that fulfill long-term goals. I’m going to finally have a published French translation on the books, which I have been hoping to do ever since I was thwarted in my attempt to ... [to-do lists]

January 13, 5AM

In recent days, some people have been joking that Obama should resign a few days before the end of his term so that Biden can say he was president. In some iterations, this is a way of subtley screwing over Trump, who has already received gifts addressed ... [blog posts] [politics of the absurd]
In recent days, some people have been joking that Obama should resign a few days before the end of his term so that Biden can say he was president. In some iterations, this is a way of subtley screwing over Trump, who has already received gifts addressed ... [blog posts] [politics of the absurd]

January 5, 10AM

Presumably we have all seen The Social Network, or at least heard of the primal scene of Facebook that it stages. One night, a bored Mark Zuckerberg uses his ability to type really fast to set up a website to judge the hotness of the women of Harvard. It ... [blog posts] [Technology]
Presumably we have all seen The Social Network, or at least heard of the primal scene of Facebook that it stages. One night, a bored Mark Zuckerberg uses his ability to type really fast to set up a website to judge the hotness of the women of Harvard. It ... [blog posts] [Technology]

7AM

There are three varieties of atheism. Only one of them is actually interesting. “Matter of course” atheism — this is the position that belief in God is clearly superfluous, both for explaining the natural world and for developing a coh... [apocalyptic] [blog posts]
There are three varieties of atheism. Only one of them is actually interesting. “Matter of course” atheism — this is the position that belief in God is clearly superfluous, both for explaining the natural world and for developing a coh... [apocalyptic] [blog posts]

3AM

Readers of this blog might be in this newish blog by Tom Hunt – Patristics 1954: Late Antiquity, Early Christianity and the Algerian War. I’m sure Adam in particular will be glad to see that not quite everyone writing interesting things online... [blog posts] [Blogroll]
Readers of this blog might be in this newish blog by Tom Hunt – Patristics 1954: Late Antiquity, Early Christianity and the Algerian War. I’m sure Adam in particular will be glad to see that not quite everyone writing interesting things online... [blog posts] [Blogroll]

January 4, 10AM

I’ve been thinking lately about which projects I choose to undertake. For instance, I look at the two projects I’m wrapping up right now — a translation of Nicole Loraux’s “War in the Family” (the essay Agamben discusse... [life of the mind] [The lighter side of AUFS] [to-do lists]
I’ve been thinking lately about which projects I choose to undertake. For instance, I look at the two projects I’m wrapping up right now — a translation of Nicole Loraux’s “War in the Family” (the essay Agamben discusse... [life of the mind] [The lighter side of AUFS] [to-do lists]

December 31 2016, 8AM

To President Bowling, Members of the Board of Trustees, and the Administrative Staff of Olivet Nazarene University: It has come to my attention that Olivet Nazarene University will be sending its marching band to perform in the inauguration of President-E... [apocalyptic]
To President Bowling, Members of the Board of Trustees, and the Administrative Staff of Olivet Nazarene University: It has come to my attention that Olivet Nazarene University will be sending its marching band to perform in the inauguration of President-E... [apocalyptic]

December 30, 6AM

I am planning to kick off next year with two speaking dates. The first will be part of a larger event on “The Temptation of Christ” for the DePaul Humanities Center on Monday, January 16 (PDF flyer), and the second will be a conversation with ... [Lectures] [The Prince of This World (book)]
I am planning to kick off next year with two speaking dates. The first will be part of a larger event on “The Temptation of Christ” for the DePaul Humanities Center on Monday, January 16 (PDF flyer), and the second will be a conversation with ... [Lectures] [The Prince of This World (book)]

5AM

Following on a suggestion from APS, for the past couple of years I’ve been keeping a note of all the books I finish. It’s been helpful to have a record, although occasionally difficult to resist turning it into a measure of productivity and co... [blog posts] [Books]

December 27, 7AM

[As always, I am not recommending any particular course of action or political strategy. All I’m trying to do is work my way into the mindset that would allow the Democrats’ actions to make sense as something other than the product of personal... [blog posts] [politics]

December 23, 10AM

I’ve had occasion to return to the topic of atonement, and specifically Aulén lately, and a thought occurred to me: Aulén’s typology of the three main atonement theories is strikingly similar to the commonplace typology of philosophical ethi... [blog posts] [Christian Theology] [ethics]

December 21, 6PM

The newest issue of the Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy is out. I was the guest editor for this special issue, which is devoted to (extensions of) the thought of French philosopher Henri Bergson. It includes an essay by APS that I highly reco... [Bergson] [blog posts] [publications]

December 20, 12 PM

Unsurprisingly, there are considerably more books for which I didn’t write formal blurbs. This, however, does not mean that several did not merit it. On quite the contrary! Here is a list of a few books that came out in 2016 that I very highly sugge... [blog posts]

8AM

Martin Luther King, Jr., famously said, “The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice.” We can take this to be the standard liberal-progressive way of looking at the arc of history. There are two other possible variations: that ... [apocalyptic] [blog posts] [fascism]

December 19, 6AM

Next semester I’ll be teaching a module on political philosphy to a mixture of first year students taking courses in Philosophy, Religion and Ethics and in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. This is the rubric I’ve inherited: This module intr... [blog posts] [teaching]

December 18, 12 PM

The term “fake news” has recently come back into vogue, to refer to the false news stories that circulated freely on social media and most likely contributed to the cruel technicality that occurred on Election Day. This is not the first time ... [blog posts] [politics of the absurd]

December 16, 3PM

Yesterday I attended a reading group that was discussing selections from Adorno’s Minima Moralia. One passage that occuppied a considerable amount of our attention came from aphorism 134, on satire: Irony’s medium, the difference between ideol... [ideology]

9AM

During the campaign, I was forced to grudgingly admit that Trump had said something true: namely, that Bush should be held responsible for his negligence in failing to prevent 9/11 and that the Iraq War was an unmitigated disaster. In recent days, I have... [blog posts]

December 14, 9AM

A couple weekends ago I was able, despite illness, heartbreak, and some serious lack of preparations, to make it to the Oceti Sakowin camp at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, joining in the massive and now global protest against Energy Transfer Partne... [blog posts]

6AM

Last night, a colleague and I took some students to hear the Civic Orchestra, a youth orchestra sponsored by the Chicago Symphony. It marked the end of a semester where I had attended the CSO at least every two weeks. I had been going increasingly often... [music] [retreat into aestheticism]

December 13, 10AM

As I did last year, as a sort of alternative to a “Best of” list, I thought I’d give you a run-down of the books I blurbed over the course of 2016. If I have time, I follow it up later with books I never got around to formally blurbing, ... [blog posts] [Book Reviews] [Books]

December 12, 8AM

All this makes clear what we all kind of knew: that institutional stability and continuity is partisan issue and has been for a long time. I’ve long joked that the Democrats are the party of “having a government at all,” but it’s n... [blog posts] [Schmitt] [Zizek]

7AM

Naturally, the prospect of Trump being impeached has been on people’s minds. It is perhaps conceivable that he could go so far that even the Republicans wouldn’t be able to stomach it. Yet when pondering that potential outcome, people tend t... [blog posts] [politics]

December 8, 8AM

Yesterday, I received a Facebook direct message telling me that I was a Jew who should get into the gas chamber. Normally I just block and delete such things, but this one was so flagrant that I felt I had to report it. This morning, I got a message tel... [blog posts] [politics of the absurd] [Technology]

December 6, 2PM

I’ve just finished reading Žižek’s book on the refugee crisis,  Against the Double Blackmail: Refugees, Terror and Other Troubles with the Neighbours. Don’t read it: it’s terrible. It’s all of the worst bits of Žižek wi... [blog posts] [politics] [Zizek]

9AM

Next semester I’ll be teaching a module on ‘The Many Faces of Jesus’ that I’ve inherited from a predecessor. This is the module description and indicative course outline I’m working with: I’ve got some freedom to work w... [blog posts] [teaching]

December 5, 1PM

I’ve been hearing & reading a recurring sentiment since the election: I can’t read fiction right now. That I hear it most commonly from those I consider “serious readers” (those who don’t read fiction strictly for ent... [blog posts]

December 2, 6AM

During his eight years in office, Obama deported a record number of immigrants, which is traditionally a Republican thing to do. He can’t openly take credit for it, because it would alienate his base — and if he tried, Republican voters litera... [blog posts] [politics of the absurd]

November 30, 2PM

[The following is the English transcript of an interview that will appear in Portuguese translation in a special issue of the IHU Online Review on Agamben, published by Instituto Humanitas Unisinos in Porto Allegre, Brazil. The questions were provided by ... [Agamben] [blog posts] [Interviews]

8AM

I thought that Trump’s seizure of the presidency would put an end to hypocrisy critiques, but liberals are still reaching for the same tired “point and laugh” gotchas. One that came across my Facebook feed today points out that conserva... [blog posts] [politics of the absurd]

5AM

Monique Rooney arranged a roundtable in the most recent issue of Australian Humanities Review around an essay of mine entitled “What is the Western canon good for?” Nina Power and other luminaries have graciously provided responses.Filed unde... [blog posts] [Plato-to-NATO]

November 28, 10AM

For a good few years now, ‘the left’ has been repeatedly returning to arguments about ‘identity politics’ – whether it’s a proper concern for left political debate and struggle, whether it’s compatible with an ana... [blog posts] [politics]

6AM

Michael Haneke’s film Funny Games portrays a bourgeois family that is gradually destroyed by two anonymous men with an appetite for cruelty. In the face of these destructive nihilists, all the victims’ instincts — negotiation, compromis... [blog posts] [film] [politics]

November 26, 8AM

A lot of stupid things have been said about the Electoral College since it apparently handed Trump the presidency. Much of it is in the vein of Federalist Papers fan-fiction, as in an article that is so stupid that I refuse to link it, which argues that ... [blog posts] [politics]

November 23, 7AM

I was very saddened to learn of the death of Scott Erik Kaufman. It is shocking to lose such a giant among bloggers at such a young age. Everyone who participated in the often tumultuous debates in the early days of academic blogging will remember him a... [in memoriam]

November 22, 8AM

At New APPS, Gordon Hull has a good response to my post on Trump and neoliberalism, where he argues that Trump can be construed as broadly neoliberal due to his emphasis on branding and competition. There is nothing in the post that I would strongly disp... [neoliberalism]

November 18, 2PM

In Australia and New Zealand, I was often asked after my lectures whether I thought Trump was a neoliberal. I answered that since neoliberalism is a specific set of ideas, it was unlikely to be within Trump’s grasp. Then, on a more serious note, I s... [blog posts] [fascism] [neoliberalism]

November 17, 3PM

I have a tendency to read the New Testament, and especially Paul, against the later Christian tradition — for instance, in my post yesterday distinguishing between the Protestant Paul and the “real” Paul. My teaching this semester, thoug... [apocalyptic] [augustine] [Dante] [Saint Paul] [St. Paul]

November 15, 4PM

I’ve got Romans on my mind, specifically 1:17 — “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, ‘The one who is righteous will live by faith'” (NRSV translation; Greek text: δικαιο... [apocalyptic] [blog posts] [Justice] [New Testament] [St. Paul] [translation]

3PM

A quote from the first page of Jodi Dean’s Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies (2009): The end of the Bush administration and the crisis in capitalism confronting the world economy are opportunities not simply for reflecting on the bankruptcy o... [blog posts] [Jodi Dean]

8AM

In this fresh hell, InterCcECT stands by our founding project, the pursuit of abstraction as both explanation for existing situations and inspiration for new situations, and we stand for the thinkers, makers, doers, survivors, gatherers who have lived o... [Adorno] [blog posts] [Chicago] [Interccect]

November 14, 3PM

In my initial reflections on the election result, I said that I felt ashamed. I was not the only one — anecdotally, that word showed up a lot in people’s gut reaction. In some ways, it’s a strange thing to say, especially when we look ... [blog posts] [politics] [politics of the absurd] [Psychoanalysis]

5AM

There’s a new edition of Theology and Sexuality out now, collecting articles from a panel organised by the Gay Men and Religion group at AAR, reflecting on twenty years since the publication of Robert Shore-Goss’s important book Jesus ACTED U... [blog posts]

November 12, 9AM

A lot has been written about evangelical support for Trump, including this excellent piece by Hollis Phelps. I share Phelps’s cynical view of the leadership, but for many everyday evangelicals, the picture is not so stark. They are not political n... [blog posts] [Christian Theology] [politics]

November 11, 5AM

My parents are good people. They are honest, they work hard, they are generous. My dad makes friends everywhere he goes. My mom went to college late in life to become a teacher specifically so that she could help underprivileged black students. And bo... [blog posts] [family values]

November 10, 7AM

This post is a thought experiment and a hypothetical. I am not recommending any particular course of action or way of thinking about the disaster that has befallen us. I want to use Schmitt as a lens for a couple reasons. First, even more than the theory ... [apocalyptic] [Carl Schmitt]

November 9, 5AM

I am going to write some things about my reaction to this disaster. I don’t think they will do any concrete good. I don’t intend for them to convince anyone to do or think anything. It’s just that writing is all I know how to do. I c... [apocalyptic]

November 8, 11AM

Various AUFS contributors will be giving papers or presiding at the AAR in San Antonio this year. Here’s a list of some of the places you’ll find us; feel free to use the comments below to highlight any panels/papers/buffets AUFS readers might... [blog posts] [Conference Papers]

November 4, 10AM

This post is Linn Tonstad’s response to the various contributors to the event on her book, God and Difference. The introduction to the book event and links to all the posts are available here. I want to express my thanks to all the contributors an... [blog posts] [God and Difference book event]

November 2, 3PM

This afternoon, Chris Hayes — whom I’ve always had pleasant interactions with, who is obviously really smart, who does good work in pushing for genuine policy debate in the media, etc., etc. — tweeted the following: The American supporte... [blog posts] [politics]

1AM

Content Notice: I use some sexually explicit language and sometimes use vulgar slang below. If you would prefer not to see such language then please skip this post. – APS It is always awkward to give the (nearly) last word to one who rightly passes ... [God and Difference book event]

October 31, 8AM

This is a guest post by Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, PhD . Robyn is Visiting Assistant Professor of Ethics at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and Public Theologian in Residence at Faith Matters Network, Nashville, TN.  Their work has a prim... [blog posts] [God and Difference book event]

October 28, 2PM

The Qur’an makes high claims for its clarity and internal consistency, and as I have spent the week reacquainting myself with it in class, I am coming to a fresh appreciation of how radically focused it is. Calvin claims that the Bible is never tell... [blog posts] [Islam] [Reading the Qur'an]

9AM

I don’t pretend that many of you are particularly interested in my non-academic world of bookselling. This is one of the reasons (but definitely not the only one) I don’t post around too much. I’m going to make an exception today, though... [blog posts]

2AM

My first introduction to serious theology was a graduate seminar on the Trinity with Craig Keen. In retrospect, it was a turning point in my life. Previously I had assumed that I would be heading to graduate school in literature, but I found that academic... [God and Difference book event]

October 26, 11AM

Some of us are born with morbid imaginations. My mom tells a story about me, at the age of three: I wanted to know where we go when we die. The question consumed me, and she let me wonder. I apparently asked every adult I met and was unsatisfied with all ... [blog posts]

October 25, 2PM

In 2009, Obama entered office with an unmistakable mandate and control of both houses of Congress — including a rare fillibuster-proof majority in the Senate — and the Democrats wasted it. They pushed through a stimulus package that barely off... [blog posts] [neoliberalism] [politics]

October 24, 1PM

Apparently, Jack Chick, of Chick Tract infamy, is dead. He passed quietly, it seems. No chariots or such. The internet perked up for a moment, which seems mostly to have passed. Just like Jack Chick. Jack Chick was neither David Bowie or Prince, it should... [blog posts]

12 PM

This is a guest post by Ashon Crawley. Ashon is Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies at University of California, Riverside. His research and teaching experiences are in the areas of Black Studies, Performance Theory and Sound Studies, Philosophy and Th... [blog posts] [God and Difference book event]

5AM

Many years ago, I argued that one of the biggest problems facing conservatism is how baroque and complicated its “universe” had become. Its fans are expected to have immediate recall of obscure concepts and plot points, while tolerating obviou... [blog posts] [politics of the absurd]

October 22, 5AM

Radical Protestant separatists have rocked the European Union, voting to leave the Federation that had tenuously unified Christians belonging to opposed sects. Britain, which adheres to its own idiosyncratic version of the Protestant sect, had only rece... [blog posts] [politics of the absurd]

October 21, 10AM

  Trinitarian theology has lost its way. It has become – as I demonstrate in this book – a way to enjoin practices of sacrifice and submission under the panner of countering the rapaciousness of modern subjectivity. The problem with Christian the... [blog posts] [Christian Theology] [God and Difference book event] [queer theology] [Trinity] [tri]

October 20, 8AM

It often happens to me that when I begin using a term ironically, it eventually works its way into my sincere vocabulary. That is exactly what happened with “robust,” which I initially intended as mockery of Radical Orthodoxy’s gold sta... [politics of the absurd] [Radical Orthodoxy] [The Prince of This World (book)]

October 14, 1PM

Today we discussed Romans in class, and I described the traditional reading somewhat uncharitably: there’s something wrong with us such that it’s impossible for us to do the right thing, but if we believe in a certain story, then it’s al... [apocalyptic] [blog posts] [Christian Theology] [Saint Paul] [St. Paul] [teaching]

October 13, 8AM

People have a lot to say about Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize in Literature. I have polled my Twitter followers, and so far they believe that I should either not form an opinion on this issue or, if I do, I should keep that opinion a secret. So I am goin... [blog posts]

October 12, 2PM

“The true life is absent.” But we are in a simulation. Everything about our universe, rightly understood, cries out: I was created! Finitude, imperfection, the gaps in the fullness of reality — all point toward a fuller, more perfect ... [blog posts] [Christian Theology] [politics of the absurd]

October 10, 7AM

It has often been remarked that Trump has brought a “reality TV” feel to this election cycle. What is less noted is that he is on both sides of the reality show equation — for his supporters, he is Simon Cowell, while for his opponents,... [politics of the absurd] [The Prince of This World (book)]

October 9, 10AM

The Aeneid is a book about fate. This is a different kind of fate from what we see in Greek mythology, which is as inexorable as it is meaningless. Here the situation is just the reverse. First, there is a clear meaning, an arc of history tending towar... [literature] [blog posts] [Virgil]

October 6, 12 PM

It is my considered opinion after 36 years of experience that Thanksgiving and Christmas are too close together. There are many reasons to complain about the timing of the two holidays — the burden of traveling twice during the most dangerous and d... [blog posts] [life of the mind] [The lighter side of AUFS]

October 3, 2PM

Is the “bio” of biopolitics precisely bios in the Agambenian sense? The common reading (at least as far as I can tell) would align it more with zoè — and one could even read the Agamben of Homo Sacer in that way. If we take The Use of... [Agamben] [Foucault]

September 30, 1PM

As most readers of this blog know, I teach at a school in the Great Books tradition. While Shimer is more liberal and open to contemporary sources than most schools in that tradition, our curriculum remains pretty firmly within the classics of the “... [blog posts] [Plato-to-NATO] [teaching]

September 29, 6AM

Early this summer, I received an unsolicited review copy of Dotan Leshem’s Origins of Neoliberalism: Modeling the Economy from Jesus to Foucault — true proof of divine providence, given that I was working on a project connecting political theo... [Agamben] [Book Reviews] [Economics] [Mondzain] [neoliberalism] [Political Theology]

September 28, 6AM

Everyone knows that according to Aristotle, there is a sphere called “the political.” It is dependent upon but fully distinct from the economic, which is the realm of necessity and slavery. By contrast, the political represents the realm of ... [aristotle]

September 27, 1PM

[This represents the final version of the talk on the devil and neoliberalism that I gave at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and subsequently at various universities in Australia and New Zealand as well as the Melbourne School of Continental Phil... [blog posts] [neoliberalism] [Political Theology] [Schmitt] [The Prince of This World (book)]

September 26, 11AM

A brief reminder that in late October/early November this year we’ll be hosting the next AUFS book event on Linn Tonstad’s recent book God and Difference: The Trinity, Sexuality and the Transformation of Finitude. Linn was recently appointed Assist... [blog posts] [God and Difference book event]

5AM

Jay Rosen has written a summary of the reasons that the traditional model of campaign reporting has broken down. The old approach envisioned the political process as involving “two similar parties with warring philosophies that compete for tactical ... [apocalyptic] [Carl Schmitt] [politics]

September 25, 5AM

In the field of theology, one sometimes finds a job listing that requires the successful applicant to sign a statement of faith. I am most likely past the point of applying for such jobs, so it is safe for me to reveal that I have always maintained that,... [ethics] [politics]

September 24, 12 PM

I’m never sure what to do with an article like this one by David Bromwich in LRB. The discussion of free speech on campus seems to carry with it a series of rhetorical traps, as though it is impossible to criticize the phenomenon in question (“... [politics of the absurd]

September 22, 1PM

Kevin Drum has posted what he believes is an “overwhelming” progressive case for Hillary Clinton. (Or at least that’s what the headline says — in the actual text of the post it is downgraded to a “liberal” case.) The ... [blog posts] [politics of the absurd]

September 19, 1PM

What does the financial crisis of 2007-2008 and our ongoing crisis have to do with the recent surge of scholarly interest in speculative philosophy?  How do proliferating materialisms engage with, or symptomatize, toxic collateralized debt obligations? ... [blog posts] [Chicago] [Interccect]

September 13, 4PM

The Girlfriend and I are at different points in Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels, having both finished vol. 4 of Knausgaard’s My Struggle. I’m sure we are hardly the only couple to both be making our way through these two Major International... [Ferrante] [Knausgaard] [literature] [Television]

September 9, 6AM

I feel unmoored. Only in the last few days did I turn the corner of having been home from Australia and New Zealand as long as I had been there. The first week we were back, we had to deal with our dog Max’s sudden illness, which caused him to act v... [blog posts]

September 8, 11AM

In his excellent piece commemorating the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, Gerry Canavan says, “The Idea of Star Trek is that the future might be good; we might be good; we might find a way, somewhere far beyond the stars, to become our better selves.&... [blog posts] [Star Trek]

September 6, 3PM

I grow weary of the vague gestures about how the Clinton Foundation “raises questions” about Hillary Clinton and the influences she is subject to. It’s not that the concerns are unwarranted, though they often seem to be exaggerated R... [blog posts] [neoliberalism] [politics of the absurd]

September 2, 12 AM

On Facebook today, Adam noted a strange issue that appears repeatedly in David Harvey’s Brief History of Neoliberalism. Harvey insists that financial bailouts, of the sort that would later follow the 2008 crash, contradict neoliberal theory despite the ... [blog posts] [neoliberalism]

September 1, 10AM

A Facebook friend asked how I go about taking reading notes, and I thought it might be worth a blog post. At a certain point in my academic career, I noticed that I was wasting a lot of time flipping futilely through books looking for the quote I just kn... [blog posts] [Writing]

August 30, 5AM

We never encounter customer service directly, only its representatives. Every quest after customer service is a Kafkaesque ordeal, in the purest possible sense. We are all the man from the country, waiting at the threshold to customer service without ev... [blog posts] [Kafka] [messianism]

August 27, 6AM

Everyone is so sure. Everyone has the formula. We already know, apparently, how to overcome racism. There is already a fully articulated, correct way to talk about transgender people and their experience. Solutions to complex problems like dealing wit... [politics]

August 24, 8AM

I’m putting the final touches on my Philosophy and Gender course. This is a new one for me. In the past, I’ve taught Feminist Philosophy, but I’ve never taught a course on gender broadly construed. Of course, I leave out some classic pie... [blog posts]

August 23, 10AM

In late October/early November this year we’ll be hosting the next AUFS book event on Linn Tonstad’s recent book God and Difference: The Trinity, Sexuality and the Transformation of Finitude. Linn was recently appointed Assistant Professor of ... [blog posts]

6AM

In lectures and conference presentations, I often have occasion to mention the ransom theory of atonement, or the crucifixion more generally. As such, I am very, very frequently asked how my work relates to Girard. And my answer is: it doesn’t, be... [Girard] [neccesary snark]

August 22, 1PM

I have been rereading Mondzain’s Image, Icon, and Economy lately, and the topic of the relationship between this book and Agamben’s The Kingdom and the Glory came to mind. I already wrote several years ago about how I thought that Mondzain ac... [Agamben] [Mondzain]

August 19, 5AM

I have had my first faculty meeting of the semester, and classes start on Monday — in short, summer vacation is officially over. This semester, I am teaching the senior capstone course, which meets four days a week (syllabus), and we will have some... [to-do lists]

August 15, 4AM

Donald Trump’s latest “gaffe” is his claim that Obama is the founder of ISIS. Now even Trump seems to admit — to the extent compatible with his “never back down” policy — that this is a hyperbolic way of saying t... [blog posts] [politics of the absurd]

August 9, 2PM

This is the second-to-last day of my Australia-New Zealand trip, and the day of my final lecture on the theme of “Neoliberalism’s Demons.” I would like to repeat my thanks to Monique Rooney (of Australian Catholic University) for the in... [blog posts] [The lighter side of AUFS] [The Prince of This World (book)]

4AM

I have a new article out in a special edition of Religions edited by Michael Thate and Douglas Davies, on the theme Religion and the Individual: Belief, Practice, and Identity. My article, ‘It’s Not the Money but the Love of Money That Is the Root of ... [blog posts] [Political Theology] [publications] [Red Tory]

August 8, 11AM

Summer is ending – time to cram in big ideas! Join InterCcECT for a session on Lacan’s Seminar X: Anxiety, with special guest Chris Breu, Thursday 11 August, 5pm, at Volumes Bookcafe, 1414 N Milwaukee Ave.  Contact interccect at gmail for the... [blog posts] [Chicago] [Interccect] [kant] [Lacan]

August 7, 3PM

Tomorrow, I will be giving a masterclass (PDF flyer) at the University of Auckland, where we will be discussing my Crisis and Critique article (PDF) as well as a paper I gave at a conference earlier this year at Loyola University Chicago, entitled “... [Agamben] [blog posts] [Conference Papers]

August 6, 2PM

What bothers me most about the Zizek trans article is the sheer laziness. I do think there’s a point buried in there that’s worth considering (the gender binary doesn’t “work” for anyone — though that’s a point th... [blog posts] [Zizek]

July 31, 11PM

When I was working on my conclusion for the edited volume Agamben’s Philosophical Lineage, which I have entitled “Agamben as a Reader of Agamben,” I had frequent reference to the order of publication of Agamben’s works, which somet... [Agamben] [blog posts]

July 29, 2PM

While I was in Canberra, I was interviewed by the local public radio affiliate, ABC 666, about my work on the devil, and Fergus Armstrong graciously extracted an mp3 from the streaming audio file. Thanks to him, to Monique Rooney for helping to set it up... [Audio] [The Prince of This World (book)]

12 AM

I will be speaking under the auspices of the Melbourne School of Continental Philosophy on Wednesday, August 3; details here. This is in addition to my talk at Australian Catholic University on Tuesday. The rest of my schedule can be found here.Filed un... [blog posts] [Lectures] [The Prince of This World (book)]

July 28, 1AM

I recently edited a special edition of Modern Believing looking at the relationship between philosophy and Christianity; it’s out now and you can read it here (hit me up if you want to read anything in there but don’t have institutional acces... [Black theology] [blog posts] [Christian Theology] [philosophy] [publications] [theology] [Zizek]

July 26, 2PM

I just finished reading Agamben’s Che cos’è la filosofia? (What is Philosophy?), a beautiful and elegant book both conceptually and as a physical artifact. When I ordered the book, I threw in one of his little pamphlet books, just out of cur... [Agamben] [Books] [poetry]

July 22, 8PM

The primary lecture I’m giving during my tour of the ends of the earth, “Neoliberalism’s Demons,” builds on my project in The Prince of This World. In that (still frustratingly forthcoming) book, I establish connections between ke... [Academia] [neoliberalism] [The Prince of This World (book)]

July 21, 3AM

Adam is right that what we do on social media has analogies with liturgy. But it’s that analogy which highlights the problems with his broader argument about the aimlessness of those liturgical practices. Liturgy is not merely vain repetition, dead... [blog posts] [Social networks]

July 20, 6PM

In American poltical discourse, legitimate opinions are represented by two different, but equally important groups: Democrats and Republicans. Political debate, as it is commonly understood, just is the dispute between the two parties. This is why it is... [blog posts] [politics of the absurd]

July 16, 10AM

MARK WILLIAM WESTMORELAND is a doctoral student and instructor of philosophy and ethics at Villanova University and is writing a dissertation on racial profiling. They also teach philosophy and religious studies at Gwynedd Mercy University, Penn State Uni... [blog posts] [Book Reviews] [Book-Discussion Group] [Figure of the Migrant] [The Figure of The Migrant] [The Figure of The Migrant - Book Event]

July 14, 7AM

The history of every hitherto existing society is the history of attempting to do away with the irreducibility of human decision-making. From the appeal to the inscrutable demands of the gods to the pious submission to the logic of the market, human bein... [ecology] [Hegel]

6AM

THOMAS NAIL is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Denver. He is the author of Returning to Revolution: Deleuze, Guattari and Zapatismo (Edinburgh University Press, 2012), The Figure of the Migrant (Stanford University Press, 2015),... [blog posts] [Book Reviews] [Book-Discussion Group] [Figure of the Migrant] [The Figure of The Migrant] [The Figure of The Migrant - Book Event]

July 13, 12 PM

When it comes to real, tangible effects, human lives matter because other human beings say they matter. We can imagine that all lives matter from God’s perspective, but here below, mattering takes recognition. Mattering is not a given, but a histo... [politics of the absurd] [Race]

July 11, 8PM

On a Pages file stored in the cloud there is a list of the books I have read going back eleven years. Since coming to Philadelphia and being confronted with an ignorance as deep as America itself, a concerted effort was made to increase the number of wome... [blog posts] [literature]

12 PM

TODD MAY is Class of 1941 Memorial Professor of the Humanities at Clemson University.  He is the author of fourteen books of philosophy, most recently A Significant Life:  Human Meaning in a Silent Universe (University of Chicago Press, 2015) and A Frag... [blog posts] [Book Reviews] [Book-Discussion Group] [Figure of the Migrant] [The Figure of The Migrant] [The Figure of The Migrant - Book Event]

7AM

Periodically, one reads of an evangelical leader or Republican legislator who believes that the Bible has a great deal to say about America. Yet biblical scholars are buzz-killingly insistent that all of the biblical writings were composed during a time ... [Mormonism] [politics of the absurd]

July 10, 8AM

I have never been very close with my family as an adult, but I am increasingly afraid to call home. Within the last couple weeks, my mother and grandmother both, despite having serious misgivings about Trump, have suggested that the alternative might be w... [family values]

July 8, 7AM

Hegel once said, “Reading the morning newspaper is the realist’s morning prayer. One orients one’s attitude toward the world either by God or by what the world is. The former gives as much security as the latter, in that one knows how on... [blog posts] [Social networks]

6AM

ANDREW DILTS is Assistant Professor of political theory in the Department of Political Science at Loyola Marymount University. They are the author of Punishment and Inclusion: Race, Membership, and the Limits of American Liberalism (Fordham, 2014), co-edi... [blog posts] [Book Reviews] [Book-Discussion Group] [Deleuze] [Figure of the Migrant] [Guattari] [The Figure of The Migrant] [The Figure of The Migrant - Book Event]

July 6, 5AM

This summer, I was invited to come speak at Australian National University by Monique Rooney. Subsequently, I was able to schedule several other talks in Australia and New Zealand, adding up to a three-week speaking tour that will double as a vacation, wi... [Academia] [Lectures] [The Prince of This World (book)]

July 5, 9AM

To commemorate the completion or “abandonment” of the Homo Sacer series now that The Use of Bodies has been published, the Stanford University Press blog is running a blog event. My introductory post has been published, and this event schedul... [Agamben] [blog posts]

5AM

I can no longer make it through the nights. This is different from insomnia. I’ve had that, though mine always seemed to be about a certain kind of missing out. As if the fact of sleep meant I wasn’t out drinking or dancing or wasn’t up... [apocalyptic] [blog posts]

July 4, 9AM

ADRIANA NOVOA is Associate Professor of History at the University of South Florida. Novoa completed her MA and PhD in Latin American History at the University of California, San Diego. She is a cultural historian whose specialty is science in Latin Americ... [blog posts] [Book Reviews] [Book-Discussion Group] [Figure of the Migrant] [The Figure of The Migrant] [The Figure of The Migrant - Book Event]

July 2, 5AM

Hillary Clinton’s ridiculous proposal to forgive student loans for certain entrepreneurs is ridiculous. It is also deeply revealing of the mainstream Democratic approach to policy — not just because it’s a classic Clinton-style micropol... [blog posts] [neoliberalism] [politics]

July 1, 5AM

ROBIN CELIKATES is Associate Professor of Political and Social Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam, where he also directs the research project Transformations of Civil Disobedience. He is a member of the Amsterdam Centre for Globalisation Studies an... [blog posts] [Book Reviews] [Book-Discussion Group] [Figure of the Migrant] [The Figure of The Migrant] [The Figure of The Migrant - Book Event]

June 30, 5AM

Carlo Salzani and I have officially been offered a contract with Edinburgh University Press for our edited volume on Agamben’s sources, which is now entitled Agamben’s Philosophical Lineage. We’ve put together an impressive group of cont... [Agamben]

June 27, 10AM

DANIELLA TRIMBOLI recently completed a jointly-awarded Ph.D. at the University of Melbourne and the University of British Columbia. Her dissertation analysed the intersection of everyday multiculturalism and digital storytelling from a cultural studies ... [blog posts] [Book Reviews] [Book-Discussion Group] [Figure of the Migrant] [The Figure of The Migrant] [The Figure of The Migrant - Book Event]

6AM

Often, The Girlfriend and I are deadlocked on a decision where neither of us expresses a strong preference — for instance, which restaurant to go to. In those situations, we each pick a side and play rock-paper-scissors. Then, once the decision is... [blog posts] [neoliberalism] [politics]

June 24, 6PM

SANDRO MEZZADRA teaches political theory at the University of Bologna and is adjunct fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society of the University of Western Sydney. He is currently visiting research fellow at the Humboldt University, Berlin (BIM – ... [blog posts] [Book Reviews] [Book-Discussion Group] [Figure of the Migrant] [The Figure of The Migrant] [The Figure of The Migrant - Book Event]

June 23, 5AM

A sit-in on the House floor initially seems like the most un-Hillary thing conceivable — a point that was only underscored when Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren put in an appearance. Yet at least one of the measures they’re fighting for fi... [blog posts] [politics of the absurd]

June 22, 8AM

To assume that the United Kingdom would leave the European Union in order to escape from neoliberalism is as naive and misleading as assuming that North Korea has historically kept its distance from the USSR and China as a way of escaping Communism. In bo... [Communism] [neoliberalism]

June 21, 9AM

VERNON W. CISNEY is Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Gettysburg College. He is the author of Derrida’s Voice and Phenomenon: An Edinburgh Philosophical Guide (Edinburgh University Press, 2014); as well as Deleuze and Derrida: Difference and... [Agamben] [blog posts] [Book Reviews] [Deleuze] [Figure of the Migrant] [Guattari] [The Figure of The Migrant] [The Figure of The Migrant - Book Event]

June 17, 4AM

Multiculturalism has failed. We are seeing the results in Britain and across Europe and the US. Incompatible cultures, forced together for ideological reasons, are tearing each other apart. It is time to speak out, to set political correctness aside and n... [blog posts] [Race]

June 15, 3PM

I encourage readers to check out the latest issue of PhaenEx: Journal of Existential and Phenomenological Theory and Culture. This issue also includes a roundtable  that I curated on Thomas Nail’s The Figure of the Migrant. This international ensem... [blog posts] [Book Reviews] [Figure of the Migrant] [The Figure of The Migrant] [The Figure of The Migrant - Book Event]

7AM

Nothing could more vividly illustrate the fact that Hillary Clinton is the candidate of the status quo than her pathetic rejoinder to Trump’s “Make America great again” slogan: “America is already great.” The system is fine,... [politics of the absurd]

June 14, 8AM

The katechōn has spoken: in response to the Orlando attacks, Hillary Clinton believes we need to return to “the spirit of 9/12.” I’m glad she gave us a day to reflect, because the spirit of 9/11, as I remember it, was one of confusion ... [eschatology] [politics of the absurd]

June 13, 11AM

Hebrew poetry relies on conceptual rather than auditory rhymes, with line pairs expressing similar ideas. To pick an example at random: “Save me O God, by your name, / and vindicate me by your might” (Psalm 54:1). While I was correcting proo... [blog posts] [Hebrew Scripture]

June 4, 11AM

a still from Flying Lotus’ “Never Catch Me” Featuring Kendrick Lamar [I wrote this about two years ago thinking maybe it would be part of my comments on an AAR Panel. I’m quite glad I didn’t end up doing that (perhaps it woul... [afropessimism] [Black theology] [blog posts] [blackness]

June 2, 7AM

This is the text of a talk I gave at Greenbelt Festival 2014. The theme of the Festival was “Travelling Light”; my talk was originally called “Travelling Heavy”, and I summarised it for the programme as follows: Christianity doesn... ["the church"] [Black theology] [blog posts] [charity] [Christian activism] [Christian Theology] [Cone] [empire] [James Cone] [malcolm x] [Race] [Sermons] [theology]

May 30, 12 PM

[Note: Bruce Rosenstock posted these responses as comments on my link to a a recent lecture by Zizek; with his permission, I am collecting them here for your enjoyment.] Commenting as I read the lecture: Zizek complains about having his tics analyzed by B... [Zizek]

7AM

Dismissal is a fundamental feature of the intellectual life. We are all finite and limited, both in time and in mental capacity, and so it will inevitably happen that we feel compelled to dismiss some cultural product or other — indeed, entire fiel... [blog posts]

May 28, 5AM

Summer has finally begun, as we had our last faculty meeting yesterday. My previous two summers were almost insanely productive. This year, as I am in a lull waiting for The Prince of This World — by the way, did you know it’s available for ... [to-do lists]

May 27, 9AM

When both scientism and the so-called “post-critical” movement are ascendent, what can possibly be the purchase of psychoanalysis?  Alenka Zupancic is going to tell us!  Join InterCcECT Tuesday 14 June for a reading group on her very short ... [blog posts] [Chicago] [Interccect] [Psychoanalysis]

May 26, 6AM

The iron-clad rule of all punditry and freelance social media opinionating: everything that happens must be construed such that it helps Trump. Do people protest his events? The silent majority hates protestors, so it helps Trump. Do people not protest h... [blog posts]

May 25, 7AM

Was online discussion better when blogs were in their heyday? I don’t think I have rose-colored spectacles, but it seems to me there was at least more room for productive discussion. There was a greater chance that a commenter had been following you... [blog posts]

May 23, 9AM

Further to Adam’s post, I want to briefly sketch why I think it is that Žižek so commonly and consistently fails to think well or carefully about the issues he dismisses as ‘identity politics’ – questions of racism, sexism, trans... [blog posts] [Gender] [Race] [Zizek]

5AM

Slavoj Zizek needs to stop writing political columns. He is not good at it. Some readers are still making heroic efforts to construe his political columns positively, but if you need a supporter to write a 2000+ word defense of your pithy political inte... [blog posts] [Zizek]

May 22, 3PM

Dear friends, Join us! In a few weeks, we will host a book event on Thomas Nail’s The Figure of The Migrant (Stanford University Press, 2015). Stanford University Press has all the relevant information as well as a few excerpts from the book. There are ... [blog posts] [Books] [Figure of the Migrant] [The Figure of The Migrant] [The Figure of The Migrant - Book Event]

May 19, 8AM

You can feel the anger in the voice. But the voice gives shape to the anger and you can see that this is anger of hatred. Not the anger of hope, not the anger that leaders can tap into to turn revolts or riots into revolutions, but the anger of disdain, o... [Adorno] [blog posts]

May 18, 1PM

It’s almost too obvious to say that the Homeric epics are misogynist. What strikes me is how systematically misogynist they are, how they have to keep repressing a feminine element that always threatens to resurface. Sometimes it does, most dramatic... [Gender] [poetry]

7AM

In the acknowledgments to the collection The Birth to Presence, Nancy confesses that he has not always found it possible to provide bibliographical references for his quotations: “Some readers may take this to be oversight or a blameworthy hastiness... [blog posts] [Hegel] [Nancy]

May 16, 8AM

I recently came across this bibliography of neoliberalism assembled by William Davies. My question for you is whether you believe there are any significant gaps in it. Please, please leave your comments here rather than or in addition to Facebook or Twi... [blog posts]

May 15, 6AM

I’ve noticed that among progressive Christians, “love” works as a kind of rhetorical trump card. Christians are supposed to “love,” hence you should be nice to people, hence you should be a liberal — or something to th... [blog posts] [Christian Theology]

May 13, 7AM

When people think of “demonization,” they usually think of the simple act of painting someone as evil and irredeemable. My research for The Prince of This World convinced me that a further step is necessary if you really want to turn someone i... [politics of the absurd] [The Prince of This World (book)]

May 12, 6AM

[Note: This post is prompted by nothing in particular. I just want to have it on hand so as to save me some typing when the next person cleverly diagnoses the hypocrisy of a Marxist who participates in capitalism.] The Marxist critique of capitalism is th... [Cranky Beyond My Years] [Marxism]

May 11, 4PM

It seems increasingly likely that Bernie Sanders will fail to win the Democratic nomination. Even if he does manage to beat the odds, however, his entire candidacy is based on the premise that our system is broken. Hence, whether or not he wins the nomi... [politics of the absurd]

May 10, 3PM

Radiohead belong to ‘rock,’ and if rock has a characteristic subject, as country music’s is small pleasures in hard times (getting by), and rap’s is success in competition (getting over), that subject must be freedom from constraint (getti... [Agamben] [blog posts] [music]

7AM

What if it turns out that no professional group is closely aligned with the distribution of political affiliations in the general public? What if that differential distribution were in part driven by values inherent in the respective professions themselve... [Academic freedom] [politics of the absurd]

May 9, 2PM

Join InterCcECT for another session on Hegel’s Encyclopedia Logic, this Friday, 13 May, 3pm at The Bourgeois Pig (Red Line: Fullerton).  We’ll continue with Sections 19-36  –  let us know if you need the readings.  And contact us t... [blog posts] [Chicago] [Hegel] [Interccect]

10AM

There is a piece by a well-known New York Times columnist alleging that universities are somehow discriminatory toward conservative views. This is one of the most boring cliches in all of higher ed reporting, not least because it depends on gerrymanderin... [Academic freedom] [politics of the absurd]

May 6, 5AM

For several popular styles of political analysis, racism is always, by definition, a red herring. For doctrinaire class-first, class-only Marxism, racism can only ever be an epiphenomenon or an ideological distraction, and in more mainstream liberal disc... [blog posts] [politics] [Race]

May 5, 9AM

It is no great insight to point towards Engel’s admiration of Darwin and his desire to place his and Marx’s theory in the vein of scientific advance: “Just as Darwin discovered the law of development of organic nature, so Marx discovered the law of ... [blog posts] [darwinism] [Marxism]

May 4, 10AM

I have no insights into Trump. Whatever the sources of his appeal, I am utterly blind to them. Whatever he’s offering, I don’t even have receptors for. Most of my family is conservative, but they all hate him. My inside informants into the con... [blog posts] [politics of the absurd]

April 29, 12 PM

The Prince of This World has appeared on the SUP website and is available for pre-order. I think we can all agree that the cover design that the crack team of Stanford designers came up with is amazing. Here is the back cover description: The most endur... [The Prince of This World (book)]

April 27, 1PM

InterCcECT will host a series of reading groups this summer, and the first focuses on the beginning of Hegel’s Encyclopedia Logic (Prefaces and Sections 1-18). Join us Friday, 6 May, 2:30pm at the south loop’s Little Branch Cafe, 1251 S Prairi... [blog posts] [Chicago] [Hegel] [Interccect]

9AM

Tomorrow I will be giving a talk at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville entitled “The Devil and Neoliberalism: A Discussion of Free Will.” Details here. Filed under: blog posts, lectures [blog posts] [Lectures]

April 26, 6PM

One of the preoccupations of political theology is the relationship between medieval Christianity and secular modernity. The first question to ask is whether they are continuous with each other. For some theorists, there is no continuity — the en... [blog posts] [Political Theology]

3AM

The inaugural issue of the new journal Continental Thought and Theory, edited by Mike Grimshaw and Cindy Zeiher, is now available, featuring reflections on intellectual freedom from a range of thinkers, including Altizer, Steven Shakespeare, Monique Roone... [Academia]

April 25, 4AM

The amount of tone-policing and other forms of meta-discourse surrounding the Democratic primary is overwhelming. Everyone feels patronized, insulted, inundated with negative information about their candidate and apologetics for the opponent. Every day br... [politics of the absurd]

April 21, 5AM

Next year, I’m going to be teaching Shimer’s senior capstone, which is purportedly an overview of the broad Western tradition (ancient and medieval in the fall, modern in the spring) with an emphasis on the concept of “history.” T... [Shimer College] [teaching]

April 19, 6AM

As I’ve often mentioned, I’ve spent the last year working through Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit in an independent study with a student who is a committed Marxist and thus very highly motivated to understand Hegel. To weigh in on a rec... [Hegel] [teaching]

April 13, 11AM

[Explanatory note: The editorial board of AUFS sent the following letter privately to the editors of the Political Theology journal. We are now posting it publicly in the hope of spurring action.] Dear editors, As scholars working in the field of politic... [blog posts]

8AM

My bookstore takes National Poetry Month pretty seriously. One of our traditions is a daily poetry reading throughout April. I’m linking to this one in particular not simply because I’m reading or that the reading itself is particularly good (... [blog posts]

April 10, 6AM

There’s something about “the classics” that seems to appeal to working class aspirations. When lending libraries were established, records tend to show that working class people mainly checked out the classics. In the Soviet Union, the R... [blog posts] [reading] [teaching] [the last analysis]

April 7, 6AM

This article by Zizek on the Panama Papers seems to be free of the kind of offensive comments that have characterized his commentary on the refugee crisis. There are many things one could say about it, but what stands out to me are the opening remarks ab... [blog posts] [Zizek]

April 5, 5AM

I find it interesting that the dominant mode of critiquing Zizek’s recent political writings from the left is simply to post quotations from him, with dismissive comments. It’s taken to be self-evident what’s wrong with his statements &#... [blog posts] [politics of the absurd] [Zizek]

4AM

Just a note that a recent collaborative book with Davis Rhodes — which I’ve previously mentioned on this site — is now available as full pdf.Filed under: blog posts [blog posts]

April 2, 11AM

The following is the paper I delivered at Subverting the Norm 3, this past November, which I thought would be relevant given the discussion about the sequel to the film God’s Not Dead debuting this past week. You’ll Have to Pry Christendom from ... [blog posts]

April 1, 5AM

Today is the deadline for program units of the American Academy of Religion to accept or reject all proposals. As someone who has made many proposals over the years, I know that the process appears opaque. I am currently serving as co-chair of the Theol... [Academia]

March 31, 10AM

Just yesterday Women in Theology announced a cohort of new contributors to their blog. Reading through the biographies I was very excited to see women from a variety of disciplines speaking into theology, including a colleague of mine! When Women in Theol... [blog posts] [feminism] [Gender] [theology]

March 30, 7AM

What maps can relay the convergences and divergences, the topoi and the antagonisms, of philosophy and science?  How might the very terrain of modernity take different shape if these maps were recast? InterCcECT is delighted to present “Hegel’... [blog posts] [Chicago] [Hegel] [ontology]

March 28, 2PM

Dear readers, in the fall, I’ll be teaching my 24th section of Intro to Ethics. Every semester, I slightly tweak the course. Every four semesters, I do a major overhaul. For this coming fall, I’ll be keeping the structure: 25% meta-ethics, 25%... [blog posts]

March 25, 5AM

Bruce Rauner was elected governor of Illinois in a low-turnout off-year election in 2015, against the uninspiring Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn, who had served as Blagojevich’s running mate and had barely squeaked out a win against a previous Repub... [blog posts]

March 24, 6AM

Seemingly every day brings us another example of Republican state legislators and governors trampling on the rights of their citizens. Today especially, with passage of a despicable anti-trans law in North Carolina, I am seeing a lot of liberals speaking... [politics of the absurd]

March 22, 8AM

If Trump is a fascist, if he’s a potential American Hitler, how do we respond when family members support him? For instance, I’ve learned that a relative of mine, one I was close to when I was growing up, is a Trump supporter. I’ve also ... [family values] [politics of the absurd]

March 21, 5AM

It’s that time of year again — the time when people start getting offers for the increasingly rare TT jobs. This morning I read some great reflections on Facebook from James Stanescu and Eileen Joy about this dubious season, which I can’... [Academia]

March 18, 4AM

Mike Grimshaw passes along the following announcement: On the 50th anniversary of the famous TIME Magazine “Is God Dead?” cover, Radical Theologies has published This Silence Must Now Speak’: Letters of Thomas J.J. Altizer 1995-2015, edited ... [Altizer]

March 16, 8AM

I had big plans, which have not come to fruition. Rather than writing the first article mentioned in my previous post, I spent much of my time debating about whether to write it, ultimately deciding not to. My goal of writing a conference paper “a... [The lighter side of AUFS]

March 14, 6AM

Join us! This summer we will host a book event on Thomas Nail’s The Figure of The Migrant (Stanford University Press, 2015). Stanford University Press has all the relevant information as well as a few excerpts from the book. There are also two interview... [blog posts] [Books] [The Figure of The Migrant - Book Event]

March 13, 9AM

There was a time, not so long ago, when Neil deGrasse Tyson was univerally beloved as an icon of science and rationality. He made the rebooted Cosmos an unlikely hit, and his take-downs of scientific ignorance on Twitter were staples of virtually everyon... [blog posts] [politics of the absurd] [Social networks]

March 10, 8AM

If a college education is important, both for individual life opportunities and for society as a whole, then it deserves every student’s full attention. School work is work. It’s a full-time job. One of the biggest flaws in our current higher ... [Academia] [blog posts]

6AM

  When politicians propose tax cuts, they often claim that they want people to be able to keep more of what they earn. I agree, with one stipulation: that we distinguish between “earning” and “being in a position to effectively dema... [Economics]

March 8, 2PM

My heavily left-wing Twitter feed has seized upon a tweet from some obscure right-wing account that made the bonehead error of saying that Tammy Duckworth failed to “stand up” for veterans and then deleted it. By all accounts, they aren’... [blog posts] [politics of the absurd]

March 3, 3PM

There’s a lot that’s interesting about Robert Ballmer’s recent lamentation over evangelical support for Trump, but I think his argument is hamstrung by his equivocation on the term “evangelical.” The bad evangelicals we know ... [blog posts] [family values] [fascism]

March 1, 9AM

I recently did an interview with the guys over at Freestyle Christianity, and you can listen to it here.Filed under: blog posts, interviews [blog posts] [Interviews]

8AM

Benjamin’s “Theses on the Philosophy of History” relentlessly attack the notion of any form of necessary social progress, whether liberal or Marxist. In the current election cycle, we may be witnessing a fresh “now of legibility&#... [Benjamin] [politics of the absurd]

February 29, 5AM

Last night we went to see 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is part of the 70mm Film Festival at the Music Box. I’ve seen the film several times before, but never on the big screen. One thing that struck me was how much more patient I was with the pacing... [film]

February 25, 7AM

This article on the Russian Revolution by Lars T. Lih makes for interesting reading. He argues that leftist and liberal critics of the Soviet Union alike have over-emphasized doctrinal or ideological disputes, which were in fact meant to provide post-hoc ... [Communism] [Lenin] [tragedy]

February 24, 11AM

Donovan Schaefer has passed on this CFP that may be of interest to AUFS readers. Further details may be found on this flyer (PDF). The past 20 years have seen the development of the interdisciplinary subfield of ‘secularism studies’ or ‘critical se... [blog posts]

6AM

As regular readers of this blog may recall, I have been doing a tutorial on Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit with a Shimer student all this school year. Last semester, we got up to the end of Reason, and now we’re working our way through Spiri... [Hegel]

February 23, 8AM

A lot of people are rightly panicking about the prospect of a Trump presidency. I am one of them, more often than not. In this discourse, Trump is an absolute evil that must be stopped no matter what the cost, even if that means holding your nose and voti... [Nietzsche] [politics]

7AM

SCTIW Review has published my review of Roberto Esposito’s Two: The Machine of Political Theology and the Place of Thought. I highly recommend that you follow my example and write a review for them as well (list of books available for review). Fil... [blog posts]

February 22, 1PM

As some of you may know my institution is going through a process of “program prioritization”. As part of that process we have been asked to provide information I have not been able to track down related to trends in the country related to stu... [blog posts]

7AM

For friends who are near the Madison, Wisconsin area and its neighboring cities (Chicago, I’m looking at you), there’s an upcoming symposium—Race, Property, Debt—that I co-organized with Vincent Lloyd at the University of Wisconsin, Madiso... [blog posts]

February 21, 5PM

Go directly to the marketplace, to the communication centers, and preach the gospel. That’s the Pauline way. Christian mission was media innovation, media inhabitation, media expansion. Its message and its medium are—as one Catholic media theorist obs... [blog posts]

7AM

Okay, so here’s how I see things playing out. The Republicans are going to start playing hardball against Trump, and he’ll announce a third-party candidacy in a fit of pique. Shortly thereafter, Sanders will get robbed in some obvious and into... [blog posts] [politics of the absurd]

February 19, 7AM

I recently declared that I was planning to turn my comparison of Coates and Augustine into a proper article. A few days ago, however, I received an e-mail from a reader who went to hear Coates speak and had the opportunity to ask him if he had read August... [augustine] [blog posts] [Coates]

February 18, 7AM

I am an avid internet user. It is difficult to imagine my life without it. I owe many of my closest friends to the internet, along with many of my professional successes. As a force in my individual life, I’m willing to call it a net good. On the sy... [blog posts] [Technology]

5AM

A few months ago, I asked Facebook whether anyone wanted me to come talk about the devil and neoliberalism, and Monique Rooney responded that she would like to bring me to her institution — Australian National University. That visit is now evolving... [blog posts]

February 16, 4PM

This Jezebel piece by Jia Tolentino on David Bowie’s sexual encounters with underage girls is a fully considered, nuanced discussion of a complex issue. On the one hand, Tolentino takes Lori Maddox’s account of the incident seriously and respe... [Academia] [Agamben] [blog posts] [ethics] [feminism]

6AM

When this month’s Harper’s arrived, something sent a shiver down my spine — a blurb promising (threatening?) a discussion of safe spaces and campus protest. National magazines, even ostensibly lefty ones, seem incapable of addressing th... [Academia]

February 12, 6AM

My second monograph, François Laruelle’s Principles of Non-Philosophy: A Critical Introduction and Guide [UK link], was recently published by Edinburgh University Press. (As an aside, I have had really lovely experiences working with Carol Macdo... [blog posts]

February 9, 12 PM

8AM

I have frequently been called upon to teach the intro to fine arts course at Shimer College. It is a challenging course because it falls outside the “read books and talk about them” model that professors and students alike are most comfortable... [music] [Shimer College] [teaching]

February 8, 4PM

Having just finished a major project, this semester I’m using my writing time for smaller things. I’m working on expanding my theory on Coates and Augustine into a proper academic article, which I hope to be in a position to submit to a journ... [The lighter side of AUFS]

February 3, 7AM

I’ve been thinking recently about the links between Žižek’s Eurocentrism and the role that Christianity plays in his work, and in doing so I’ve been returning to some of his earlier work, in which he’s less interested, as of late... [blog posts] [Zizek]

February 2, 8AM

You all have convinced me that my thought experiment yesterday was excessively pessimistic. It’s unlikely that Sanders could both win the nomination and enter office with the Democratic establishment seething with resentment against him (the role o... [blog posts] [politics]

February 1, 8AM

Let’s grant from the outset that both Clinton and Sanders are “electable,” particularly against the crew of fools and mediocrities that the Republicans have to choose from. Let’s even further stipulate that either one of them woul... [politics] [politics of the absurd]

January 28, 7AM

In the Poetics, Aristotle devotes significant attention to two modes of storytelling: tragedy and epic. The former is a self-contained, naturally unfolding story, which Aristotle views as the best form of narrative art. He is so fascinated with tragedy,... [aristotle] [Television]

January 26, 7AM

I’ll vote for literally any Democrat in the general election, up to and including Satan himself or even Rahm Emanuel. But I just don’t see the benefit of “strategically” voting for a candidate I disagree with in the primary, due t... [politics]

January 24, 6AM

It is often observed that the left forms circular firing squads — incidents where internecine struggle does serious damage to the cause. When this issue comes up, the point is most frequently to blame some other individual or group for starting a ci... [politics]

January 21, 12 PM

Why We Love Sociopaths has been translated into Spanish. I like the cover image, complete with Walter White and his gas mask. Extract and TOC available at the link — it’s a strange sensation to read my own words in translation, after having sp... [translation] [Why We Love Sociopaths (the book)]

January 20, 6AM

There’s a new issue of the journal Postscripts out: a special issue on radical interpretations of the Bible, edited by Michael J Sandford. It’s got a piece by Sandford on whether we can understand Jesus as a Luxury Communist, one by Robert J ... [Biblical Studies] [blog posts] [publications]

January 18, 5AM

Amaryah alerts us that Vincent Lloyd has a great piece up for Martin Luther King Day. An excerpt: Where are those powerful resources found? I do not think that we should turn to King’s late work to find a more “radical” leader. While such a turn h... [blog posts] [Martin Luther King Jr.]

January 16, 8AM

We often hear that “political correctness” is to blame for the left’s failures. Though the fundamental message of the left is presumed to be automatically popular in itself, that appeal is obscured by language policing and the narrowly ... [politics of the absurd]

January 15, 8AM

Every kind of indirect communication, which is what satire is, presupposes some kind of in-group. It could be a preestablished in-group, as with an “inside joke,” or it could be an in-group by anticipation (which is what seems to be going on i... [politics of the absurd]

January 12, 6AM

Filed under: Awkwardness (the book), lectures [Awkwardness (the book)] [Lectures]

January 10, 11PM

I appreciated the way George Yancy talked about guilt in his recent New York Times piece. I have been trying to think through what it means to attempt an ethics in a world where ideal ethical living is basically impossible. Without going all the way wit... [blog posts]

January 9, 9PM

Back in 2009 I wrote a post after watching Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds. In that post I reveled in the joy of that film. After all, we get to be party to the killing of Hitler, to the refusal of forgiveness. At the same time, at the end of the... [blog posts]

January 8, 4PM

In recent weeks, I have become increasingly fascinated by Star Wars prequel contrarianism — the growing body of literature arguing that, far from being the boring disasters most believe them to be, the prequels are well-wrought pieces of art. Truly ... [blog posts]

January 6, 9AM

Workshop Details and Registration 29 January 2016 from 9am, Darwin Conference Suite 3, University of Kent Free, Registration requested via the following link: https://​www​.kent​.ac​.uk/​l​a​w​/​s​o​c​r​i​l​/​e​v​e​n... [blog posts]

6AM

My hypothesis is that Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me is in critical dialogue with Augustine’s Confessions. Coates does not make this dialogue explicit, but it becomes evident through a series of structural parallels. Here are som... [augustine] [Coates]

January 5, 9AM

Eve Sedgwick’s profoundly supple thought surprisingly instigates both queer theory as we know it and that riposte to queer reading now called “post-critique.”  Her arc was dynamic, capacious, unpredictable, and we have only barely beg... [blog posts] [Chicago] [feminism] [Psychoanalysis]

January 4, 8AM

On the occasion of the recent dust-up over Milbank’s new book, I thought I’d note some theoretically explicit remarks from Deleuze and the Naming of God: Analogy may articulate an order that is peaceable to some, but there will no doubt be th... [blog posts]

6AM

In my opinion, Tarantino’s greatest gift as a screenwriter is his ability to generate tension by crafting genuinely open-ended set pieces. For me, the locus classicus is the scene in True Romance where James Gandalfini is interrogating and torturin... [film]

January 3, 6AM

One of the most striking things to me about The Leftovers is the music. The signature gesture of the soundtrack is to deploy a “highbrow” version of a pop song — for instance, the piano arrangement of “Where is My Mind” or L... [music] [Television]

December 29, 6AM

It was a slow year for AUFS, and I primarily blame myself. Between writing, translation, and new administrative duties, I had little energy left for blogging, and two waves of right-wing harrassment (for details of which you can look here, here, and here... [blog posts] [year-end wrap-up posts]

December 23, 6AM

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of a prequel, and it’s clear to me that it’s a genre with deep roots. Oedipus at Colonus is a self-conscious prequel to Antigone, for instance, supplying interesting background to Antigo... [Hebrew Scripture]

December 20, 9PM

My new book, François Laruelle’s Principles of Non-Philosophy: A Critical Introduction and Guide, is coming out with EUP later this month in the UK and in January in the US. You can currently preorder it for 50% off through OUP’s website... [blog posts]

December 18, 7AM

One thing that makes Agamben’s Homo Sacer so difficult to grasp is that the status of the claims is very unclear. On the one hand, you have the close analysis of this particular legal figure from ancient Rome, and on the other, you have a whole ran... [Agamben]

December 16, 6AM

This was a big year for wrapping up projects. Early on, Creepiness came out — and though I hadn’t done any actual work on it this year, it marked the conclusion of the pop culture project I’d been doing “on the side” (despit... [year-end wrap-up posts]

December 15, 4PM

Earlier today I wrote a post about trigger warnings. While it did reflect my actual views on the topic, I was convinced by my co-bloggers that it was not a helpful intervention, in that it ran the risk of feeding into certain student-scapegoating discour... [blog posts]

11AM

21st Annual Philosophy Conference Sponsored by the Philosophy Graduate Student Union “Legacies of Colonialism and Philosophies of Resistance” Keynotes: Dr. Enrique Dussel (UNAM) & Dr. Nelson Maldonado-Torres (Rutgers) April 14-15, 2016 Villanova... [blog posts] [CFP]

8AM

One of the biggest challenges for neoliberal public policy is creating artificial scarcity. Competitive markets are regarded by neoliberal policymakers as the ultimate horizon of human meaning and freedom, and creating markets requires creating scarcity ... [ecology] [neoliberalism]

5AM

It is completely reasonable to request a heads-up when a course will be dealing with violent or disturbing material. Such warnings already exist elsewhere, such as movie or TV ratings. And it is reasonable for faculty members to attempt to accomodate stud... [Academia]

December 14, 8AM

At times, I’m reminded of the problem people have with Black Theology being unapologetic about attaching Black to Theology. This is not an uncommon experience when one is developing black accounts of things (it is something we see often in the rejoi... [Black theology] [blog posts]

December 4, 7AM

As I work on final revisions on The Prince of This World, I’ve reflected on the fact that last year at this time, I was just wrapping up my course “Theology and Politics of the Devil” at Chicago Theological Seminary and beginning plannin... [The Prince of This World (book)]

December 3, 11AM

What form of political organizing, if any, stands the best chance of proving effective against the phenomenon of mass shootings? Filed under: blog posts [blog posts]

December 1, 7AM

For the past several months, my ultimate horizon has been the winter break, when I will complete revisions on The Prince of This World and submit the final manuscript. There are presumably things that will happen afterward, but it’s difficult for m... [The lighter side of AUFS] [The Prince of This World (book)]

November 30, 10AM

This may not be only bookish post before the end of 2015, but I thought I might do at least one a bit earlier than normal. As many of you may know, I manager a bookshop in Oakland, and occasionally write here & elsewhere about bookshop sort of things.... [blog posts]
I’ve continued to work on the Schubert piano concerto I described in one of the least-read AUFS posts in history. I feel pretty confident on the first movement, though there are still places that need work. Now most of my efforts are directed at the... [music]

November 29, 12 PM

I am in the middle of a research project right now on the history of psychoanalytic psychological testing. I am taking a broadly historical perspective on the evolution of theories of psychoanalysis and the ways in which our theories of development and ps... [Psychoanalysis]

November 27, 5AM

The following is a paper I gave at the AAR. It was part of a panel on ‘Thinking Critically About the Future(s) of the Human’ with Anthony Paul Smith, Marika Rose and Eric Daryl Meyer. In the course of addressing climate change, like so many ot... [blog posts]

November 26, 8AM

I am a veteran of online discussions about Žižek. My constant refrain, for over a decade now, has been that Žižek’s critics have not actually understood what he is saying. And until that can be clarified, I refuse to enter into a discussion of... [politics of the absurd] [Zizek]

November 25, 8AM

Žižek’s recent remarks on the refugee crisis have provoked considerable ire in online leftist circles. For some, this article is the final proof that Žižek is a racist and quasi- (or not so quasi-) fascist. Though many people I respect share this vi... [politics of the absurd] [Zizek]

November 24, 6AM

In the middle section of the Phenomenology of Spirit‘s chapter on “Reason,” entitled “The Actualization of Rational Self-Consciousness Through Its Own Actuality,” Hegel makes a strange methodological choice. On our journey t... [blog posts] [Hegel]

November 20, 8PM

Many readers may find themselves in the midst of the AAR/SBL meeting this week. It is the largest convention for scholars involved in the morass of fields that go under the name “religion”. Below you’ll find a list of sessions that autho... [Conference announcement]

November 19, 9AM

In a less racist country, the reasoning would go like this: the people fleeing ISIS from Syria hate ISIS more than we possibly could, more even than the French could. Attacks on the scale of the tragedy in Paris are routine in ISIS-controlled areas, resul... [blog posts]

November 18, 5AM

Christianity promotes an extremely demanding ethic in principle. The problem is that it also provides unlimited, unconditional forgiveness for failing to live up to that ethic. The history of mainstream Christianity is the story of embracing the latter p... [blog posts] [Christian Theology] [ethics]

November 17, 6AM

My long-promised book on the devil will be published by Stanford University Press, under the title The Prince of This World: The Life and Legacy of the Devil. Details of the publication date, etc., have not been decided, but I do know that I’ll be s... [The Devil] [The Prince of This World (book)]

November 4, 5PM

I heard while traveling today to the Subverting the Norm III conference that René Girard passed away.  I had been told by Michael Hardin, who is close to the family, that he had been ill for some time.   I first encountered Girard’s work when a ... [blog posts]

November 3, 4PM

I would like to call attention to, and to give some context for, a recent book that I did in collaboration with the artist Davis Rhodes. The book consists of two (physically discrete) parts, each of which includes my text in relay with images of Rhodes... [blog posts]

November 2, 2PM

The Pope recently spoke with Jewish leaders and affirmed that critique of the State of Israel is a form of anti-Semitism. He also affirmed the commonly uttered opinion that Israel has a right to exist. Unfortunately, such talking points are common ways to... [Judaism] [politics] [Anti-Semitism] [Israeli State Violence] [Palestine] [Zionism]

October 30, 7AM

The issue of the relative accessibility of humanities scholarship, the role of “theory” and its terminology, and the need to reach a broader audience have all been major areas of conversation within the humanities themselves. The heyday of &#... [Academia]

5AM

Yet another article on the scourge of opaque academic writing is making the rounds, and someone on Facebook got mad at me for being so dismissive of it. After all, surely I must admit that sometimes academic writing is needlessly complex and jargony? Ri... [Academia]

October 29, 6AM

This semester I’ve had ideal circumstances for teaching Hegel: a very motivated student and a one-on-one setting. My ultimate goal, however, would be to teach a proper course, and I imagine (based on my experience teaching Heidegger) that such a co... [blog posts]

October 27, 7AM

Questions that occur to me as the first half of my (hopefully) two-semester tutorial on Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit winds through the wilds of “Observing Reason”: So far, I’ve noted that for Hegel, the “negative” c... [Hegel]
Questions that occur to me as the first half of my (hopefully) two-semester tutorial on Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit winds through the wilds of “Observing Reason”: So far, I’ve noted that for Hegel, the “negative” c... [Hegel]

October 23, 6AM

There is a meme going around to the effect that Paul Ryan, the candidate for Speaker of the House, is demanding family time as a condition of taking the job, while meanwhile he opposes mandatory paid family leave for other workers. This is precisely the ... [politics of the absurd]
There is a meme going around to the effect that Paul Ryan, the candidate for Speaker of the House, is demanding family time as a condition of taking the job, while meanwhile he opposes mandatory paid family leave for other workers. This is precisely the ... [politics of the absurd]

October 22, 2AM

Many AUFS readers will already be aware of this new book series, which I am co-editing alongside Duane Williams. We’re keen to get new proposals for it, and would encourage anyone interested to get in touch with us. The series is being published wi... [blog posts]
Many AUFS readers will already be aware of this new book series, which I am co-editing alongside Duane Williams. We’re keen to get new proposals for it, and would encourage anyone interested to get in touch with us. The series is being published wi... [blog posts]

October 21, 6AM

It’s one of George W. Bush’s most famous garbled quotes, but lately I’ve begun wondering if it was actually intended as a straightforward description of America’s long-term ambitions in the Middle East. By now, it’s clear to... [apocalyptic] [politics]
It’s one of George W. Bush’s most famous garbled quotes, but lately I’ve begun wondering if it was actually intended as a straightforward description of America’s long-term ambitions in the Middle East. By now, it’s clear to... [apocalyptic] [politics]

October 20, 10AM

Every time Blacks in America make a significant advance, there is a violent backlash. Emancipation and Reconstruction gave way to the KKK, lynching, and Jim Crow. Civil Rights was quickly followed by Nixon’s “Southern strategy” and the W... [politics] [Race]
Every time Blacks in America make a significant advance, there is a violent backlash. Emancipation and Reconstruction gave way to the KKK, lynching, and Jim Crow. Civil Rights was quickly followed by Nixon’s “Southern strategy” and the W... [politics] [Race]

October 19, 9AM

I gave a lecture today about the fall of the Roman empire that preceded the medieval period and was struck by how weirdly resonant it seemed. Jacques le Goff’s great book “Medieval Civilization 400-1500” points to two key factors that le... [blog posts]
I gave a lecture today about the fall of the Roman empire that preceded the medieval period and was struck by how weirdly resonant it seemed. Jacques le Goff’s great book “Medieval Civilization 400-1500” points to two key factors that le... [blog posts]

8AM

Through what processes of mediation, under what circumstances, down which paths of struggle, can colonialist iconography be appropriated for anti-colonial nationalism? What are the wages of the image for the work of sovereignty? Is photography trans-conte... [aesthetics] [Chicago] [Interccect]
Through what processes of mediation, under what circumstances, down which paths of struggle, can colonialist iconography be appropriated for anti-colonial nationalism? What are the wages of the image for the work of sovereignty? Is photography trans-conte... [aesthetics] [Chicago] [Interccect]

October 16, 4AM

Last summer, I reviewed Mathew Abbott’s excellent book on Agamben, The Figure of This World. The one reservation that I expressed was over Abbott’s claim that Agamben’s goal is a world in which “everything is exceptional” &#... [Agamben]
Last summer, I reviewed Mathew Abbott’s excellent book on Agamben, The Figure of This World. The one reservation that I expressed was over Abbott’s claim that Agamben’s goal is a world in which “everything is exceptional” [n... [Agamben]

October 13, 4AM

As I’ve mentioned earlier this year, I’m teaching the medieval half of a course on Medieval and Reformation Europe this year. We’ve now finally finished the syllabus and module handbook for the course, which started this week (PDF of my ... [syllabi]
As I’ve mentioned earlier this year, I’m teaching the medieval half of a course on Medieval and Reformation Europe this year. We’ve now finally finished the syllabus and module handbook for the course, which started this week (PDF of my ... [syllabi]

October 12, 8AM

This post is inspired by Adam’s great scrib today. I’ve been thinking a lot about this issue of how/why “we” let the market re/emerge as a new God, as well.  (Shameless self-promotion:  I’m writing a book on it called Politics of D... [blog posts]
This post is inspired by Adam’s great scrib today. I’ve been thinking a lot about this issue of how/why “we” let the market re/emerge as a new God, as well.  (Shameless self-promotion:  I’m writing a book on it called Politics of D... [blog posts]

October 11, 6AM

In his prison writings, Bonhoeffer begins to radically rethink Christianity for a world that no longer has need of religious guidance — a “world come of age” where human beings take responsibility for their own problems with no need to a... [Bonhoeffer] [neoliberalism] [nihilism]
In his prison writings, Bonhoeffer begins to radically rethink Christianity for a world that no longer has need of religious guidance — a “world come of age” where human beings take responsibility for their own problems with no need to a... [Bonhoeffer] [neoliberalism] [nihilism]

4AM

I’ve been reading a lot of medieval history recently in preparation to teach about medieval Christian Europe this term. What’s mostly struck me so far is how depressingly familiar it seems. There are whole books to be written (perhaps there al... [blog posts]

October 10, 5AM

High ethical standards initially seem to be a good thing. Even if we cannot always live up to them, there is value in recognizing and enshrining an ideal. At the same time, ethical standards are not used solely as an object for aspiration. They are als... [ethics] [feminism] [politics] [Race]

October 6, 5AM

I’m given to understand that some technophilic strains of the left believe that Bitcoin is a liberatory technology, because it frees currency from the control of state and corporate interests. However, the price of this liberation, as far as I unde... [blog posts]

October 5, 3PM

I’ve been working through Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit in painstaking detail in a tutorial with a very motivated and long-suffering student this semester. This week, I started Heidegger’s Origin of the Work of Art in another class, a... [blog posts]

5AM

Mike Grimshaw and Cindy Zeiher have put together a new journal in collaboration with the Department of Digital Humanities at the University of Canterbury (New Zealand): Continental Thought and Theory. The first CFP is up currently. It all looks great w... [Academia]

October 4, 6AM

According to Hobbes, the state exists to save us from the dystopian state of nature, in which we are constantly vulnerable to interpersonal violence. We submit to the sovereign’s violence in the expectation that being subject to one possible source... [politics] [Race]

October 3, 6AM

After each of our increasingly routine mass shootings, there is a predictable exchange: liberals advocate gun control laws, while conservatives say we shouldn’t do that. I have to say that at a practical level, I’m with the liberals on this o... [politics of the absurd]

October 1, 4AM

I have a piece up at Marginalia Review of Books on two recent books about the devil. Filed under: blog posts [blog posts]

September 29, 12 PM

Earlier today, I participated in a Reddit Ask Me Anything. Thank you to the moderators of /u/RadicalChristianity for the invitation and everyone for the questions — and if there are any stragglers, I may still be able to squeeze out an answer or tw... [blog posts]

7AM

I’m beginning to think that at the end of the day, Agamben’s Homo Sacer series isn’t “about” sovereignty at all. If there’s a single core problem in this overlapping and yet heterogeneous collection of studies, it migh... [Agamben]

September 28, 3PM

One of the great tragedies of American higher education is that essentially every school bought into the organization of the modern research university. In that model, professors are distributed into departments that are defined by a given discipline or ... [Academia] [Shimer College]

September 27, 11AM

This afternoon, I dropped The Girlfriend off at the airport. For the first time in close to ten years for either of us, we now own a car — the last leftover of her brief move to Minneapolis, the land of 10,000 expressways. Neither of us wants it, ... [blog posts]

September 24, 6AM

Aside from his various theological and administrative roles, the pope serves as the public face of the Roman Catholic Church. In that connection, his job is to shore up the loyalty of his members and burnish the reputation of the Church in the broader wo... [Roman Catholicism]

September 20, 3AM

Below is a long review of two of Jacob Taubes’ recently (relatively) translated works. This was originally written for a journal, but I was not able to speak to the ideological commitments of the journal and so it has languished as they’ve... [Marxism] [religion] [Taubes]

September 17, 11AM

Many years ago, AUFS was arguably best known among theology blogs for its rejection of Radical Orthodoxy. It was regularly alleged that we had no substantive critique but were simply trashing Radox, presumably out of a desire for attention. At this lat... [Milbank] [Radical Orthodoxy]
What if we viewed the Soviet Union as the single most important political actor of the 20th century? While reviled, it staved off some of the worst possible outcomes — above all the victory of the Nazis. One could also argue, perhaps more counteri... [Communism] [eschatology]

September 10, 5AM

Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis is clearly a terrible person who should not be occupying so much of our collective attention. In an ideal world, she would have resigned in protest. And there’s little doubt that this whole controversy has been drum... [politics of the absurd]

September 8, 9AM

Not since the heyday of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has the word “radical” enjoyed such prominence. One cannot read a theology blog, much less listen to a theological podcast or take a theology course from the Uber of graduate seminars, ... [blog posts]

September 7, 6AM

Contributions to our event on Mary-Jane Rubenstein’s Worlds Without End: Marika Rose, “The Singular Whiteness of the Multiverse” Jonnie Russell, “The Politics of Everything” Lisa Gasson-Gardner, “Take me to the multive... [Mary-Jane Rubenstein] [Worlds Without End Book Event]
I am grateful for the careful and generous readings reflected in these five posts. While each of them pulls my thoughts in unique and productive directions, I would like to attend to their collective effort to make more explicit the ethical and political ... [Mary-Jane Rubenstein] [Worlds Without End Book Event]

September 4, 7AM

Perhaps because it strives to traffic in such grand and generic universals, the scholarly discourse commonly referred to as the “religion-science dialogue” has faced criticism for the fact that it has historically been a highly particular conversation... [blog posts]

August 31, 9AM

Joe Sachs is the Official Aristotle Translator of Shimer College. I especially enjoy his rendering of the Poetics, which pushes back against traditional moralistic readings of Aristotle’s theory of tragedy. One element of such a reading is the view... [aristotle]

6AM

What must a map of the world depict?  What aesthetic forms can “map” late capitalism, critically disclosing its dynamics and its totalizations?  What is the difference, aesthetically and politically, between a representation of capital and a... [aesthetics] [Chicago] [Interccect] [Marxism]

August 30, 6AM

On Facebook, Scott Erik Kaufman pointed out Kieran Healy’s paper Fuck Nuance, which I greatly enjoyed. One thing that stood out to me was his repeated claim that the endless demand for more nuance is a form of symbolic violence. Often it can be a ... [Academia]

August 28, 6AM

This is a guest post by Lisa Gasson-Gardner. Lisa is a PhD student at Drew University. She is writing about revelation, affect, and evangelical politics. I did not watch the August 6th GOP debates (though I cannot get over this video of Trump) but I did d... [Mary-Jane Rubenstein] [Worlds Without End Book Event]

August 27, 11AM

Science fiction is full of cautionary tales about full automation: Skynet, the Matrix, the Cylons, etc. It is also full of thought experiments about artificial intelligence, such as Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation. I think that these themes mak... [Agamben] [politics]

6AM

Let’s try to reconcile a few apparently contradictory propositions about the American school system: Most local school districts are funded through property taxes. Property values in most major urban areas have literally never been higher. Urban sc... [politics] [Race]

August 26, 5AM

Agamben’s Homo Sacer series is a source of confusion for many, because the volumes have been released out of order. Recently he added a new layer of puzzlement by revising the order, though I think the revision makes more sense than the old numberi... [Agamben]

12 AM

What to say, to a book about more than everything—more than what we thought we were talking about when we used to say “everything”? A book that introduces us to the entangled complexity of what we might call the politics of everything, Rubenstein no... [blog posts]

August 24, 7AM

Worlds without End is its own multiverse of multiverses. Probable, possible, and profoundly unlikely universes multiply across its pages, splitting off from one another in infinite trouser-legs of time, bubbling up from one another’s surfaces, emerging ... [Mary-Jane Rubenstein] [Worlds Without End Book Event]

August 21, 8AM

This introduction comes from Catherine Keller.  Mary Jane Rubenstein’s Worlds Without End: The Many Lives of the Multiverse There are many second books that this multigifted philosopher of religion might have written. Why this one? Mary-Jane Rubenstei... [Catherine Keller] [Mary-Jane Rubenstein] [Worlds Without End Book Event]

6AM

Grab the popcorn! Donald Trump has made the 2016 Republican primary the entertainment event of the season! And though they admit it’s terrible, plenty of liberals almost hope that he gets the nomination — because it’d be comedy gold, a... [politics]

August 18, 5AM

The last item on my summer reading list was Knut S. Vikør’s Between God and the Sultan, a survey of Islamic law. It provided a less partisan counterpoint to Hallaq’s work, which had been my primary source of information previously (aside fro... [Islam]

August 17, 8AM

Tomorrow I have my first faculty meeting of the fall semester, making this the final day of summer vacation. Aside from a certain Unfortunate Incident involving unwanted online attention, it was a good one. It was obviously dominated by my work on The P... [Academia] [The lighter side of AUFS]

August 14, 11AM

We often hear about how left-wing candidates can “never win in the general” because they’re “too far outside the mainstream.” Instead, we need candidates who can “appeal to the center.” And this may well be true... [politics]

9AM

Shimer College is currently seeking a Director of Admissions and Director of Development. Filed under: Shimer College [Shimer College]

August 12, 7AM

When I finished my manuscript for The Prince of This World, one thing that occurred to me is that literally ever since my colleagues at Shimer have known me, I have been “working on” that project. Around the same time I started, I also made s... [Language]

August 7, 5AM

It’s fitting that Jon Stewart’s loving tribute came on the same night as the Republican debate, because the politics of hate-watching the Republican clown-car are the politics he gave us. For most educated, white liberals, being a Democrat no... [politics of the absurd]

August 5, 7AM

This year I am going to be serving as Associate Dean at Shimer, and one of my primary duties will be to coordinate the academic assessment program. Though in principle I am an assessment skeptic, in practice I have been heavily involved with the ongoing ... [Shimer College]

August 4, 1PM

I’m reading David Potter’s Constantine the Emperor, partly just for my own edification but partly as “deep background” for the Trinity project I’m beginning to think about considering planning. The first third of the book is... [Christian Theology] [Erik Peterson] [Political Theology]

August 3, 7AM

In The Time That Remains and elsewhere, Agamben flatly dismisses the idea that Paul is an apocalyptic thinker. This is strange to me, because Paul obviously is an apocalyptic thinker. It’s even more puzzling because Agamben gives basically no expl... [Agamben] [apocalyptic] [Saint Paul]

August 2, 6AM

I’ve played piano for most of my life, and I still try to keep it up by practicing my old favorites and learning new pieces. Since I started teaching at Shimer, I’ve increasingly been called upon to teach musical materials, and that has shift... [music]

July 28, 6AM

As I have begun to wrap up my work on The Prince of This World, I have been thinking about which direction to go next. A project on the Trinity seems like the most compelling option to me currently, and though I plan to take it easy writing-wise for a wh... [Christian Theology] [help]

July 27, 5AM

This summer, we have been rewatching The Sopranos (my third time, The Girlfriend’s second). We just finished season five last night, and some thoughts have been percolating. It’s striking how much both of the “offspring” (Mad Men... [Television]

July 26, 6AM

All previous attempts to reconcile the contradictions between free will and necessity have neglected the decisive role of social class in distributing the two. While there are gray areas in the middle areas of the social hierarchy, broadly speaking free ... [blog posts]

July 22, 5AM

Chicago Public Schools is facing a deficit of $200 million. That obviously sounds like a lot of money, and that’s the only figure we ever hear. You never learn what that amount represents as a percentage of last year’s budget, or as a percenta... [blog posts]

July 21, 4AM

A major writing project is a strange emotional journey. When you’re writing a paper or a blog post, you can often let your excitement about the idea carry you. I try to convince my students not to wait around for inspiration, but within limits, it... [Writing]

July 20, 7PM

I was interviewed by Tripp Fuller for his Homebrewed Christianity Podcast; the link to the podcast is here.  We discussed radical theology in the church, some of my current ministry work, and my forthcoming book, The World is Crucifixion and my earlier ... [blog posts]

July 19, 1PM

Since September, Stephen Keating and I have been exacerbating each other’s investment in Freud, libidinal or otherwise, on a weekly basis. This weekend, we talked about Gismu’s papers on metapsychology. What is metapsychology? You might thin... [Freud]

July 18, 12 PM

After much reflection and thought, I have decided to create a new “professional” Twitter account that will consist solely of selected blog updates and links related to my publications and public appearances. I have arranged things so that it ... [blog posts]

July 17, 6AM

Over the years, I have been an avid magazine subscriber. At times, I’ve had four going at once. I’ve done Harper’s (my first and longest, though I finally had to give up after the “maybe HIV doesn’t cause AIDS” articl... [blog posts]

July 15, 9AM

Though there are some who would still embrace the rhetoric of the “Golden Age of Television” for marketing purposes, we all know that that storied era is over. If there was any question about it, the conclusion of Mad Men — part of the ... [Television]

6AM

I am currently about halfway through Davis Hankins’ The Book of Job and the Immanent Genesis of Transcendence. I had vaguely thought of writing something on Job some time in the future, but I am pleased to announce that his book renders anything I ... [blog posts]

July 8, 4PM

Some of the readers here already listen to my occasional podcast, My Name Is My Name w/ APS, and so will have seen this already. Daniel Barber, Alex Dubilet, and myself have been working on a tri-authored book over the past few months. The impetus for ... [blog posts]

7AM

The Donald Trump phenomenon is the logical end point of the “politics as entertainment” model championed by the right-wing media. And from that perspective, the embrace of a similar model among liberals is alarming — the hegemony of th... [politics of the absurd]

July 7, 12 PM

Carl Raschke interviewed me for the Global Arts and Ideas Network’s Critical Conversations, about some of my church practice and my forthcoming book, The World is Crucifixion, a second book on preaching the death of God.  The video is up on the Yo... [blog posts]

8AM

What if the purpose of Santa Claus is to get children used to the idea of complicity with a lie? Children who discover Santa Claus’s non-existence are normally exhorted to keep that truth from younger children. If they obey, they gain the satisfac... [family values]

July 3, 4AM

In the social media age, the prospect of being socially shamed has become a real site of anxiety for mainstream culture. Jon Ronson has written a book on the topic, and columnists routinely meet their wordcount by repeating cliches about the dangers of T... [Academia] [politics]

July 2, 3PM

Yesterday afternoon, the harrassment campaign against me seemed to have reached a low ebb, and I felt confident that this particular storm had passed. Yesterday evening, however, it kicked back into high gear and I started receiving so many hateful Twitt... [Academic freedom] [Technology]

July 1, 4AM

The term social justice has become almost a cliche, so it can be hard to step back and ask what it actually means. One way to read it is as an attempt to include “social issues” within the sphere of justice. Another way, which I think is mor... [politics of the absurd] [Race]

June 30, 3PM

Today I found myself swirling around in the right-wing toilet of the Internet yet again. Last time, the whole controversy centered around tweets that I quickly realized were based on a profound misunderstanding of the situation and just as quickly delete... [politics of the absurd]

June 29, 11AM

The bookseller in me felt compelled to use what forum I have here at AUFS not simply for self-indulgent evil (e.g., my serialized short stories), but for greater cultural good! To that end, I present a few books I heartily recommend for you, the educated ... [blog posts]

9AM

This is the first summer I’ve had in a long time that didn’t feel like a state of emergency in some way — both financially and in terms of my self-imposed academic work. I’ve submitted my translation of The Use of Bodies to Stanfo... [Academia] [The lighter side of AUFS]

June 25, 1PM

Amidst growing protests against systemic and state-administered premature death, and beyond #hashtagactivism, calls for a new black radicalism are resounding.  In The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study, Stefano Harney and Fred Moten advocat... [aesthetics] [Chicago] [Interccect] [Race]

June 24, 6AM

This utterly phoned-in article on the continuing hand-wringing about Heidegger reminds me of a theory I’ve been developing about Agamben’s use of Heidegger and Schmitt — namely, that he’s not using them despite their Nazism, but be... [Agamben] [Heidegger] [Schmitt]

June 22, 9AM

As colleges and universities try to get on-campus sexual assault under control, the dominant framework for educating college students on the issue centers on the concept of “consent.” I obviously understand why this framing suggested itself, ... [Academia]

June 20, 5AM

He: Accidental harm & love are not unlike time. We can look back & ahead only so far or so wide. Pleading anything more, successfully or not, is pretense, unavoidable though it may be. * * * I originally read your note in the dead of night, having... [blog posts]

June 19, 5AM

In the wake of the horrific white-supremacist terrorist attack in Charleston, a disturbing number of people — including the governor of South Carolina — seem dedicated to downplaying, ignoring, or even denying the obvious racist motivations of... [Race]

June 18, 9AM

It began, this game of ours, innocently – Did it not? A private humiliation, This, our affair, it lacked reciprocity. Only the give, never the take, shall we say – Of erotic provocation. This was not ours. We inhabited our little injustices, our fears... [blog posts]

June 17, 12 PM

I am probably stating the entirely obvious, but taking a class on Descartes’ Meditations this year, it struck me for the first time how closely his epistemology is linked to a theodicy. It is well known that God plays a significant role in the structure... [blog posts]

10AM

There is also a real need for the work one shares with others to be about more than the one who shares? For some this motivates political poetry (about people & systems). For others, religious verse (about practices & signs)? Or, still for others,... [blog posts]

9AM

For a long time, we have been accustomed to talk about cats. They wander the streets, they live in our homes, and they populate the internet in the form of images and videos. While the latter is admittedly a new phenomenon, it does nothing to shake our ... [Foucault] [The lighter side of AUFS]

June 16, 7AM

Someone once told me that Foucault recommended that everyone should have a thinker they’re always reading but never write about. When I heard that, it struck me that mine is Foucault himself. I started reading him in college, and I’ve been r... [Foucault] [Heidegger]

3AM

. . . the complexity of movement, and movement requires the sort of friction that will always rub somebody wrong. If there’s to be a real peace, of the sort you’re looking, surely it is as tentative as a handshake deal. When, whether as an achieve... [blog posts]

June 15, 11AM

Autumn fell into winter alongside the leaves, each shaken from their limbs, of time and trees, by a seasonable urgency few in these parts could recall. Winds that had upturned collars and hiked skirts outside shops soon broke branches in the park as a bul... [Serialized Short Story]

5AM

In many debates about leftist political strategy, the various forms of oppression tend to be mapped out onto the opposition between class and an indefinite string of “identity”-based categories. The latter are often castigated by traditional ... [Marx] [politics]

June 12, 2PM

There are a number of questions I have for Sayyid’s Recalling the Caliphate that I simply lack the resources and framework to ask well. For example, the question of violence came up for me at many times reading his book. Violence of Muslims against Musl... [Recalling the Caliphate Book Event]
Those outside the UK probably have better things to do than follow the current contest for the leadership of the Labour Party. However, it is potentially revealing of issues facing left politics in developed countries more broadly. The UK general election... [blog posts]

June 11, 6AM

In the last few days, I’ve talked with a couple colleagues who have very different approaches to writing, from me and from each other. One always seems to have reams of material on hand, which he shapes into books and articles. Another seems unabl... [Academia] [Writing]

June 8, 5PM

Yasmina Raiani   Do they seek for other than the Religion of Allah?―While all creatures in the heavens and on earth have, willing or unwilling, bowed to His Will (accepted Islam) [aslama], and to Him shall they all be brought back. Surat Al ‘Imran ... [blog posts]

1PM

This contribution to our book event comes from Nadia Sariahmed. In Recalling the Caliphate S. Sayyid makes a refreshing and powerful argument for the necessity of a new articulation of Islam and the political and for the mobilization of Muslims as politi... [Recalling the Caliphate Book Event]

7AM

I once read an essay to the effect that one shouldn’t read Proust because one wants to have read Proust, but only if one want to be reading Proust. The same, it seems to me, applies to Karl Ove Knausgaard’s massive My Struggle. After Brad an... [Contemporary Fiction] [Knausgaard]

June 5, 10AM

This post is by Selim Karlıtekin, PhD candidate at the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies, Columbia University.  “‘The analogies are deadly’ had by now become one of his recurrent, decisive phrases.” Thomas Bernhard, ... [Recalling the Caliphate Book Event]

June 3, 9AM

Campus culture has been much-discussed in recent weeks, as a growing consensus has emerged that today’s college students, though well-meaning, are often prone to overreaction and oversimplification of complex political and moral issues. The result ... [Academia]

7AM

This is a guest post from Asma Afsaruddin, Chair and Professor, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Indiana University, Bloomington. With the term “caliphate” being bandied around so much lately, often in a negative vein, S. Sayyid’... [Recalling the Caliphate Book Event]

June 2, 12 PM

Friday was the last day of faculty meetings for the semester, making Monday my first weekday of freedom. I celebrated by attending the newly-inaugurated Foucault reading group that looks set to occupy many if not most of my Monday afternoons for the next... [blog posts]

7AM

Our session on Foucault’s The Order of Things proved rousing; we’re going to continue with chapters 4 and 5 (“Speaking”; “Classifying”).  Join us again next Monday, 8 June, at 4pm, at Moody’s Pub (in the garden... [Chicago] [Foucault] [Interccect]

May 31, 10PM

Early in Recalling the Caliphate, Sayyid recounts an attempt by then-Iranian president Khatami to bridge the gap between his country and the United States by appealing to Alexis de Tocqueville. As an instructor at a school in the Great Books tradition, I... [Islam] [Recalling the Caliphate Book Event] [Schmitt]

May 29, 3PM

Today the Shimer faculty ended its spring faculty meetings with a discussion of pedagogy, centered on the idea of the Socratic method. One of our texts was the famous passage from the Apology where Socrates describes himself as a gadfly sent by the god t... [Plato] [translation]

1PM

Settling in to write this introduction to our new book event, I was led on a memorial YouTube detour through the late 1990s/early 2000s. An LA hip hop group called “Soldiers of Allah” was then popular among young Western Muslims. Their politi... [Recalling the Caliphate Book Event]

May 28, 3PM

At Aaron Bady’s suggestion, I read Eve Sedgwick’s classic essay “Paranoid Reading and Reparative Reading, Or, You’re So Paranoid, You Probably Think This Essay Is About You.” It begins with an account of Sedgwick’s con... [blog posts]

6AM

In The Kingdom and the Glory, Agamben tries to demonstrate that the concept of oikonomia links together the Trinity and notions of divine governance/providence, but he doesn’t really talk about the Trinity as such, as a theological problem in its ow... [Agamben] [Christian Theology]

May 27, 5AM

As a white man of the left, I have observed mixed reactions to members of my tribe among subaltern groups. On the one hand, they are often appreciative, at least in principle, of white male allies and very willing to engage with them. On the other hand, w... [politics of the absurd]
Our event on S. Sayyid’s Recalling the Caliphate is kicking off on Friday and readers interested in an appetizer can find his review of Cotton, Climate, and Camels over at SCTIW. A small sample: The same conflict between ideology and knowledge... [Plato-to-NATO]

May 26, 6AM

Next year I’ll be co-teaching a module on ‘The Making of Modern Christianity: Medieval and Reformation Europe.’ I’ll be taking the medieval section of the module (I can’t tell you how glad I am not to have to teach Luther). I... [blog posts] [teaching]

May 25, 4PM

With the end of the Spring semester just a few weeks ago I have finished three years of teaching at my current institution. During our third year here we have to finish a third-year pre-tenure review, which I found to be as unenjoyable an experience as y... [teaching]

May 22, 6AM

It’s impossible to mention The Wire to someone who hasn’t seen it without them bristling about how everyone says they have to watch The Wire. There’s a similar defensiveness around Mad Men, as people seem to think that if they disagree ... [blog posts]

May 21, 8AM

In my forthcoming book on Agamben co-authored with Colby Dickinson, I include an essay that indirectly discusses The Use of Bodies, arguing that rereading The Time That Remains in light of the entire extant Homo Sacer series could be a good substitute for... [Agamben] [Saint Paul] [translation]

4AM

As a kind of coda to Creepiness, I have published a guide to creepiness in Star Trek at the Daystrom Institute. Drawing on an extensive comment thread on the topic, it includes obvious choices like Barclay or Neelix, as well as many others. But surely w... [Creepiness (the book)] [Star Trek]

May 19, 7AM

To what extent are the “great” TV shows great television and to what extent are they just great stories, with great characters, etc.? That is to say, which ones contribute the most to television as a specific artform? One way to get at this... [Television]

5AM

The Mad Men finale is doing two things at once. The first and most obvious is that it’s giving us some form of resolution for all our favorite characters. Most of these endings are happy — and even if Betty’s impending death isn’... [Mad Men]

May 15, 7AM

It seems to me that since the late 1990s and early 2000s, structural and personal racism in American culture have gotten significantly worse, undoing much of the progress that was achieved from the 60s through the 90s. Representation of people of color i... [politics] [Race]

May 14, 9AM

In August we will be hosting a book event on Mary-Jane Rubenstein’s latest, Worlds Without End. …in which are discussed pre-, early-, and post-modern multiple-worlds cosmologies; the sundry arguments for and against them; the striking peculiarit... [blog posts]

6AM

Am I indebted to blackness? What does it mean to say that I “owe” almost everything I know as a drummer to the roots of drum set playing in African rhythmic wisdom, mediated by the survival of African rhythm in gospel, blues, jazz, soul, rock and roll... [blog posts]

4AM

Whenever I hear someone include Game of Thrones in the canon of the “Golden Age of Television,” I begin to ask very serious questions about that person’s taste and critical acumen. Here are a few reasons why: A plot that’s sprawl... [Television]

May 13, 1PM

Cosma Shalizi, writing at Crooked Timber, forewarns readers as follows: A 5000+ word attempt to provide real ancestors and support for an imaginary ideology I don’t actually accept, drawing on fields in which I am in no way an expert. Contains long quo... [blog posts]

4AM

The lecture at Shimer yesterday was very good. One point that Prof. McKenzie kept highlighting is that we in the liberal arts are “overdeployed” in text-oriented activities, while other forms of cultural production are seemingly outside our p... [blog posts]

May 11, 12 PM

When George Zimmerman inevitably gets himself killed, I’m sure I won’t be alone in feeling happy about it, in feeling that a standing offense to the concept of justice has been belatedly mitigated. My feeling that day will not, however, mean ... [blog posts]

4AM

Yesterday, The Girlfriend and I thoroughly rearranged our library due to receiving several matching bookshelves from a co-worker of hers who was in the process of moving. The result is frankly life-changing. All books are loose-packed, and there are sti... [blog posts]

May 8, 7AM

Some things I’ve been kicking around: A Nietzschean reading of Islam: could Islam be read as an attempt to develop a form of prophetic monotheism that embraces master morality rather than slave morality? Particularly striking here is that none of ... [Islam]
In recent years, I have tweeted prolifically as my blogging activity continues to decline. Surely these two facts are related, but I think it’s worth reflecting on why tweeting has replaced blogging for me. It’s not just that a tweet is easi... [blog posts]

May 7, 1PM

This column on adjunct’s feelings of being disrespected is amazingly stupid. It makes sense that disrespect — a daily lived experience — would be more vividly felt than an abstract category like “underemployment.” But the r... [Academia]

4AM

On Monday, May 18, two of Mladen Dolar’s former doctoral students are coming to Chicago to give joint talks with the overall title of: “The Fetish Character of anti-Semitism and its Secret. Two Žižekian Interventions.” The talks will take ... [blog posts]

May 6, 8AM

After his critique of the clinic, and as a prolegomena to his theory of power, Michel Foucault outlined a distinct regime of knowledge that pivoted upon a new concept of “representation” – a Kantian sense of the limits of mental represen... [Chicago] [Foucault] [Interccect]

May 4, 4AM

Next week, Shimer College and the Illinois Institute of Technology will be sponsoring a lecture by Jon McKenzie of the University of Wisconsin on “Remaking Liberal Arts In and Out of Higher Ed.” The lecture will take place on Tuesday, May 12,... [blog posts]

April 29, 8AM

A common defensive move against critiques of the white power structure is to retreat into abstraction. Yes, it’s a shame that blacks are at such a disadvantage in white societies, but in every society, the majority places the minority at a disadvan... [Race]

April 28, 4AM

I’ve recently been working my way through the final volume of Hodgson’s Venture of Islam, the second half of which focuses on the original “disruptive innovation” — modern technological society. Hodgson is at pains to emphas... [Economics] [Race]

April 27, 5AM

When I was growing up, my mom ran a furniture and decorating store with my aunt and grandma, and all three homes became showrooms in themselves. There was naturally a much more frequent churn of furniture in my house than in the average household, and my... [The lighter side of AUFS]

April 25, 5AM

Fiscal austerity gets the most attention, but there’s another type of neoliberal austerity that is arguably just as important: possibility austerity. Every policy “debate” is backed into a corner by artificial constraints, where certain... [neoliberalism] [politics]

April 24, 4AM

My working theory is that virtually no one wants equality as such. They want inequality, but the good kind, the justified kind. Hence it is plausible that someone could rail against the power of the 1% and yet still get snippy: “They want $15 an h... [politics]

April 21, 4AM

The majority of immigration to any given Western country comes from areas that have either been colonized by that country or else stand in a looser relationship of subordination and dependency. While presumably there are still at least two or three peopl... [blog posts]

April 20, 8AM

If dramatic inequality and profound immiseration are the phenomenological appearance of the manifold contemporary economic technologies for extracting surplus value and enacting surplus populations, these ever more primitive accumulations require thinkin... [Chicago] [Interccect] [neoliberalism] [politics]

April 19, 3PM

For the last several years, as many of you know, I have been watching a metric shit-ton of Star Trek. I have finally hit the point of diminishing returns where watching more Star Trek no longer seems very realistic in the near term, and this has led me t... [blog posts]

April 18, 6AM

One problem I have perceived in Shimer’s general approach to course design is that there is not much room for students to fully “digest” all the difficult texts that they’re working through. In part, this is due to the Iron Law of... [blog posts]

April 16, 6AM

What if the Gospel writers didn’t know why the crucifixion happened? What if the Gospels are all an attempt to cover over this fact by making it seem increasingly predicted, inevitable, mysterious? Making the cross something that promises meaningf... [blog posts]

April 15, 10AM

Colby Dickinson of Loyola University Chicago reports the following: I’m very happy to announce an interdisciplinary conference, ‘The Challenge of God: Continental Philosophy and the Catholic Intellectual Heritage’, set to take place 14-1... [blog posts]

April 13, 10AM

Repeatedly in the Qur’an, we read that God has created humanity male and female. This duality plays a directly theological role: in contrast to God, who is absolutely One and eternal, who has no partners or offspring, humanity is dual and reproduct... [Reading the Qur'an]

April 6, 10AM

After a year on hiatus, as Indradeep Ghosh and I have gone through career and life transitions, we are once again actively posting up at Absolute Economics.  I’ve put up a couple of things over the weekend, some notes on The Merchant of Venice and ... [blog posts]

April 4, 10AM

This week David Cameron ventured into the realm of political theology, boldly speaking up for ‘the values on which our nation was built’ – that is, ‘the values of Easter and the Christian religion – compassion, forgiveness, kindness,... [blog posts] [Political Theology]

9AM

Foucault: There is also a sort of game that I play with this. I often quote concepts, texts and phrases from Marx, but without feeling obliged to add the authenticating label of a footnote with a laudatory phrase to accompany the quotation. As long as one... [Marx] [Marxism]

6AM

My course over the Qur’an is nearing its end, and I think it has been pretty successful. While my lack of proper expertise poses some problems, and while certain aspects of the readings could have been better selected and arranged, at the end of th... [Islam] [teaching]

April 3, 9AM

I can’t claim to be an expert on the internal politics of Iran, but my meager efforts are surely better than the active anti-knowledge that is spreading around the Iran nuclear deal. I’ve ranted on Twitter a bit, and I thought I’d write... [politics]

April 2, 11AM

Popular sovereignty is triune. The Father is the popular sovereign as such, which is the source of its two hypostases or actualizations: the state and the market. The state is the Son, an embodied reality that is most often literally personified in a co... [Agamben] [sovereignty] [Trinity]

8AM

The graduate students in the English Department of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln have put together a pretty impressive blog. It includes a very thorough and thoughtful review of my talk there a couple weeks ago, along with a lot of other good stu... [blog posts]

7AM

It turns out that The Girlfriend, who landed a job in Minneapolis in January, is going to be able to transfer to the Chicago office much, much earlier than anticipated. Hence I won’t need to move to Minneapolis for the summer — missing the be... [blog posts]

March 30, 9AM

It’s commonly acknowledged that traditional pedagogical methods emphasizing passive listening and rote memorization are suboptimal. “We now know” that there are superior methods that focus on student engagement and discussion. What I s... [teaching]

March 29, 5AM

In the Social Sciences capstone at Shimer, we spend a lot of time on texts that emphasize the social mediation of reality and call into question any kind of simplistic empiricism — Mannheim’s “sociology of knowledge,” Foucauldian p... [blog posts]

March 27, 10AM

As noted in the title, this is just the beginning of a thought, but I think there may be something about the public/private distinction at play in the recent (deplorable) “religious liberty” cases involving businesses. The question, it seems ... [blog posts]

March 26, 12 PM

Run the Jewels just released a video for one of my favorite songs on their recent album. The video is hard to watch, if only because there is something hard to watch in the fictional violence against a black man that is expressive of the images of real vi... [politics] [pop culture]

March 25, 4PM

In late May we will be hosting the next AUFS book event on S. Sayyid’s Recalling the Caliphate: Decolonisation and World Order (Amazon). Sayyid was formerly the Director of the International Centre of Muslim and Non-Muslim Understanding at the U... [Recalling the Caliphate Book Event]

3PM

Over the last couple weeks, I have been working on a report for a committee at school. It started in a subcommittee made up of four people, but the intention was to produce a report that would reflect the whole committee, so there were subsequent rounds ... [teaching] [Writing]

March 24, 8AM

I’ve been using Gerry Canavan’s Star Trek CFP as an excuse for “researching” the red-headed stepchildren of the franchise: Enterprise and The Animated Series. I began by rewatching Enterprise over the last couple months, a process... [blog posts] [Star Trek]

March 23, 10AM

Everyone knows what “diversity” means in an academic context. It does not mean making sure there is a good balance between chess players and lacrosse players. It does not refer to the desire that Republicans and Democrats should be roughly e... [blog posts]

March 20, 8AM

As some of you might know, I have been for several years a copy editor for the journal Methodist History. This peer-reviewed journal regularly has articles on the history of global missions, various aspects of the Wesley families, stories of defunct coll... [blog posts]

March 16, 9AM

I frequently complain about people responding to my posts on Twitter rather than in comments. Literally everything about Twitter militates against good conversation — space constraints (made worse if including multiple @-handles), inadequate thread... [blog posts]

5AM

[Cross-posted from The Daystrom Research Institute, with some revisions.] I see politics in Star Trek — thinking of politics broadly as the sphere of relationships involving power — as having two conflicting levels. On the one hand, the starsh... [politics] [Star Trek]

March 12, 6AM

I am a very routine-oriented person whom life rarely allows to fall into a stable routine. I compensate for this by planning. Planning is central to my strategy for overcoming my travel anxiety, for instance — if I spend enough time imagining myse... [The lighter side of AUFS]

March 11, 4AM

It is likely that I will be offering a course on the Qur’an again next spring, and I’m already planning on working my way systematically through the text one or more times before that (likely in different translations). I’ll obviously n... [Islam] [Reading the Qur'an] [teaching]

March 10, 3PM

I’ll get straight to it: I didn’t like this Jacobin article on The Americans. It’s not so much that I disagree with its point, though I do. What I object to, more fundamentally, is the very procedure: the attempt to find something insi... [neoliberalism] [Television]

March 8, 5AM

We had the earnest, though chastened idealism of West Wing. We also had the Office-style send-up of Veep. All that was missing in the genre of White House dramas was the dark, gritty version. House of Cards dutifully stepped into the gap. The last de... [Television]

March 7, 3PM

I have been invited to join a show called “The Experts” at the Mission Theatre inside of the iO Theater complex. The theater is run by famed improvisers TJ and Dave, and past guests can be seen here: http://theexperts.jigsy.com/ I’ll be ... [The Devil]

March 6, 8AM

I was having a bit of writer’s bloc the other day and in an attempt to break it I decided to translate a recent interview conducted with François Laruelle by Florian Forestier for Actu Philososphia. I have posted that draft translation for you belo... [blog posts] [Laruelle]

March 5, 8AM

This semester, I am giving several talks each over the devil and creepiness, and I’m finding the experience of both very different. On the devil front, I’m also in the early stages of drafting the book itself, so the talks provide a good oppo... [Academia]

March 4, 8AM

Readers of the blog may be interested in a book event on Davis Hankins’ recent ‘The Book of Job and the Immanent Genesis of Transcendence’ that’s currently taking place over at the Working Group on Contemporary Materialism blog. An... [blog posts] [Biblical Studies] [Job] [link posts] [Materialism]

March 3, 6AM

You may have noticed that I’ve been blogging less frequently in the last several months. Part of the reason is that I’m trying to make some headway on my devil project during the semester, so a lot of my excess intellectual energy is taken up... [Star Trek]

March 1, 10AM

Philly-area people may be interested in the upcoming Villanova Philosophy Conference taking place on March 13th and 14th. The schedule and other relevant information may be found on the flyer. Filed under: blog posts [blog posts]

February 27, 3PM

Sovereign aesthetics, aesthetics of sovereignty, the power of the image, the poverty of the image, the state of exception, the real exception to the image –Arne De Boever’s new work on art history’s contribution to the philosophy of sovereignty invi... [Benjamin] [Interccect]

6AM

The Subverting the Norm conference series is unique in bringing theologians, philosophers, and religious studies scholars together with religious practitioners to encourage collaborative conversations about how continental philosophy can both inspire radi... [blog posts]

February 26, 7AM

As Gerry Canavan has eloquently pointed out, the perpetual crisis mentality of higher ed is an indication that the very large and expensive management class that has taken over universities in recent decades is an utter failure. Well-managed universities... [Academia]

February 18, 4PM

Surah 31, entitled “Luqman” after the legendary wise man who appears in it, is about wisdom. The question is whether there is any content to wisdom beyond simple adherence to Islam, and initially the answer may seem to be no. Luqman’s ... [Islam] [Reading the Qur'an]

February 17, 7AM

The New Inquiry has published an excerpt from Creepiness, including — most importantly — a link where you can purchase it. Be a part of something bigger than yourself: my beer money. Filed under: Creepiness (the book) [Creepiness (the book)]

February 16, 11AM

The most famous term from Agamben is surely “bare life,” la vita nuda. As often happens, this term actually stems from Benjamin, specifically the “Critique of Violence,” where he briefly mentions blosses Leben. As Carlo Salzani p... [Agamben] [Benjamin] [translation]

February 12, 6AM

As my class slowly works its way through the Meccan revelations, we have arrived in the large group of surahs that recount the missions of the prophets. It is striking how consistent the pattern is. God judges a city or nation’s behavior to be bey... [Islam]

February 11, 8AM

I’m no expert in the nuances of French, but it’s always struck me as interesting that Derrida’s La voix et le phénomène was published in English under the title Speech and Phenomena. “Voix” could also be translated R... [derrida]

February 9, 12 PM

A new issue of Crisis and Critique is out, featuring articles by Zizek, Roland Boer, Michael Löwy, Catherine Tomas, and me. Filed under: academia [Academia]

8AM

For An und Für Sich Sunday 2.8.15 Cloud Precipitates Let me announce, not without celebration, that this is my first time to participate in this sort of virtual book conversation. Thank you Stephen, for initiating this exchange on if not in the Cloud—... [Catherine Keller] [Cloud of the Impossible Book Event]

February 8, 1PM

As Willie James Jennings’ title would suggest, The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race is a book situated at the interface between theology and history. My work hovers around the same intersection, so I came to Jennings’ book with ... [Judaism] [Race]

7AM

It’s the ultimate get out of jail free card: when a critic of Islam is accused of racism, they point out that “Islam is not a race.” I agree on a certain level. Islam is a faith that embraces believers on every continent, in hundreds o... [Islam] [politics of the absurd] [Race]

February 6, 10PM

I have proposed to my head of department a course for next Fall with the somewhat sterile title “Black Religion in America”. I am very excited to teach the course for a number of reasons. Since coming to this post, I have been trying to cor... [teaching]

February 5, 5PM

Work on my translation of The Use of Bodies continues apace. I now have full drafts of the prologue, first major part, first “intermezzo,” and second major part. I have nearly completed all bibliographical work for those segments (the publis... [Agamben] [translation]

February 4, 11AM

A reminder that the call for papers for The Association for Continental Philosophy of Religion’s conference ‘Political Theology: The Liberation of the Postsecular’ closes at the end of February. The conference takes place at Liverpool Ho... [blog posts]

February 3, 6AM

During my last semester as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, I took a poetry workshop with Thylias Moss. I’ve only had a few teachers whose classes I anticipated—typically in secret—in a I want to learn to think like her kind of way. B... [blog posts]

February 2, 4AM

Call me nostalgic, but sometimes it is good to remind ourselves of Radical Orthodoxy. I’ve recently been writing on the controversy between John Milbank and Slavoj Žižek in The Monstrosity of Christ (my specific interest is how they disagree about the... [blog posts] [Christian Theology]

January 31, 5AM

Level 1: I am offended at what you said. Level 2: I am offended that you took offense at what I said. Level 3: I am offended that you would imagine that my taking offense is the truly offensive aspect of this scenario. Level 4: I am offended that you are ... [politics of the absurd]

January 30, 1PM

We thought we had successfully disenchanted the world, had exorcised the last sprite and fairy, thrown away our spellbooks and our alchemical paraphernalia, given up on the quest for the true language and the philosopher’s stone, and gotten past our dep... [blog posts] [Catherine Keller] [Cloud of the Impossible Book Event]

9AM

“There exists a specific sensory experience that holds the promise of both a new world of Art and a new life for individuals and the community, namely, the Aesthetic.” – Jacques Rancière, Dissensus. InterCcECT is pleased to announce two... [Interccect]

January 29, 6PM

Hello friends! A very brief history Since taking a year off school, and not having any classes to attend and no one to hold me accountable to my perpetual reading list, I came to the realization that reading with others is a lot more fun (and productive) ... [blog posts] [Daniel Colucciello Barber] [Deleuze and the Naming of God reading group]

11AM

Noted online leftist Freddie deBoer has seen some shit. No lie. And though he once weirdly castigated me for being paralyzed by political correctness — indeed, for being exemplary of the self-hating white man terrified of offending anyone — ... [Academia] [politics of the absurd]

January 28, 1PM

This is a guest post from Karen Bray. She is a PhD student in Theological and Philosophical Studies at Drew University. The other day at that most holy of New York City rituals, Sunday brunch, a friend from a wealthy Episcopalian Church was discussing her... [Catherine Keller] [Cloud of the Impossible Book Event]

8AM

This series is being crossposted from Women in Theology “Money promises value. It does not specify the form that such value will take. Used for consumption, money promises pleasure. Used for investment, money promises more money. The value of money, or ... [blog posts]

January 27, 8AM

This summer, I wrote a post on my first impressions of reading the Qur’an. Many readers were disappointed by the negative tone, as the post focused mostly on what I found alienating in the text (such as its repetitive nature), even as I admitted th... [Islam]

January 26, 6AM

Perhaps nothing so tangibly solidified the importance of Dan Barber’s work on conversion than my recent trip to hear an ex-gay speaker tell her conversion story.Part of the reason I went, in fact, was because I have a higher tolerance for evangelica... [blog posts]

January 23, 11AM

As a second year doctoral student at Drew University, I have the privilege of studying theology with Catherine Keller. Probably like a few other bloggers at AUFS who have also been Keller’s students, I cannot pretend to lack a bias in favor of her work ... [blog posts]

January 21, 7AM

This is a guest post from Catherine Tomas. She is finishing her Dphil in theology at Oxford University. Catherine Keller’s book opened up a multiplicity of thoughts for me. And ‘The multiplicities come attached systemically, perspectivally, with int... [Catherine Keller] [Cloud of the Impossible Book Event]

January 19, 8AM

Normally Adam posts something in recognition of MLK day. In the past he’s linked to his remarks from his radical work often covered over in today’s official celebrations or to the remarks in Letter from a Birmingham Jail concerning the threat ... [politics] [Race]

7AM

This is guest post from Carolyn Roncolato. She holds a Ph.D. in Theology, Ethics, and the Human Sciences from Chicago Theological Seminary. In Cloud of the Impossible Catherine Keller asks, “How shall we think the relation between the nonseparability en... [Catherine Keller] [Cloud of the Impossible Book Event]

January 17, 8AM

Some events in the next few months: February 4: Release of my translation of Agamben’s Pilate and Jesus February 23-24: I will be at Wayne State University, where I will give talks over Creepiness and the devil February 27: Release of Creepiness Th... [Shameless Promotion]

January 16, 11AM

When I was a teenager, I went through a libertarian phase. A lot of factors contributed to it. One was my desire to connect with my father, who was (and remains) an avid Rush Limbaugh fan. Another was my desire to piss of my high school history teacher... [politics of the absurd]

7AM

In Cloud of the Impossible Catherine Keller offers an impressive and engaging theological contribution to our contemporary moment. From the moment I first came across Keller’s work, the breadth and depth of her research and writing has been something to... [Catherine Keller] [Cloud of the Impossible Book Event]

January 14, 7AM

Catherine Keller’s Cloud of the Impossible: Negative Theology and Planetary Entanglement is one of those rare books with a counter-intuitive thesis that, once one is looking for it, can be seen in unexpected places. Traditionally, negative theology has ... [Catherine Keller] [Cloud of the Impossible Book Event]

January 13, 4PM

As I shared over Twitter the last few days, The Girlfriend’s dog, Max, had a serious health crisis this weekend. He developed a herniated disc in his spine, which was compounded by internal bleeding around the area. The scary thing is that there i... [Animals]

January 12, 6AM

Shimer’s spring semester begins on Wednesday. This term, I will be teaching two sections of the Social Sciences capstone, entitled “Social Perspectives and Social Action” (PDF syllabus), and an elective entitled “Reading the Qur&#... [syllabi] [teaching]

January 10, 8AM

Workshop on Transcendental Materialism April 24-24, 2015 Loyola University Maryland Baltimore CALL FOR PAPERS ‘Transcendental Materialism: Anthropology, Nature, and the Political’ Keynote Speaker: Adrian Johnston, University of New Mexico Since the pu... [CFP]

7AM

I have received my allotment of author copies of Creepiness, which I show you here in case you were waiting to preorder until you had proof that it would in fact be printed: Filed under: Creepiness (the book) [Creepiness (the book)]

January 9, 6AM

Gerry Canavan recently turned me on to The Daystrom Institute, a Star Trek subreddit devoted to the most intricate possible examination of the franchise. As my life has been in turmoil the last couple months with The Girlfriend’s move, etc., I have... [Star Trek] [The lighter side of AUFS]

January 8, 5AM

Yesterday, I went on a brief Twitter rant based on misinformation about the Charlie Hebdo attacks — both on the nature of the publication itself and the extent of the attack. I had somehow gotten the impression that the publication in question was ... [blog posts]

January 6, 7AM

I want to thank Daniel for offering a reply post. If only we had time for a second round of discussion where we all referred to the exact same source material, but alas. -MWW Daniel Zamora is a doctoral candidate in Sociology at the Université Libre de B... [Academia] [blog posts] [Book-Discussion Group] [Foucault] [neoliberalism] [philosophy]

January 5, 11PM

“Look, the Enlightenment is dead, may it rest in peace.” An interview with Michel Houellebecq made its way into my twitter timeline. While I am tempted to read this new book I will admit at the outset that so far I’ve never finished a... [fascism] [ideology] [Islam]

6AM

Thomas Nail is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Denver. He is the author of Returning to Revolution: Deleuze, Guattari and Zapatismo (Edinburgh University Press, 2012) and The Figure of the Migrant (Stanford University Press, forthco... [Academia] [blog posts] [Book-Discussion Group] [Foucault] [Foucault and Neoliberalism Event] [neoliberalism] [philosophy]

January 4, 11AM

Johanna Oksala is currently Academy of Finland Research Fellow (2012-2017) in the Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies at the University of Helsinki, and a Visiting Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the New School for Soci... [Academia] [blog posts] [Book-Discussion Group] [neoliberalism] [philosophy]

January 3, 2PM

Gordon Hull is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Professional and Applied Ethics at The University of North Carolina Charlotte. His Hobbes and the Making of Modern Political Thought was published by Continuum in 2009. The co... [Academia] [blog posts] [Book-Discussion Group] [neoliberalism] [philosophy]

7AM

It strikes me that even the most basic democratic ideals are almost entirely missing from the mainstream public sphere. Rule by experts or markets or data has replaced the ideal of the people collectively making important decisions for itself. Democracy... [politics]

January 2, 7AM

And now our AUFS Event on Foucault and Neoliberalism begins. -MWW Verena Erlenbusch is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Memphis. In much of her research, Erlenbusch brings to bear Foucault’s genealogical method on the phenomeno... [Academia] [blog posts] [Book-Discussion Group] [Foucault] [neoliberalism] [philosophy]

January 1, 6PM

As I mentioned in a post a few months back, I’ve been working the past couple of years at a independent bookstore in Oakland. While this has done wonders for keeping me up on new books, released & forthcoming, I’m becoming a little concern... [blog posts]

December 29 2014, 7AM

Much has been made of the contrast between Athens and Jerusalem, but it has seldom been noted that these two worldviews represent significantly different approaches to time travel. Now obviously they do not include time travel in the full sci-fi sense, b... [Hebrew Scripture] [Star Trek] [The lighter side of AUFS]

4AM

As I am finishing up my second lectionary preaching book, tentatively titled The World is Crucifixion and under contract, for the first time in my preaching ministry I am going completely off-lectionary for a series on the strangest or weirdest stories in... ["the church"] [Sermons]

December 28, 1PM

Have any of you ever decreased the number of books you owned? (I know this is a seemingly paradoxical concept, so please give it time to sink in.) If so, how did you go about selecting them? Did you try selling them to used bookstores or via Amazon? Ho... [Academia]

December 26, 7AM

The Girlfriend and I are not planning on having children, ever. Indeed, as you may be able to tell from her internet moniker, we are not married and do not plan to do that unless it becomes necessary for some urgent practical reason. We are very happy w... [family values]

December 23, 8AM

Some readers may be interested to know that the deadline for the conference I’m helping to organize at Villanova in the spring has been extended to January 10th, 2015. I’ve pasted the CFP with the revised date here, and the information is also... [Conference announcement]

December 22, 10AM

Paul reports that Christ crucified is a stumbling-block to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks. I’m beginning to wonder if the Jews and Greeks had a point. Everything that is most destructive about Christianity comes from the Cross — the ... [Christian Theology]

8AM

Around the New Year, AUFS will be hosting a 4day mini-series on Foucault and neoliberalism. What precisely is Foucault’s relationship with neoliberalism, particularly as expressed in Foucault’s writings/lectures on governmentality and biopolit... [Academia] [blog posts] [Book-Discussion Group] [neoliberalism] [philosophy]

December 20, 8PM

So I’ve been very busy over the past six months, but as some projects have recently come to a conclusion I have been able to get a few podcasts up. Consider subscribing to the podcast, which you can do by simply searching “My Name Is My Nam... [blog posts]

December 16, 12 PM

This is the draft of this coming Sunday’s sermon at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Dallastown, PA.  I took a few ideas from John Vest’s sermon, “Who Are You?” and some things I’m working through in Catherine Kel... [blog posts]

December 15, 6AM

While it was horrible for the world at large, 2014 was an amazing year for me personally. I rang in the New Year wandering the streets of Paris, and I’ll end it in The Girlfriend’s new apartment in Minneapolis, where she has secured a job tha... [year-end wrap-up posts]

December 10, 4PM

As I was reading Catherine Keller’s Cloud of the Impossible for our upcoming book event, I was reminded of Deleuze and Guattari’s claim from What is Philosophy? that philosophy is about the creation of concepts. That is clear enough in the ea... [Catherine Keller] [Deleuze] [Plato] [Shimer College] [teaching]

December 8, 3AM

Apologies for the self-promotion, but I thought that readers may be interested in knowing that a paperback version of my Deleuze and the Naming of God: Post-Secularism and the Future of Immanence will soon be coming out. In other words, this book has beco... [Shameless Promotion]

December 7, 6AM

A few months ago, Shimer College received some decidedly unwelcome publicity: Ben Miller, writing for the Washington Monthly, named it the worst college in America. This prompted Jon Ronson, a reporter for The Guardian, to visit Shimer and investigate wh... [Shimer College]

December 6, 12 PM

This post requires a few remarks to frame it and in some sense to disempower it. First, while I have been involved with different coalitions and have participated in protests every year during my adult life, I do not claim to be anything more than just a... [liberation theology] [politics]

December 4, 2PM

In March of this year an email was sent to Stefan Grimm, professor of toxicology at Imperial College London. It was written by Martin Wilkins, his line manager. In the email, Wilkins states ‘I am of the opinion that you are struggling to fulfil the metr... [blog posts] [Academia]

December 1, 5PM

Every year, the arrival of Christmas music season is equally jarring and unwelcome for me. While I’ve heard the songs over and over for decades at this point, I am somehow unable to allow them to fall into the background. Instead, every word and e... [family values] [ideology] [popular culture]

November 30, 7AM

One of the primary sources for my devil research is the infamous Malleus Maleficarum, a witch-hunting manual that became one of the first best-sellers of the early print era. As I’ve worked through its theological logic in a couple different course... [feminism] [ideology] [The Devil]

November 28, 5AM

Creepiness is now available for preorder on Amazon, as is my translation of Agamben’s Pilate and Jesus. Both will be released in February.Filed under: Agamben, Creepiness (the book), publications, translation [Agamben] [Creepiness (the book)] [publications] [translation]

November 27, 11PM

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should enjoy unprecedented savings on all their favorite brands. This was the first Black Friday and took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to ... [Economics] [empire] [politics of the absurd]

7AM

We’ve been expecting less from our fantasies for quite some time now. The turning point, in my mind, was “trickle-down economics.” The entire premise was of course absurd — the whole point of capitalism is that wealth tends to fl... [ideology] [Television]

November 26, 9AM

In Blood, Gil Anidjar, reflecting on the futility of writing a book (in this day and age!), appends a curious note: The sheer weight of accumulation, fifty shades of clay and mountains of waste (not to mention, horribile dictu, footnotes), among othe... [The lighter side of AUFS]

6AM

In his testimony before the grand jury, unrepentant cold-blooded murderer Darren Wilson claimed to have been afraid of Michael Brown — an unarmed man literally the same size as Wilson — and said that in his rage, “it [Brown] looked like ... [Race] [The Devil]

November 25, 6AM

In the United States of America, abstract liberal universalism is objectively pro-white. For instance, take the all-too-common white response to the slogan “black lives matter” — “all lives matter.” Yes, to me all lives mat... [Race]

November 24, 2PM

This is going to be a bit of a confession. Up front I have to declare to you my naivety, because it helps explain why I’ve been anxious for weeks, on the verge of tears all day, and currently unsure if the food I ate today is going to stay down. So,... [Adorno] [afropessimism] [politics]

1PM

This weekend, a lurker e-mailed asking why I do theology, given that I am not a traditional believer or pious person. It is a question that used to come up a lot here, back when we were more engaged with the theology blogosphere (during a time when it wa... [theology]

6AM

One year ago today, I went on one of my Twitter rants about higher education in America. Along the way, it morphed into a rant about the disproportionate burdens we put on young people, as crystallized in the following tweet: We ask 18-year-olds to mak... [boredom]

November 21, 2PM

For a variety of reasons, including lack of conference funding and lack of any actual desire to attend, I am missing this year’s AAR/SBL conference, much as I missed last year and the year before that. Yet I can experience all the most exciting mom... [boredom]

November 20, 6AM

This semester, all my classes have been grouped together so that I’m done teaching by 1. This may seem to leave a wonderland of free time for writing and research, but experience tells me that is not the case. While I enjoy Shimer classes a great ... [Academia] [Writing]

November 19, 2PM

Colby Dickinson and I have been offered a contract by Rowman & Littlefield to publish a co-authored collection of essays entitled Agamben’s Coming Philosophy: Finding a New Use for Philosophy. The book gathers together both previously published... [Agamben] [publications]

11AM

Thinking critically about thinking about religion is fraught with misdirections. I’ve been reflecting on a post that Steven wrote last week highlighting the way that individuals are able to combine a ‘default cultural relativism’ with a ‘high leve... [religion] [secularism] [Talal Asad]

November 18, 9AM

The term ‘Afrofuturism’ was coined by Mark Dery in his article ‘Black to the Future: Interviews with Samuel R. Delany, Greg Tate, and Tricia Rose’. I finally got round to reading the piece recently; as you might infer, it’s not my area of expert... [blog posts] [Contemporary Fiction] [music] [popular culture] [Race]

November 17, 2PM

As the governor of Missouri declares a state of emergency in anticipation of a ruling on the murder of Michael Brown, I’m sure many of us were put in mind of the famous quote from Benjamin’s “Theses on the Philosophy of History”: &... [Benjamin]

November 15, 7AM

This has been the busiest semester of the busiest year of my life. Every time I think I’m “over the hump,” I realize there’s another mountain of work. By the time the semester ends — a semester during which I’ve taken... [to-do lists]

November 13, 1PM

For anyone teaching philosophy, one of the most frustrating responses to a question asked in class is ‘it just comes down to opinion’. Variations on this include ‘it depends on your personality’, ‘it depends on your upbringin... [blog posts]

November 11, 3PM

It’s always easier to design a syllabus with only white men. An inclusive syllabus is a struggle. You can anticipate the dismissiveness, the uncomfortable silence, the angry rejection. The syllabus filled with white men, by contrast, is calm. Th... [feminism] [Race] [teaching]

November 10, 3PM

During my five years or so of teaching, a nagging thought has kept resurfacing — namely, that the traditional course format is remarkably unforgiving. This was especially clear when I taught on the quarter system, where a moderately serious illness... [Academia] [teaching]

7AM

We are excited to announce that our next book event will be on Catherine Keller’s Cloud of the Impossible, which is now available from Columbia University Press. Keller’s faculty page has links to her other work: Catherine Keller is Profes... [blog posts]

November 9, 6AM

A familiar feature of organized crime is the protection racket. In this scheme, a mob leader demands to be paid to protect a business. If the fee is not paid, then that same mob leader attacks the business — hence you are first of all paying the f... [Agamben] [Economics] [politics] [religion]

November 7, 3PM

Beginning in the late 1970s, capitalist elites began a deliberate, carefully planned attack on essentially every institution that provided a material basis for leftist organization and loyalties. That attack was hugely successful, in large part because m... [ideology] [politics]

November 5, 5PM

Today, a hateful post was written about me by someone notorious for mean-spirited personal attacks. It is easy enough to determine what I’m referring to if you’re curious, so I won’t link to the post. Nor do I plan to respond in detail... [blog posts]

November 4, 12 PM

Historically, I have been a pretty avid voter. This particular election, I feel an urgency to keep Illinois from getting a finance-asshole Republican governor, but there’s only so much damage he could do as the legislature will remain Democratic ba... [politics of the absurd]

November 3, 1PM

In the last week especially, I have started to notice how often politically-charged online memes open out onto a “no-win vortex.” Take the example of the cat-calling video. On the one hand, it calls attention to street harrassment, which is ... [blog posts]
Everyone with an internet connection is now aware that Lena Dunham’s memoir includes some creepy passages centering around her childhood sexual expression. An article in National Review (a publication I’d prefer not to direct traffic to) calle... [blog posts]

October 31, 4AM

The white middle class family in America has grown ever more paranoid over the course of my lifetime. Children once roamed free after school, but now it’s virtually a crime to leave a child unattended in public. It’s not clear to me that the... [family values]

October 30, 3PM

An episode of Freaks and Geeks records the turning point. Mrs. Weir has lovingly prepared Halloween cookies, just like every year, and when the first group of trick-or-treaters show up, one of the moms shames her for her presumption. This more attentive... [boredom]

2PM

A while back, Shimer was planning to refurbish its classrooms, and they asked the faculty whether they preferred chalkboards or dry-erase boards. I put in an impassioned plea to retain chalkboards, though I was sadly overruled in the end. In my view, cha... [Academia] [teaching]

4AM

I appreciated the reading and comments of my previous post, and wanted to respond a bit more formally — though also perhaps too tangentially. The operation that my criticism tried to indicate is one that often seems to be associated with the need fo... [blog posts]

October 29, 4PM

By now, everyone with an internet connection is aware of the appalling video depicting a woman being harrassed on the street over 100 times in a single day. What’s striking to me is the reaction on the part of men who presumably would never partici... [feminism]

October 27, 6PM

Some readers might be interested in submitting something to an upcoming conference I have a hand in organizing at Villanova. Please note that we accept both abstracts and papers from both graduate students and faculty. 20th Annual Conference Sponsored by ... [Conference announcement]

3PM

Early this summer, I reworked a talk I had given into an article for an edited volume. The topic was one I would feel confident listing as an “area of specialization,” and when I completed the changes (which involved considerably expanding it... [Academia]

October 26, 7AM

The issues around Strachey’s Standard Edition of Freud’s works are much discussed–Besetzung being an exemplary case. It was rendered “cathexis.” This has several disadvantages, not least of which that most people have no idea w... [Freud] [translation]

6AM

In my fine arts course this week, we did a unit on the myth of Danaë, which is admittedly only briefly mentioned in Book IV of Ovid’s Metamorphosis but has exercised a durable fascination on painters. It’s a strange scene to picture: Danaë ... [art]

October 24, 12 AM

Observing the contemporary theoretical terrain, there’s a certain operation that I find rather striking — both in its valorization and in its predominance. We might call this an operation of resuscitation, revival, or rejuvenation (though, for... [blog posts]

October 21, 10AM

One thing that has stood out to me as I have undertaken my recent crash course in Islam is the sheer number of Arabic terms that are left untranslated. At times, even a dedicated student like me became bogged down in technical terminology that was left i... [Islam] [translation]

9AM

Detractors of Zizek have lately attempted to discredit his work on procedural grounds. The more serious accusations are related to plagiarism — including the famous case of the paraphrased white supremacist book review and now a more recent inciden... [You make a good point, but aren't you actually completely wrong?] [Zizek]

October 20, 12 PM

This article on the limited value of teaching evaluations makes for bracing reading. It is based on experiences in UK universities, but I assume many of the lessons would be applicable to similar mainstream institutions in the US. Broadly speaking, the ... [Academia] [teaching]

6AM

In some unpublished ‘lectures on communication’ from 1847, Kierkegaard seeks to lay out why ethical communication cannot be equated with or derived from communication about objective knowledge. Ethics, he argues, is indirect communication. It does not... [blog posts] [Brandom] [Butler] [Christian Theology] [derrida] [immanence] [Kierkegaard] [performativity]

October 18, 12 PM

Voter ID laws are a truly evil thing, an attempt to disenfranchise the poor and racial minorities. They are also an act of evil genius, politically speaking. To the majority of middle-class voters, it sounds totally reasonable — who doesn’t ... [politics of the absurd]

5AM

I’ve been hearing a lot of talk in the past weeks about the future of seminary education, which has been prompted by scandals at a handful of fairly prominent East Coast seminaries.  Information for some of these scandals has been kind of hard to c... [blog posts] ["the church"]

October 17, 6AM

AUFS reader, Aimee Quesada, passed along this link with a great interview with the late D. G. Leahy.  Here it is.Filed under: blog posts [blog posts] [death of God]

October 16, 4PM

I’ve noticed a strange tic among academic writers, a tic to which I fall victim myself: a compulsive overuse of connective particles. In some cases, it seems that there must be some type of connective particle in literally every sentence of every p... [Academia]

8AM

Though numbers have declined in recent years, millions of Americans still regularly participate in the high holy days of this religion. Traveling to their local house of worship, they partake in the sacrament that affirms their existence within a shadow... [politics of the absurd]

October 14, 9AM

In many of Gil Anidjar’s works there seems to be a common thread pertaining to what I might hesitatingly call “method.” His texts often take the form of investigations into the conditions for the possibility of X. Of course, the Kantia... [Gil Anidjar]

October 13, 8AM

This past Friday I was on a panel that Mark William Westmoreland organized for the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs conference on Revolutions: Past, Present, and Future. Mark, Melanie Kampen, and myself all delivered papers which were reco... [Conference Papers] [postcolonial theory]

October 9, 4PM

In Shimer’s fine arts class, we typically do a unit on Cézanne that includes a selection of Rilke’s letters written after a particularly vivid encounter with an exhibition of Cézanne’s art. Out of curiosity, I picked up Rilke’s ... [aesthetics] [Cézanne] [Heidegger] [Rilke] [Rodin]

October 7, 11AM

Readers of the blog who live within range of Columbia University may be interested in this event tonight at Book Culture. I’ll be there, so say hi!Filed under: blog posts [blog posts]

7AM

I have a piece up at The Immanent Frame entitled “Curse God and Die: On Agamben and Job.” It use Agamben’s reflections on oaths and curses in The Sacrament of Language as a framework for investigating the frequent references to cursing ... [Agamben] [Job]

October 4, 6AM

As I’ve been studying Islam, I have become increasingly fascinated by the question of whether the Native Americans would have been better off if Muslims had made “First Contact” rather than European Christians. Best of all, of course, w... [Islam]

5AM

[This story is perhaps outside the usual scope of this blog, but I fear it would be unintelligible if delivered via Twitter. So here we are.] Last night, The Girlfriend and I went to Kuma’s Too, the spin-off of Kuma’s Corner, the metal bar le... [The lighter side of AUFS]

October 1, 8AM

At some point soon I hope to return back to blogging. I have been working very diligently over the past few months on a number of projects that have taken up most of my time. While you don’t come here for my whinging (that’s what my locked twi... [Conference announcement]

September 30, 9AM

Yesterday I asked Twitter for recommendations of paintings on the subject of The Temptation of St. Anthony, and Brad shared this very comprehensive blog post. They’re all worth investigating, but for me the prize definitely goes to Joos van Craesbe... [art]

8AM

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m going to be offering a course on the Qur’an next semester. One thing I didn’t factor in when I volunteered to do this, however, is how quickly I need to complete the book order (due to some change... [help] [teaching]

6AM

At Shimer College, we pride ourselves on teaching “primary texts” as much as possible. The goal here is to make sure that all the reading we assign is “discussable,” which secondary sources providing background usually are not. I... [Islam] [Shimer College] [teaching]

September 29, 12 PM

Common wisdom holds that there is a special class of claims known as “religious claims.” These claims are characterized by an inability to be rigorously proven or disproven. While people are free to embrace such claims in the privacy of thei... [secularism]

September 25, 7AM

The next conference of The Association for Continental Philosophy of Religion takes place July 10-12 2015 at Liverpool Hope University, UK. We’d love to welcome more readers of this blog to our northwestern corner of a faded imperial power. Keynote ... [blog posts]

4AM

For adherents of the ground-breaking philosophical school of Contemporaneanism, it’s been a wild ride. Side-stepping traditional academic institutions, we stepped directly into the public sphere by using online technologies like blog posts and Twit... [blog posts] [politics of the absurd]

September 23, 5AM

Yesterday, The Girlfriend and I went to the special exhibit on Magritte at the Art Institute. During our trip to Brussels, we had visited the Magritte Museum there, which unfortunately seemed to be a holding place for second-tier pieces and first drafts ... [art] [Chicago]

2AM

Unsurprising to the nice round number of zero, Adam made it known this week he is wary of protests. His post indicating as much is one-half cheek and the other half teeth. As it happens, his (& a good many of your) reservations squeakily hinged on the... [politics of the absurd]

September 22, 3PM

In this era of increasingly accurate 3D computer imagery, animators have come up against a problem known as the “uncanny valley” — after a certain point, the closer to accurate 3D imagery is, the creepier it becomes. The reason that it&... [aesthetics] [art] [Creepiness (the book)]

September 21, 8AM

Protests don’t work. Whatever their efficacy was in past eras, it is spent. We all witnessed the largest coordinated protests in world history in the lead-up to the Iraq War, and the Iraq War not only happened but is still happening, under the wat... [politics of the absurd]

6AM

This semester, I fear I may be reaching a kind of saturation point for how much it is possible to do without being in a constant state of anxiety. In addition to my regular teaching and administrative duties at Shimer, I am teaching a graduate seminar at... [to-do lists]

September 19, 6AM

As I mentioned a few months ago, a couple of us are starting to read Freud’s Psychologie des Unbewußten (Amazon link) via Google Hangout. The plan is to do a close reading of the German and move somewhat slowly through the text. It will be either... [blog posts]

September 16, 5AM

(Trigger warning: this post refers to sexual violence) A woman’s 13-year old daughter is raped at knifepoint. The rapist is jailed for some years. When he is released, he passes the mother in the street and taunts her, asking how her daughter is. The ... [blog posts]

September 15, 7PM

For the past year and a half or so I’ve been employed in a kind of noble profession, if such exist: selling books at a local independent bookstore. This is my story of things learned along the way. Truth told, I was a little surprised I got the positio... [blog posts]

September 14, 5AM

In many responses to Agamben’s provocative claim that the concentration camp is the nomos of modernity, I have not seen much attention to the text from which Agamben draws the curious term nomos — namely, Schmitt’s Nomos of the Earth. I... [Agamben]

September 13, 12 PM

Angelaki has just published a special issue on François Laurelle’s non-philosophy and variants thereof (click here for the cover, the black cow being a reference to Harman’s review that I use as a trope in my introduction). I edited this col... [blog posts]

6AM

During a Twitter discussion about the widely-cited study showing that men profess to be most attracted to 20- and 21-year olds well into their fifties while women prefer men approximately their own age throughout their lives, the inevitable happened: some... [politics of the absurd]

September 12, 1PM

A few questions for those of you more familiar with the landscape in online education: In your view, is the current state of video conferencing technology adequate to simulate a lively, seminar-style discussion session? Do you know if any schools have tr... [teaching] [Technology]

September 10, 5PM

Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition is one of the classical pieces that is most familiar to me. Ever since my high school marching band did a show based on it, it has been a constant companion, at least in the version orchestrated by Ravel. Mor... [art] [music] [teaching]

September 9, 8AM

Elif Batuman has a post up at a New Yorker blog about awkwardness, which engages with my work on the topic at length. She makes a slight tweak to my historical progression toward awkwardness, arguing that it was specifically the shock of realizing that t... [Awkwardness (the book)]

5AM

I have written before about the constitutional problems arising from attempts to either abolish the Senate or create proportional representation. I now believe that I have developed a flawless scheme to achieve proportional representation with only minim... [politics of the absurd]

September 7, 5AM

Jon Cogburn did not exactly cover himself in glory in his latest post, where he decries the rhetoric of ableism. (And to be fair to other New APPS contributors, one of his co-bloggers quickly denounced the post, though perhaps taking it down would be a b... [blog posts]

September 6, 9AM

In a recent post that I can’t find for some reason, Corey Robin pointed out that the Salita affair — in which the University of Illinois rescinded a job offer upon learning of heated pro-Palestinian tweets written by the professor in question ... [politics of the absurd]

September 4, 4PM

I was reading something today that referred to Fukayama’s thesis that the fall of the Soviet Union marked “the end of history.” As we all know, the theory is that the battle between communism and liberal democratic capitalism was the la... [Communism]

September 2, 3PM

While I was in San Francisco this summer, C.S. Soong of KPFA’s Against the Grain invited me to record an interview about Agamben’s work, which has now aired and is archived here for your enjoyment. If you’re a Facebook person, please co... [Agamben] [Audio] [Interviews]

6AM

Here is the syllabus for my devil course at Chicago Theological Seminary, which begins on Thursday. As you can see if you compare and contrast on my CV page, it’s substantially, though not totally, different from the Kalamazoo and Shimer iterations... [teaching] [The Devil]

September 1, 5AM

Is there a mourning trend in contemporary television? At least on cable, it seems to be a dominant theme, one whose hold is only growing. The Walking Dead and Les Revenants (which will be remade in an English-language version) focus on what happens when... [Television]

August 26, 5AM

The Girlfriend has a remarkably effective approach to cooking that could be helpful for all those busy academics out there, particularly single or childless ones. The biggest challenge in cooking for only one or two people is that it is incredibly time-i... [The lighter side of AUFS]

August 23, 5AM

In Romans 9-11, Paul lays out what he believes to be God’s plan for Paul’s work as the apostle to the Gentiles. Though the rejection of Jesus as messiah by the vast majority of Jews seems to be a huge defeat, God is actually using it as an op... [Islam] [Muhammad] [Saint Paul]

August 22, 8AM

Here is my draft for my upcoming sermon at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Dallastown, PA.  The lection is Matthew 15:21-28 (Jesus and the Canaanite Woman) and I will be using this video of Bill Cosby explaining black epistemology video in th... [blog posts]

August 21, 5PM

Let’s say I were to do a course next semester on the Qur’an only, with some attempt to achieve coverage over the whole of the text and to strike a balance between contemporary and historical commentators. Do you have any recommendations? Fil... [Islam] [teaching]

August 18, 3PM

Seamus Heany once said that the best part about translating is that you get to finish something you didn’t have to start. It’s a strange feeling, though, finishing up something for someone else — and not only that, finishing something t... [Agamben] [translation]

12 AM

I would like to extend my gratitude to all the readers, commenters, and especially the contributors who have made this book event so generative. The wide range of responses is a testament to the text’s careful attention to the Christian process of d... [blog posts]

August 17, 5PM

I woke up this morning to a retweet of JKAS’ Wall Street Journal “Has Anyone Seen Last Year’s Promising Freshman?” It was, umm, “interesting” to read a pedagogical perspective dripping with utter contempt for his stude... [Academia] [pedagogy]

August 16, 11AM

Thomas Altizer asked that I pass this along on here. “America and the Death of God” by Thomas J. J. Altizer Our most revolutionary prophet, William Blake, in his first prophetic poem, America (1793), enacted the American Revolution as the init... [blog posts] [Altizer] [Christian Theology] [death of God] [William Blake]

10AM

Ramsey regarded her letters as though they were treasures not to be cherished, their value neither monetary nor sentimental. These were not love notes whose excesses one might later come to regret. He once suggested to Miriam that he thought they told a s... [Serialized Short Story]

7AM

This week, I’ve been settling back into my Chicago apartment and mostly letting my brain rest after the brutal monastic discipline of this summer. I’ve also had a couple meetings at Shimer, which has got my mind starting to churn on my teachi... [teaching]

August 15, 7AM

Of course, the handwritten letters, too, were her idea. Email was, in her opinion, utilitarian to a fault, and she was convinced that no one reads any that are longer than two paragraphs. Modern information technology, she continued, is well and good for ... [Serialized Short Story]

3AM

Closing out such a productive book event, first I must confess the difficulty of trying to read Blood this summer. In transit for six weeks between cities on opposite sides of this continent, my efforts to read the book were constantly distracted. These ... [Blood A Critique of Christianity Book Event] [Rhetoric]

August 14, 8PM

Thomas Altizer asked me to pass along a few things in honor of D. G. Leahy.  The first is an article, “Apocalypticism and Modern Thinking,” originally published in the Journal for Christian Theological Research 2.2 (1992), par. 1-27. “... [blog posts] [Altizer] [Christian Theology] [death of God] [nihilism]

7AM

—Young, handsome man like yourself, you have to have a young lady on your arm, right? —I suppose you’d say . . . it’s complicated. —Oh, it always is, son, somebody said, to mostly faked laughs of agreement. —Sure. Yeah, I know. I guess... [Serialized Short Story]

August 13, 11PM

It is quite possible that tomorrow we will wake up this photo on the covers of major newspapers. Reportedly the photo was taken in Ferguson, MO where the militarized police force murdered a young man named Michael Brown in cold blood for the crime of bein... [politics]

1PM

Making a Star Trek film was always a strange project. Both the original series and Next Generation were meandering affairs, with few clear villains and many episodes with confusing premises. The movies have been many different things — sometimes f... [film] [Star Trek]

7AM

—It’s all connected, you understand. You must, Laodicea, before it is too late. The taste with the sight, the sight with the smell, the smell with the taste. It would all make for a baroque symphony of the senses, this music of life, fit for these... [Serialized Short Story]

6AM

I think we can all agree that the reality that the term “genocide” is meant to represent — the systematic destruction of a race or ethnic group — is a horrible crime. Everyone is obviously against “genocide,” and that ... [politics]

August 12, 7AM

—No, the issue cannot simply be that of taste alone, otherwise I might have the choice of avoidance . . . of pursing my lips against a different cup. Ramsey was conscious of his instinct at that moment to swallow. I’m drinking myself sick, he thou... [Serialized Short Story]

August 11, 9AM

The “work-in-progress” is progressing so slowly these days that it has simply become “the work.” As has become a thing I do from time to time, I thought I might post a bit of it here to see if it kick-starts my attention and energi... [Serialized Short Story]

7AM

What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. O precious is the flow that makes me white as snow; no other fount I know; nothing but the blood of Jesus. -Robert Lowry, 1876  It is... [Blood A Critique of Christianity Book Event]

August 8, 8PM

Word is circulating that radical theologian D. G. Leahy passed away yesterday.  He is probably best known to AUFS readers as someone whose thought has been enormously influential on Thomas Altizer, just as Altizer’s writings deeply influenced Leahy... [blog posts] [Christian Theology] [death of God] [obituaries]

6PM

As most readers probably know, I have spent the last ten weeks in San Francisco, as The Girlfriend has a short-term job out here this summer. Due to a combination of financial constraints, the nature of our accomodations, and my very deepest personality ... [boredom]

3PM

“For what and where, Derrida rightly insisted, is the archive?” – Anidjar, Blood (241) I want to understand what kind of text Blood is—what Blood does—in the light of Anidjar’s claim that it is not a book: “I will merely assert that I di... [Blood A Critique of Christianity Book Event]

2PM

Hey, San Francisco Bay Area AUFS-ites, perhaps you’ve read my previous plugs for Allen C. Shelton’s book Where the North Sea Touches Alabama, and you thought to yourself, “My goodness, this Allen C. Shelton character sounds interesting. ... [Books]

August 7, 1PM

As the Gaza crisis intensified, I’m sure I’m not alone in having wondered why the US’s support for Israel is so absolutely unconditional. What’s in it for America? Hasn’t it reached a point where Israel is a liability and s... [Economics] [politics] [Race]

August 6, 6AM

In The Nomos of the Earth, Schmitt attends to the fact that the sea was always located outside of territorial, juridical regulations, defined as a space that enabled and, indeed, linked the very two “practices” that Kant and Schumpeter saw as ... [Blood A Critique of Christianity Book Event] [Race] [Schmitt]

August 5, 8AM

In my day, I’ve had run-ins with a few self-declared “schools of thought,” and all those interactions have been invariably toxic. One is probably reminded of the old truism that if you have nothing but bad relationships, you have to rec... [blog posts]

August 4, 10AM

Secular Currents and the Infrastructures of the ‘Social’[1] “Baudelaire speaks of a man who plunges into the crowd as into a reservoir of electric energy. Circumscribing the experience of the shock, he calls this man ‘a kaleidoscop... [Blood A Critique of Christianity Book Event]

7AM

One strange feature of the online atheist movement is that while all religions are bad, Islam is consistently presented as the very worst — so that Richard Dawkins, for instance, can wonder aloud whether atheists should support Christian missionarie... [Dawkins] [Islam] [Race]

August 1, 9AM

What remains of the theory of the state, after the laments of sovereignty and the ecstasy of vitalism? InterCcECT is taking our dialectic to the streets, to Hegel’s Philosophy of Right  and its culminating vision of world historical formations. Jo... [Hegel] [Interccect]

July 31, 8AM

There is a quote from Varro that Agamben uses in the essay “Notes on Gesture” (included in both Infancy and History and Means Without End): “For a person can make [facere] something and not act [agere] it, as a poet makes [facit] a play and ... [Agamben] [politics of the absurd]

6AM

I found this article by Gil Anidjar on Gaza from 2009. It’s worth taking a look at if you’re interested in seeing how he applies his work to the contemporary situation. Some of the arguments of Blood of previewed a bit. It’s on JSTOR he... [Gil Anidjar]

July 30, 11AM

‘Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?’ – Lady Macbeth In the Summa Theologiae, Thomas Aquinas addresses the problem of the vials of Christ’s blood so plentifully held in reliquaries across Europe. If Ch... [Blood A Critique of Christianity Book Event]

9AM

This is ordinarily something I’d keep to my own private haunt, Departure Delayed, but today is too special a day for my understandably minuscule following there. The 90th birthday of a man, William H. Gass, whose writing I perhaps too slavishly ador... [literature] [William H. Gass]

8AM

The article on bad academic writing that’s been going around strikes me as perhaps a little cruel, and as unlikely to actually get through to the people who most need the message — after all, it’s notoriously difficult to see the flaws i... [Academia]
[NOTE: Earlier this summer, The Girlfriend and I watched a lot of House of Cards and Scandal, so that must be kept in mind in reading this post.] It’s easy to forget now, but in the summer of 2008, it really looked like John McCain would win. Only ... [boredom] [politics of the absurd]

July 29, 8AM

I’m getting ready to write a couple pieces for a reference volume on atonement, and that has got me thinking once again about how profoundly strange Aulen’s Christus Victor is. On the one hand, it was an absolutely decisive intervention insof... [Abelard] [Anselm] [Barth] [Christian Theology]

July 28, 9AM

And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” –Matthew 27:25 How to introduce a book that asks its readers to rethink the role of Western Christianity? The scope of Blood is massive. On its own terms, it must be, for b... [Blood A Critique of Christianity Book Event]

8AM

Adrian Pabst has a column up at ABC Religion and Ethics on the challenges facing the West — a situation that may even, God forbid, lead the West to split! What we need, it turns out, is a reinvigorated West united on the basis of Christianity (alon... [politics of the absurd]

July 25, 12 PM

Perhaps [weasel-word!] something has occurred in the history of the concept of structure that could be called an “event,” if this loaded word [loaded according to whom?] did not entail a meaning which it is precisely the function [is this real... [Academia] [derrida]

July 24, 8AM

The standard liberal objection to religious motivations for political action is that they are unquestionable and not susceptible of disproof, so that they cannot form a part of the ongoing rational dialogue that should ideally characterize the political p... [Christian Theology] [politics of the absurd] [Zizek]

July 22, 12 PM

When someone begins to study European philosophy and theory, or Continental philosophy as the unhelpful designation goes, the focus is usually on the traditions of French and German philosophy (leaving the term analytic to denote the work of the British,... [Book Reviews] [Italian philosophy] [Political Theology] [politics] [Possibly More Theological Than It Appears]

July 21, 7AM

A couple years ago, I was invited to contribute to a reference volume. I was honored to be included and eager to have the chance to demonstrate my expertise on the topic. Yet as I looked at the proposed table of contents, I noticed a problem: no women. ... [Academia]

July 18, 8AM

A new issue of the Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory is out, featuring my review [pdf] of Less Than Nothing. Filed under: blog posts [blog posts]

July 17, 7AM

The film First Contact marks a decisive turning point in the Star Trek franchise’s approach to time travel. Previously, the emphasis was always on preserving the past, which had led to a glorious future. Even at great cost — as in the classi... [neoliberalism] [Star Trek]

July 16, 10AM

Series Announcement: Intersections: Theology and the Church in a World Come of Age Published by  Noesis Press (Davies Group, Publishers) Description: Theological discourse typically teeters between obscure, abstract thinking suitable only for academics a... [blog posts] ["the church"] [Books] [Christian Theology] [Shameless Promotion]

8AM

In what is increasingly becoming a tired schtick, Rebecca Schumann rehearses the most inflammatory cliches about academic practices — in this case, peer review. David Perry’s response reflects my own experience: I’ve had a generally goo... [Academia]

July 15, 5PM

A former student wrote to ask what I thought of the recent evidence of plagiarism in an essay by Zizek. I replied that Zizek’s own explanation of the incident, which can be found here among many other places, struck me as plausible — indeed, ... [politics of the absurd] [Zizek]

July 14, 12 PM

I apologize if these posts about future plans are too self-indulgent. Perhaps they could be viewed primarily as a way of coping with my own anxiety, and thus you should feel free to skip them. Hopefully there is some value, however, in seeing how I thin... [to-do lists]

July 13, 8AM

A theological hypothetical for all those armchair ecclesiologists in the audience: what if literally every Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox bishop suddenly died before they were able to ordain any new bishops? How would apostolic succession be preserv... ["the church"]

July 12, 8AM

Yesterday I went through a familiar cycle: someone posted a generic right-wing comment, I deleted it, and then I got caught in an e-mail dispute over my intolerance for dissent, etc. It should be clear from our comment policy that we don’t aspire t... [housekeeping]
I’m eager to undertake a reading project in order to consolidate my German skills and have decided upon Freud’s Psychologie des Unbewußten (Amazon link). There are two potential options for this reading group: Online via Google Hangouts (... [Freud]

July 11, 6PM

The penultimate episode of the original Star Trek series (TOS), “All Our Yesterdays,” has an interesting premise: an alien race faces certain destruction as their sun goes supernova, and instead of escaping into space, they use time travel to ... [Star Trek]

10AM

A disproportionate amount of political debate centers around vague abstractions: government spending, deficits, and inflation. The latter two are supposed to be particularly horrible, leading to hyperinflation (and therefore Hitler) or else mountains of ... [Economics] [politics of the absurd]

July 10, 10AM

I am approaching Star Trek completism, as I have only four episodes left of the original series (TOS). (I will never truly reach that lofty goal, as I refuse to finish Star Trek V, and so it seems fair to write this post before I have “officially&#... [Star Trek]

July 8, 12 PM

Eternal damnation is an embarrassment to contemporary Christianity. Liberals tend to be universalists, to the extent that they articulate a position at all, and even conservatives generally downplay it, particularly given the hegemony of “seeker-se... [Christian Theology]
Eternal damnation is an embarrassment to contemporary Christianity. Liberals tend to be universalists, to the extent that they articulate a position at all, and even conservatives generally downplay it, particularly given the hegemony of “seeker-se... [Christian Theology]

7AM

The Girlfriend and I have been watching The Wonder Years lately, and it’s striking how generic the setting is — if not for references to news events in the late 1960s, it could be any time period from 1965 to the late 1990s (and I only posit t... [Economics] [education] [family values] [Television]
The Girlfriend and I have been watching The Wonder Years lately, and it’s striking how generic the setting is — if not for references to news events in the late 1960s, it could be any time period from 1965 to the late 1990s (and I only posit t... [Economics] [education] [family values] [Television]

July 5, 7AM

There is a lot of blogging and writing, and tearing of shirts, and pointing of fingers in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Burwell case (see info here), but I just had an observation.  If Conestoga Wood, whose headquarters are located in... [blog posts]
There is a lot of blogging and writing, and tearing of shirts, and pointing of fingers in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Burwell case (see info here), but I just had an observation.  If Conestoga Wood, whose headquarters are located in... [blog posts]

July 3, 11AM

I just finished reading The Figure of This World: Agamben and the Question of Political Ontology by Mathew Abbott (Amazon link). I’ve linked approvingly before to Abbott’s work characterizing Agamben’s project as one of “political... [Agamben] [Book Reviews]
I just finished reading The Figure of This World: Agamben and the Question of Political Ontology by Mathew Abbott (Amazon link). I’ve linked approvingly before to Abbott’s work characterizing Agamben’s project as one of “political... [Agamben] [Book Reviews]

9AM

Yesterday I finished Wael Hallaq’s Introduction to Islamic Law, which not only does a great job of explaining the classical structures of Shari’a legal reasoning but also mounts an argument that the imposition of modern state structures fundam... [family values] [homosexuality] [Islam]
Yesterday I finished Wael Hallaq’s Introduction to Islamic Law, which not only does a great job of explaining the classical structures of Shari’a legal reasoning but also mounts an argument that the imposition of modern state structures fundam... [family values] [homosexuality] [Islam]

July 2, 2PM

My two major projects for the summer — my Islam syllabus and Creepiness — are now basically done. There will be further work on both (continued background reading on Islam and the process of editing on Creepiness), but they will no longer req... [boredom] [to-do lists]
My two major projects for the summer — my Islam syllabus and Creepiness — are now basically done. There will be further work on both (continued background reading on Islam and the process of editing on Creepiness), but they will no longer req... [boredom] [to-do lists]
After many years of joking about the project and gradually taking the idea more seriously, this morning I finished a full draft of Creepiness, the final volume of my study of negative character traits in popular culture. Although I still need to make a f... [Creepiness (the book)]
After many years of joking about the project and gradually taking the idea more seriously, this morning I finished a full draft of Creepiness, the final volume of my study of negative character traits in popular culture. Although I still need to make a f... [Creepiness (the book)]

July 1, 5PM

I have completed a draft syllabus for the Introduction to Islamic Thought elective I’ll be teaching at Shimer this fall. While I still have time to tinker — and I am most open to suggestions on the selections from the Qur’an — I a... [Islam] [syllabi] [teaching]
I have completed a draft syllabus for the Introduction to Islamic Thought elective I’ll be teaching at Shimer this fall. While I still have time to tinker — and I am most open to suggestions on the selections from the Qur’an — I a... [Islam] [syllabi] [teaching]

June 30, 9AM

Serious question: Why are mustaches creepy? Filed under: Creepiness (the book) [Creepiness (the book)]
Serious question: Why are mustaches creepy? Filed under: Creepiness (the book) [Creepiness (the book)]

June 27, 4PM

The most difficult part of preparing for my Introduction to Islamic Thought class has not been the task of assembling a list of major thinkers and texts. Though it took some digging and much advice from more experienced teachers and scholars, at the end ... [Islam]
The most difficult part of preparing for my Introduction to Islamic Thought class has not been the task of assembling a list of major thinkers and texts. Though it took some digging and much advice from more experienced teachers and scholars, at the end ... [Islam]

June 25, 7AM

Yesterday I remarked on Twitter that the imitation of Muhammad seems to be much more important for Muslims than the imitation of Christ is for Christians. My wording was exaggerated, suggesting that Christians are opposed to imitating Christ — thou... [Christian Theology] [Islam]

June 24, 9AM

The Bay Area Public School has posted an announcement with details. The first session will be on Monday, June 30th, at 4pm, in downtown Oakland, and we will be reading up to page 34 in Agamben’s Infancy and History. Filed under: Agamben [Agamben]

7AM

It’s a strange moment. The Gremlins, having eaten after midnight and turned from teddy bears into evil reptilian creatures, find themselves in a movie theater. Suddenly, Snow White starts playing — and they are transfixed. They all sing in ... [Economics] [film] [politics of the absurd]

June 23, 5AM

Most readers are probably already aware that Anthony has started a new podcast. If you’ve been waiting to subscribe, now is a good chance: his latest interviewee is Adam Kotsko. They cover a wide range of topics from Agamben to Zizek, pedagogy to su... [My Name Is My Name podcast]

June 20, 5PM

I’ve posted before about the possibility of a reading group this summer through the Bay Area Public School. The details are still being finalized, but I wanted to give an update for those who would like to participate. I’m planning to start ... [Agamben]

June 19, 9AM

It is a commonplace in public policy that exposing citizens to more price signals for important services is an important part of bringing down costs. In the health care arena, for example, it’s often said that the reason medical costs are so high i... [Economics] [neoliberalism]
It is a commonplace in public policy that exposing citizens to more price signals for important services is an important part of bringing down costs. In the health care arena, for example, it’s often said that the reason medical costs are so high i... [Economics] [neoliberalism]

June 18, 9PM

Here is the draft of a sermon I am working on for this Sunday for St. Paul’s UCC, Dallastown, PA.  The Lections are Psalm 8 and Exodus 20:1-20.  The sermon will begin a new nine-month focus on peace in my congregation’s worship life. I have ... [blog posts] ["the church"] [Girard] [peace] [Sermons] [violence]
Here is the draft of a sermon I am working on for this Sunday for St. Paul’s UCC, Dallastown, PA.  The Lections are Psalm 8 and Exodus 20:1-20.  The sermon will begin a new nine-month focus on peace in my congregation’s worship life. I have ... [blog posts] ["the church"] [Girard] [peace] [Sermons] [violence]

11AM

For anyone in or around London, on July 16th I’ll be giving a seminar on my current book project, Politics of Divination:  Neoliberal Endgame and the Religion of Contingency.  Below is a description of the event, hosted by Nathan Widder of Royal ... [blog posts]
For anyone in or around London, on July 16th I’ll be giving a seminar on my current book project, Politics of Divination:  Neoliberal Endgame and the Religion of Contingency.  Below is a description of the event, hosted by Nathan Widder of Royal ... [blog posts]

June 17, 2PM

“Sure, I have racist thoughts. I’ve crossed the street to avoid a black man sometimes, but only at night. I mean, at least I’m honest about it, though, right?” “I have had a lot of bad experiences with women, and yes, IR... [ethics] [Television]
“Sure, I have racist thoughts. I’ve crossed the street to avoid a black man sometimes, but only at night. I mean, at least I’m honest about it, though, right?” “I have had a lot of bad experiences with women, and yes, IR... [ethics] [Television]

3AM

You might be interested to know of a special issue of Angelaki just published entitled ‘Immanent materialisms: speculation and critique’. Co-edited by Patrice Haynes and Charlie Blake, it comprises papers from, and inspired by the theme of, th... [blog posts] [immanence] [Materialism] [publications]
You might be interested to know of a special issue of Angelaki just published entitled ‘Immanent materialisms: speculation and critique’. Co-edited by Patrice Haynes and Charlie Blake, it comprises papers from, and inspired by the theme of, th... [blog posts] [immanence] [Materialism] [publications]
The Higher Education Funding Council for England is conducting a consultation on the use of metrics to assess research quality. The current system in the UK is that, every five years, a time-consuming and expensive research assessment exercise is conduct... [Academia] [blog posts]
The Higher Education Funding Council for England is conducting a consultation on the use of metrics to assess research quality. The current system in the UK is that, every five years, a time-consuming and expensive research assessment exercise is conduct... [Academia] [blog posts]

June 16, 1PM

Five-Hour Energy is one of those products that exists near the back of all of our cultural consciousnesses, at the boundary between “real” products and obvious scams. We might map out that space as bounded on the more legitimate-seeming side ... [Agamben] [politics of the absurd] [Zizek]
Five-Hour Energy is one of those products that exists near the back of all of our cultural consciousnesses, at the boundary between “real” products and obvious scams. We might map out that space as bounded on the more legitimate-seeming side ... [Agamben] [politics of the absurd] [Zizek]

June 15, 9AM

Corey Robin confesses that he rides the subway for hours in order to be able to focus on reading. I have to confess that I once tried it, getting on a Brown Line train in Chicago that would take me around the Loop and back home again with no effort on my... [The lighter side of AUFS]
Corey Robin confesses that he rides the subway for hours in order to be able to focus on reading. I have to confess that I once tried it, getting on a Brown Line train in Chicago that would take me around the Loop and back home again with no effort on my... [The lighter side of AUFS]

June 14, 9AM

The consensus is clear: Orange is the New Black spends too much time on its main character, Piper. I don’t disagree — the other women’s stories are objectively much more interesting, and there’s something disturbing about the fact... [Television]
The consensus is clear: Orange is the New Black spends too much time on its main character, Piper. I don’t disagree — the other women’s stories are objectively much more interesting, and there’s something disturbing about the fact... [Television]

June 12, 8PM

[Editor's note: As part of my more leisurely summer routine, I've hit on a way of achieving the true Star Trek completism that has so long eluded me by watching an original series (TOS) episode every day over lunch. I had already worked about halfway thro... [Star Trek]
[Editor's note: As part of my more leisurely summer routine, I've hit on a way of achieving the true Star Trek completism that has so long eluded me by watching an original series (TOS) episode every day over lunch. I had already worked about halfway thro... [Star Trek]

9AM

I’ve been making slow and steady progress on developing my course in Islamic thought for the fall. I’m starting to see that one of the benefits of Shimer’s text-centered approach is that it makes room for professors to be more explorato... [Islam] [teaching]
I’ve been making slow and steady progress on developing my course in Islamic thought for the fall. I’m starting to see that one of the benefits of Shimer’s text-centered approach is that it makes room for professors to be more explorato... [Islam] [teaching]

June 11, 5PM

Totalizing, teleologizing, triadic: standard readings of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit are monotone. In The Hegel Variations, Fredric Jameson re-encounters the rhythm and dynamism of the text, reprising the fluidity of the negative. Come tune your... [blog posts] [Chicago] [Hegel] [Interccect] [Jameson]
Totalizing, teleologizing, triadic: standard readings of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit are monotone. In The Hegel Variations, Fredric Jameson re-encounters the rhythm and dynamism of the text, reprising the fluidity of the negative. Come tune your... [blog posts] [Chicago] [Hegel] [Interccect] [Jameson]

June 9, 9AM

This is a guest post from Kate Tomas, DPhil candidate in Theology at Oxford University. It continues the discussion opened by Marika in her post from yesterday. – APS I read Marika’s post on the SST Gender, Feminism and Theology panel, and as the... [Academia] [feminism]
This is a guest post from Kate Tomas, DPhil candidate in Theology at Oxford University. It continues the discussion opened by Marika in her post from yesterday. – APS I read Marika’s post on the SST Gender, Feminism and Theology panel, and as the... [Academia] [feminism]

June 8, 1PM

  I was recently the respondent to a presentation by Dr Mathew Guest of the findings of his recent co-authored report (with Sonya Sharma and Robert Song) on gender and career progression in Theology and Religious Studies departments in the UK (Spoi... [blog posts] [Academia] [Christian Theology] [feminism] [Gender]
  I was recently the respondent to a presentation by Dr Mathew Guest of the findings of his recent co-authored report (with Sonya Sharma and Robert Song) on gender and career progression in Theology and Religious Studies departments in the UK (Spoi... [blog posts] [Academia] [Christian Theology] [feminism] [Gender]

June 7, 12 PM

As someone who has spent a long time living with a plant-based diet and wrestling with many of the philosophical and personal issues Adam alludes to in his post, “Why am I not a vegetarian?” I feel compelled to give a response particularly to the matt... [blog posts]
As someone who has spent a long time living with a plant-based diet and wrestling with many of the philosophical and personal issues Adam alludes to in his post, “Why am I not a vegetarian?” I feel compelled to give a response particularly to the matt... [blog posts]

5AM

A quick thanks to all my fellow AUFS administrators — most of whom I count at this point as close friends, which thus possibly compels them not to quibble or fuss on such matters — for indulging me a week to serialize another story. Everybody... [Serialized Short Story]
A quick thanks to all my fellow AUFS administrators — most of whom I count at this point as close friends, which thus possibly compels them not to quibble or fuss on such matters — for indulging me a week to serialize another story. Everybody... [Serialized Short Story]

June 6, 6PM

In the spirit of Dominic Fox’s comments, I thought I would post a few thoughts about the recent discussion between Anthony Paul Smith and Pete Wolfendale. One of the things that’s striking to me is the call, on the part of Accelerationists, for i... [blog posts]
In the spirit of Dominic Fox’s comments, I thought I would post a few thoughts about the recent discussion between Anthony Paul Smith and Pete Wolfendale. One of the things that’s striking to me is the call, on the part of Accelerationists, for i... [blog posts]

7AM

Then Ramsey said: May all that lust lacks be exposed by the light of its desire. And it was so. Ramsey made the two great desires: the greater desire to feed the flesh, and the lesser desire to sustain the soul. He made that these should never be satisfie... [Serialized Short Story]
Then Ramsey said: May all that lust lacks be exposed by the light of its desire. And it was so. Ramsey made the two great desires: the greater desire to feed the flesh, and the lesser desire to sustain the soul. He made that these should never be satisfie... [Serialized Short Story]

6AM

Michael O’Rourke is capitalizing on the presence of three Laruelle translators being in Europe around the same time and has organized a series of seminars. The information for that is below, but we do need your help to make this happen. Our budget,... [Laruelle]
Michael O’Rourke is capitalizing on the presence of three Laruelle translators being in Europe around the same time and has organized a series of seminars. The information for that is below, but we do need your help to make this happen. Our budget,... [Laruelle]

June 5, 7AM

His dad may be a deadbeat, possibly a scoundrel of the lowest order, but for Ramsey his absence was decisive. Only where there is a decision to be made is there hope for something creative, let alone a Creator. If his mother was any indication, the pure i... [Serialized Short Story]
His dad may be a deadbeat, possibly a scoundrel of the lowest order, but for Ramsey his absence was decisive. Only where there is a decision to be made is there hope for something creative, let alone a Creator. If his mother was any indication, the pure i... [Serialized Short Story]

June 4, 6PM

Some of you all may enjoy watching a discussion take place between Peter Wolfendale and myself, moderated by Deneb Kozikoski, for the Fixing the Future series of seminars and conferences. Universalism and Its Discontents will be a free one-hour lunch dis... [Academia]
Some of you all may enjoy watching a discussion take place between Peter Wolfendale and myself, moderated by Deneb Kozikoski, for the Fixing the Future series of seminars and conferences. Universalism and Its Discontents will be a free one-hour lunch dis... [Academia]

9AM

—’Atta boy, Davey. Just like I showed ya! —S’alright, Coop. Keep your head in the game! —Strand ‘m on second, Cooper! —Watch for the bunt! —Bring him home, Daniel. Look at that hole in right just waitin’ for you! Ramsey did not feel the ... [Serialized Short Story]
—’Atta boy, Davey. Just like I showed ya! —S’alright, Coop. Keep your head in the game! —Strand ‘m on second, Cooper! —Watch for the bunt! —Bring him home, Daniel. Look at that hole in right just waitin’ for you! Ramsey did not feel the ... [Serialized Short Story]

June 3, 3PM

There has been something disturbing about the current season of Louie, an undercurrent of anger and even violence that lends Louie’s depressive misadventures a more sinister edge. One episode has him permanently injuring a woman he’s slept wi... [feminism] [Television]
There has been something disturbing about the current season of Louie, an undercurrent of anger and even violence that lends Louie’s depressive misadventures a more sinister edge. One episode has him permanently injuring a woman he’s slept wi... [feminism] [Television]

8AM

To the God-damned If You Do, You may not realize or even appreciate this, but I like watching you. I’m doing so now, actually. I see you stopped reading for a second there—did a little double-take and glance over your shoulder? No, I’m just kidding... [Serialized Short Story]
To the God-damned If You Do, You may not realize or even appreciate this, but I like watching you. I’m doing so now, actually. I see you stopped reading for a second there—did a little double-take and glance over your shoulder? No, I’m just kidding... [Serialized Short Story]
For decades, Zizek has been expressing his disdain for teaching. Now, for whatever reason, people are choosing to get worked up about it on Twitter. What’s striking to me is not merely the fact that Zizek’s views on this matter were already ... [Academia] [teaching] [Zizek]
For decades, Zizek has been expressing his disdain for teaching. Now, for whatever reason, people are choosing to get worked up about it on Twitter. What’s striking to me is not merely the fact that Zizek’s views on this matter were already ... [Academia] [teaching] [Zizek]

June 2, 10AM

The injustice of it all, he felt, was that Mary-Ann had asked to see. Until recently, the subject of their bodies had only rarely come up between them. “Girl” and “boy” had indicated, for him anyway, abstract differences measurable mostly, if ... [Serialized Short Story]
The injustice of it all, he felt, was that Mary-Ann had asked to see. Until recently, the subject of their bodies had only rarely come up between them. “Girl” and “boy” had indicated, for him anyway, abstract differences measurable mostly, if ... [Serialized Short Story]

8AM

It’s a serious question. I seem like just the kind of person who would be vegetarian, demographically speaking. I’ve even gone through periods of my life where I was functionally vegetarian much of the time and could easily have made the tra... [boredom]
It’s a serious question. I seem like just the kind of person who would be vegetarian, demographically speaking. I’ve even gone through periods of my life where I was functionally vegetarian much of the time and could easily have made the tra... [boredom]

June 1, 10AM

The best hiding spots are the ones that keep you on your toes. Closets may be as cavernous as tombs or confining as coffins, depending on the architecture of your house or fears, but they must in either case remain dark. Always remember: unless it also pr... [Serialized Short Story]
The best hiding spots are the ones that keep you on your toes. Closets may be as cavernous as tombs or confining as coffins, depending on the architecture of your house or fears, but they must in either case remain dark. Always remember: unless it also pr... [Serialized Short Story]

7AM

I have officially arrived in San Francisco for the summer, as part of my ongoing effort to never stay home long enough to feel settled. I’ve mentioned previously that I was interested in doing a reading group, and I’ve been asked by the Bay A... [Book-Discussion Group]
I have officially arrived in San Francisco for the summer, as part of my ongoing effort to never stay home long enough to feel settled. I’ve mentioned previously that I was interested in doing a reading group, and I’ve been asked by the Bay A... [Book-Discussion Group]

May 29, 9AM

This is by Amaryah Shaye and was originally posted at Women In Theology. Amaryah will be contributing to our upcoming book event on Gil Anidjar’s Blood: A Critique of Christianity. In a recent Facebook discussion I got drawn into regarding Zize... [Zizek]
This is by Amaryah Shaye and was originally posted at Women In Theology. Amaryah will be contributing to our upcoming book event on Gil Anidjar’s Blood: A Critique of Christianity. In a recent Facebook discussion I got drawn into regarding Zize... [Zizek]

May 28, 5AM

It’s difficult to imagine the scale of the postwar abundance compared to previous eras. The US was not only able to completely tear out its old infrastructure and build new while also providing an unprecedented degree of material wealth and securit... [Mad Men]
It’s difficult to imagine the scale of the postwar abundance compared to previous eras. The US was not only able to completely tear out its old infrastructure and build new while also providing an unprecedented degree of material wealth and securit... [Mad Men]

4AM

Is this Left Forum panel a US propaganda psyop? I want to ask my comrades on the left to consider the possibility. After years of research, I have determined that conspiracy-based thinking is just the kind of obscurantism that thrives on the political r... [politics of the absurd] [You make a good point, but aren't you actually completely wrong?] [Zizek]
Is this Left Forum panel a US propaganda psyop? I want to ask my comrades on the left to consider the possibility. After years of research, I have determined that conspiracy-based thinking is just the kind of obscurantism that thrives on the political r... [politics of the absurd] [You make a good point, but aren't you actually completely wrong?] [Zizek]

May 27, 5PM

Wouldn’t it be nice to go back to childhood? Like pain from an old wound, we remember the joy of Christmas — the joy of getting stuff, without having to realize we were being bought off. We wish that it could be that way again. We wish our ... [Mad Men]
Wouldn’t it be nice to go back to childhood? Like pain from an old wound, we remember the joy of Christmas — the joy of getting stuff, without having to realize we were being bought off. We wish that it could be that way again. We wish our ... [Mad Men]

May 26, 4AM

Veronese, “Happy Union” from the Allegory of LoveThis weekend, I had the opportunity to go to the big Veronese exhibit at the National Gallery in London, the largest collection of Veronese’s paintings ever assembled outside Italy. For t... [art] [music]
Veronese, “Happy Union” from the Allegory of LoveThis weekend, I had the opportunity to go to the big Veronese exhibit at the National Gallery in London, the largest collection of Veronese’s paintings ever assembled outside Italy. For t... [art] [music]

May 25, 3PM

I’ve just returned from London, where I was participating in the awkwardly named “Actuality of the Theologico-Political” conference at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities. Overall, it was the best conference experience I’ve ... [Adventures in Conference Attendance]
I’ve just returned from London, where I was participating in the awkwardly named “Actuality of the Theologico-Political” conference at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities. Overall, it was the best conference experience I’ve ... [Adventures in Conference Attendance]

May 24, 6AM

In the essay “Utopia as Replication”, Jameson suggests we consider Walmart as an example of how “the most noxious phenomena can serve as the repository and hiding place for all kinds of unsuspected wish-fulfilments and utopian fantasies&... [film] [Jameson]
In the essay “Utopia as Replication”, Jameson suggests we consider Walmart as an example of how “the most noxious phenomena can serve as the repository and hiding place for all kinds of unsuspected wish-fulfilments and utopian fantasies&... [film] [Jameson]

May 23, 12 PM

I’m currently working through a bunch of Maimonides’ texts for a paper that I’m writing and have been reminded how brilliant he is when taking shots at his opponents. In “Helek: Sanhedrin, Chapter Ten” he lists three pos... [Maimonides] [The lighter side of AUFS]
I’m currently working through a bunch of Maimonides’ texts for a paper that I’m writing and have been reminded how brilliant he is when taking shots at his opponents. In “Helek: Sanhedrin, Chapter Ten” he lists three pos... [Maimonides] [The lighter side of AUFS]

7AM

After having some technological difficulty the Dallastown Theological Summit welcomed Carl Raschke to discuss the theme of the Eucharist last weekend, via Facetime. The summit was not well attended–unintentionally scheduled against the local UCC sem... ["the church"]
After having some technological difficulty the Dallastown Theological Summit welcomed Carl Raschke to discuss the theme of the Eucharist last weekend, via Facetime. The summit was not well attended–unintentionally scheduled against the local UCC sem... ["the church"]

May 21, 8PM

Several of us at are involved in Mike Grimshaw’s new edited volume, The Counter-Narratives of Radical Theology and Popular Music: Songs of Fear and Trembling, from Palgrave Macmillan’s Radical Theologies series.  Clayton Crockett has an essay... [blog posts]
Several of us at are involved in Mike Grimshaw’s new edited volume, The Counter-Narratives of Radical Theology and Popular Music: Songs of Fear and Trembling, from Palgrave Macmillan’s Radical Theologies series.  Clayton Crockett has an essay... [Books] [death of God] [music]

6AM

As I work on my Islam course for the fall, it occurs to me that I’ll likely have more material than I can use in one course. Hence, I’m pondering the idea of proposing another Islam-related elective for the spring semester as well, which would... [Islam] [Saint Paul] [teaching]
As I work on my Islam course for the fall, it occurs to me that I’ll likely have more material than I can use in one course. Hence, I’m pondering the idea of proposing another Islam-related elective for the spring semester as well, which would... [Islam] [Saint Paul] [teaching]

5AM

Over the last year, The Girlfriend and I invested a truly appalling amount of time in a full viewing of all the contemporary Star Trek series (Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise). Neither of us regard the JJ Abrams films as canon, ... [Mad Men] [The lighter side of AUFS]
Over the last year, The Girlfriend and I invested a truly appalling amount of time in a full viewing of all the contemporary Star Trek series (Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise). Neither of us regard the JJ Abrams films as canon, ... [Mad Men] [The lighter side of AUFS]

May 20, 5AM

In my previous post, I claimed that “the humanities are good for contextualizing and interpreting texts and other text-like human artifacts, particularly artifacts that are regarded as especially authoritative or masterful and that belong to an iden... [Academia] [Biblical Studies]
In my previous post, I claimed that “the humanities are good for contextualizing and interpreting texts and other text-like human artifacts, particularly artifacts that are regarded as especially authoritative or masterful and that belong to an iden... [Academia] [Biblical Studies]

4AM

I am, as usual, late to the accelerationist party (unlike Dan Barber and Josh Ramey, to whom I am clearly indebted here). Reading the Accelerationist Manifesto properly for the first time recently, I was struck by something. ‘Even Lenin’, we are told,... [blog posts]
I am, as usual, late to the accelerationist party (unlike Dan Barber and Josh Ramey, to whom I am clearly indebted here). Reading the Accelerationist Manifesto properly for the first time recently, I was struck by something. ‘Even Lenin’, we are told,... [blog posts] [Communism] [Marxism] [Occupy Wall Street] [politics]

May 18, 7PM

Simply because the humanities are often critical in their approach does not mean that they lead people to contest existing political arrangements. Many if not most of the greatest humanistic scholars of all time were enthusiastic advocates — precis... [Academia]
Simply because the humanities are often critical in their approach does not mean that they lead people to contest existing political arrangements. Many if not most of the greatest humanistic scholars of all time were enthusiastic advocates — precis... [Academia]

May 17, 11PM

Friend of the blog and Villanova PhD student Mark Westmoreland is looking to put together a panel for a UPenn conference. Please see the details below, including his contact information. The Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs 2014 Conferenc... [blog posts]
Friend of the blog and Villanova PhD student Mark Westmoreland is looking to put together a panel for a UPenn conference. Please see the details below, including his contact information. The Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs 2014 Conferenc... [blog posts]

May 16, 10AM

Some pretty momentous events occurred this week in the lives of one of editors, Beatrice Marovich, and an multiple book event participant, Marika Rose. They both successfully defend their dissertations! In lieu of gifts, please direct job offers their way... [blog posts]
Some pretty momentous events occurred this week in the lives of one of editors, Beatrice Marovich, and for one of our book event participants, Marika Rose. They both successfully defended their dissertations! In lieu of gifts, please direct job offers the... [blog posts]

May 15, 5AM

Due to my impending travel, I’m going through a weird period where I have simultaneously a lot of downtime and no time at all. Hence it seems like a good time to “pick off” relatively small tasks. One such task is the revision of a tal... [Writing]
Due to my impending travel, I’m going through a weird period where I have simultaneously a lot of downtime and no time at all. Hence it seems like a good time to “pick off” relatively small tasks. One such task is the revision of a tal... [Writing]

4AM

Leon Niemoczynski and Stephanie Theodorou inform me that there will be a Philadelphia Summer School in Continental Philosophy this year that should be right up our readers’ alley. It’s led by John Caputo, on the topic of “Continental Ph... [Conference announcement]
Leon Niemoczynski and Stephanie Theodorou inform me that there will be a Philadelphia Summer School in Continental Philosophy this year that should be right up our readers’ alley. It’s led by John Caputo, on the topic of “Continental Ph... [Conference announcement]

May 14, 10AM

You know, this one. I’ve never faced nearly the level of complaining that some do, perhaps because I’m an old softy and also perhaps because I’m a white dude with a beard. Maybe a combination of the two — one year I should shave ... [Academia] [teaching] [the last analysis]
You know, this one. I’ve never faced nearly the level of complaining that some do, perhaps because I’m an old softy and also perhaps because I’m a white dude with a beard. Maybe a combination of the two — one year I should shave ... [Academia] [teaching] [the last analysis]

May 12, 1PM

I looked in the mirror and said to myself, ‘Have you had enough? Are you dead yet?’ (Alexi Laiho, lead singer of Children of Bodom) I recently came across this Good Friday sermon by Kim Fabricius, over at Faith and Theology. I felt a shudder of recogn... [blog posts] [Christian activism] [death of God] [theology] [Christian Theology]
I looked in the mirror and said to myself, ‘Have you had enough? Are you dead yet?’ (Alexi Laiho, lead singer of Children of Bodom) I recently came across this Good Friday sermon by Kim Fabricius, over at Faith and Theology. I felt a shudder of recogn... [blog posts] [Christian activism] [death of God] [theology] [Christian Theology]

5AM

As I mentioned a while back, I’m going to be spending the summer in San Francisco. I arrive at the end of the month, and in the meantime, I’ll be very busy with faculty meetings, the Birkbeck conference, and preparing our apartment for the su... [boredom]
As I mentioned a while back, I’m going to be spending the summer in San Francisco. I arrive at the end of the month, and in the meantime, I’ll be very busy with faculty meetings, the Birkbeck conference, and preparing our apartment for the su... [boredom]

May 8, 7AM

I’ve been talking about starting a podcast for awhile now and finally launched it yesterday. You can follow the Tumblr page or subscribe to the RSS feed. For those who enjoy listening to my lectures that I sometimes post here, I’ll be postin... [My Name Is My Name podcast]
I’ve been talking about starting a podcast for awhile now and finally launched it yesterday. You can follow the Tumblr page or subscribe to the RSS feed. For those who enjoy listening to my lectures that I sometimes post here, I’ll be postin... [My Name Is My Name podcast]

6AM

My school bag always contains the following items: Two pens A Moleskine notebook A folder which itself contains the following: Instructions for signing onto the wi-fi at the University of Chicago library A periodic table Syllabi for current classes (if ... [The lighter side of AUFS]
My school bag always contains the following items: Two pens A Moleskine notebook A folder which itself contains the following: Instructions for signing onto the wi-fi at the University of Chicago library A periodic table Syllabi for current classes (if ... [The lighter side of AUFS]

May 7, 5AM

It’s an iron-clad rule: whenever someone declares himself [sic] a “contrarian,” you can know with absolute certainty that everything that comes out of his mouth will be a well-worn cliché. Contrarians never say that maybe we should tot... [politics of the absurd]
It’s an iron-clad rule: whenever someone declares himself [sic] a “contrarian,” you can know with absolute certainty that everything that comes out of his mouth will be a well-worn cliché. Contrarians never say that maybe we should tot... [politics of the absurd]

May 6, 12 PM

Just got word of the final details of this from Liam Heneghan. Very excited about this and if you’re in Chicago please get in touch with me.  We are proud to welcome Anthony Paul Smith back to DePaul to celebrate the publication of his book: A Non... [blog posts]
Just got word of the final details of this from Liam Heneghan. Very excited about this and if you’re in Chicago please get in touch with me. We are proud to welcome Anthony Paul Smith back to DePaul to celebrate the publication of his book: A Non-P... [blog posts]
In Adam’s post from earlier today, he creating the fun, new category of the “left-curious” and identified those who loudly decry leftist autocannibalism as one warning sign for this particular ailment. My question is: what other warni... [politics of the absurd]

11AM

Marty Center Senior Fellow Symposium by Betty M. Bayer Thursday, May 15, 4:00pm Swift Hall Common Room Betty M. Bayer will deliver her Martin Marty Center for the Advanced Study of Religion Senior Fellows Symposium: “Endings Without End: When Prophe... [blog posts]

4AM

This morning, Anthony retweeted a quote from Justine Tunney, an Accelerationist who recently made some remarks to the effect that the humane genome project had revealed certain genetic inferiorities in those of African descent. The quote was one that may... [politics of the absurd]

May 5, 12 PM

Jump on board with the latest academic trend or don’t. Either way, you’ll regret it. Write an interdisciplinary dissertation or don’t. Either way, you’ll regret it. Teach your heart out in adjunct jobs or just teach a couple classe... [blog posts]

7AM

Later this Summer, we will be hosting the next AUFS book event on Gil Anidjar’s Blood: A Critique of Christianity. We have been looking forward to this book and have put together an exciting group of contributors, most of whom are not regular AUF... [Blood A Critique of Christianity Book Event] [Books] [Gil Anidjar]

May 4, 5AM

It’s only this year that I’m starting to consciously acknowledge how difficult this time of year is for me. Every year, without fail, I go through a major depression during the month of May (though the worst was actually during what was laugh... [Abelard] [boredom]

May 2, 1PM

Longtime reader of the blog Liam O’Donnell is launching a new podcast where he and Joshua Alvarez discuss recent films from the perspective of two kids deeply entrenched in the hardcore punk scene here in Philadelphia. It’s called CINEPUNX an... [blog posts]

May 1, 10AM

A candid photo, taken by Anthony many years ago when he, his partner, his cats, his ferrets, his guinea pigs, and I all shared an apartment.Filed under: animals, Communism, Lenin [Animals] [Communism] [Lenin]

9AM

[Re-posting this old piece of mine -- conjuring days of old in the spirit of May Day.] Dear ________, You misunderstand me, so let me be clear: I do not want the City to “support” the Occupy movement or its Commune. Indeed, though I risk misun... [politics] [Rhetoric] [Writing]

8AM

I welcome any responses, anecdotal or data-driven, faculty or student experiences. My question is whether college writing centers demonstrably contribute to students’ mastery of writing. I can see how extra tutoring would help, and the cynical sid... [Academia]

April 30, 11AM

Readers of this blog may be interested in an intensive course being organised and delivered by Rosi Braidotti, among others. The course description states: ‘The intensive course “Critical Theory Beyond Negativity: the Ethics, Politics and Aestheti... [blog posts]

7AM

One of the major discoveries I have had in my personal analysis has been the importance of history on my religious and psychological development. Growing up in a conservative Evangelical family in the South left me in an historical black hole. Like many E... [blog posts] [religion]

4AM

It is something of a commonplace in Heidegger interpretation that the famous example of the broken hammer provides us access to the present-at-hand (as opposed to ready-at-hand) and hence to the scientific stance toward things. When my class read the rel... [Heidegger] [teaching]

April 29, 6AM

Is it possible to tell a compelling love story any longer? Romantic love is of course fascinating to the couple involved, but from the outside it seems difficult to portray without recourse to stale clichés and contrived conflicts — all the more s... [neoliberalism] [popular culture]

April 25, 8AM

Recently, I started a White House Petition to “abolish the capitalist mode of production.” My intention was mostly sarcastic, as I did not expect the petition to reach even the threshold to get an official response, much less to be acted upon... [Communism]

April 24, 4AM

Hitchhiking used to be commonplace. Now we think of it as dangerous, but studies have shown that one was no more likely to be a victim of a crime while hitchhiking than in any other situation. And it makes sense — when you do a favor for someone, ... [neoliberalism]

April 22, 4AM

[Obligatory disavowal of any implicit claim to be saying something original about Milton.] In the wake of the #CancelColbert saga, I’ve been thinking a lot about the attempt to “subvert from within” — not just Colbert’s metho... [Milton] [popular culture]

3AM

Readers might be interested in a series of posts being written by David Driedger, who is of course a long-time participant at AUFS. Titled “Excessive Love,” they address the intersection between immanence and Hadewijch. From my understanding, ... [Hadewijch] [immanence]

April 20, 6PM

An index to the posts of our recent book event: Introduction to A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature: Ecologies of Thought Book Event by Anthony Paul Smith What sort of ecologist is Anthony Paul Smith? by Liam Heneghan On Inviting the Ruffian In and Not ... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]

8AM

“Any real change implies the breakup of the world as one has always known it, the loss of all that gave one an identity, the end of safety.” – James Baldwin, “Faulkner and Desegregation” At the end of this book event I wanted... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]
“Any real change implies the breakup of the world as one has always known it, the loss of all that gave one an identity, the end of safety.” – James Baldwin, “Faulkner and Desegregation” At the end of this book event I wanted... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]

April 18, 11PM

Allow me, in the stumbling attempt to respond to Joshua’s difficult provocation to just for a moment put on my best Rust Cohle mask. To stay outside of Carcosa for just a moment, even though the World is already Carcosa, I want to push it off for a ... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]
Allow me, in the stumbling attempt to respond to Joshua’s difficult provocation to just for a moment put on my best Rust Cohle mask. To stay outside of Carcosa for just a moment, even though the World is already Carcosa, I want to push it off for a ... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]

11AM

The UCC Theological Summit (“Dallastown II”) will convene on Friday, May 16, 2014 at 8:30 AM at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, 205 W. Main St., Dallastown, PA.  The event will feature guest facilitation from Dr. Victor Taylor of Y... [blog posts]
The UCC Theological Summit (“Dallastown II”) will convene on Friday, May 16, 2014 at 8:30 AM at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, 205 W. Main St., Dallastown, PA.  The event will feature guest facilitation from Dr. Victor Taylor of Y... [blog posts]

8AM

Adam’s post brings to the fore a question I was asked repeatedly when I would present papers based off my research or when I would go in for the doctoral annual review process. More than once I was surprised to find a theologian ask, “but isn&... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]
Adam’s post brings to the fore a question I was asked repeatedly when I would present papers based off my research or when I would go in for the doctoral annual review process. More than once I was surprised to find a theologian ask, “but isn&... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]

April 17, 10AM

Alex’s focus on the question of the secular that runs throughout Ecologies of Thought brings out a question of the relationship between naturalism and secularism. To get at that I want to spend a little time engaging with the work of Christian criti... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]
Alex’s focus on the question of the secular that runs throughout Ecologies of Thought brings out a question of the relationship between naturalism and secularism. To get at that I want to spend a little time engaging with the work of Christian criti... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]

April 16, 6PM

I wrote a few weeks ago about the ideological function of free will: we don’t blame people because they have free will, we say they have free will so we can blame them. In the theological realm, the goal of granting us free will isn’t to enhance... [ecology] [Economics] [Political Theology] [politics of the absurd]
I wrote a few weeks ago about the ideological function of free will: we don’t blame people because they have free will, we say they have free will so we can blame them. In the theological realm, the goal of granting us free will isn’t to enhance... [ecology] [Economics] [Political Theology] [politics of the absurd]

11AM

Is the Exciting New Grad School an inherently anti-labor institution? First, as Adam has already pointed out, perhaps one reason for the apparent excitement for the Global Center for Advanced Studies is the hunger for an alternative to the increasingly ne... [Academia] [politics of the absurd]
Is the Exciting New Grad School an inherently anti-labor institution? First, as Adam has already pointed out, perhaps one reason for the apparent excitement for the Global Center for Advanced Studies is the hunger for an alternative to the increasingly ne... [Academia] [politics of the absurd]

April 15, 4PM

On the 15th anniversary of Giorgio Agamben’s Northwestern lectures the Paul of Tarsus Interdisciplinary Working Group presents with support from the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, the Program in Critical Theory, and the German department. F... [Agamben] [Conference announcement] [Paul Reading Group events]
On the 15th anniversary of Giorgio Agamben’s Northwestern lectures the Paul of Tarsus Interdisciplinary Working Group presents with support from the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, the Program in Critical Theory, and the German department. F... [Agamben] [Conference announcement] [Paul Reading Group events]

7AM

[This post had to be re-posted for formatting reasons. Readers interested in more of Joshua's work on economics and philosophy should check out his blog Absolute Economics, where this post is also posted. -eds] How much sense does it make to think of nat... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event] [blog posts]
[This post had to be re-posted for formatting reasons. Readers interested in more of Joshua's work on economics and philosophy should check out his blog Absolute Economics, where this post is also posted. -eds] How much sense does it make to think of nat... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event] [blog posts]

April 14, 1PM

Originally posted on Absolute Economics: How much sense does it make to think of nature as a gigantic system of exchanges?   Why does it seem so intuitive, so obvious, that what goes on in ecosystems can be mapped through economic language, through the ... [blog posts]

11AM

It is interesting, though it says something in part about the abstract nature of Ecologies of Thought, that one could not really craft a bestiary of my book. I really am less concerned with the relationship of what ecology normally studies, and more inte... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]
It is interesting, though it says something in part about the abstract nature of Ecologies of Thought, that one could not really craft a bestiary of my book. I really am less concerned with the relationship of what ecology normally studies, and more inte... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]

April 13, 8PM

As I continue to think through my responses to the excellent latest posts on A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature, I thought that I should point readers to two new journal ventures. The first is a reviews journal that comes out of the Society for Contempo... [Islam] [Laruelle]

April 12, 10AM

Thanks, biblioklept.Filed under: film [film]

April 11, 10PM

A unified theory — though not a theory of everything. Not philosophy of, with all its implications of dominance and omnicompetence (a philosophy of religion, of law, of fashion are all equally plausible), nor even simply philosophy and — but ... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event] [Badiou] [Heidegger] [Laruelle] [Political Theology] [Schmitt]

April 10, 1PM

Rather than offering an overall perspective on A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature in this post, I wanted to highlight several moments that I found particularly insightful to think and wrestle with. 1. The most viscerally powerful moment for me in the bo... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event] [immanence] [non-philosophy] [secularism]

April 9, 6PM

In our society there are individuals, found often amongst black youth, who are told that their dissatisfaction with the World is unreasonable and expressive of their defiance. Is it unsurprising that a group of people subjected to the long lingering effec... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]
The book’s first chapters triangulate philosophy, theology, ecology; its later chapters undo this triangulation; they supplement and radicalize. The book self-consciously creates the space for its reading, not between or beyond philosophy, theology, eco... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]
The book’s first chapters triangulate philosophy, theology, ecology; its later chapters undo this triangulation; they supplement and radicalize. The book self-consciously creates the space for its reading, not between or beyond philosophy, theology, eco... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]

8AM

I’m one of a number of people asked to write 1000 words on ‘the nature and future of liberal theology’ for an upcoming issue of the journal Modern Believing. I’ve found this really difficult, partly because of the demands of brevit... [blog posts] [theology]
I’m one of a number of people asked to write 1000 words on ‘the nature and future of liberal theology’ for an upcoming issue of the journal Modern Believing. I’ve found this really difficult, partly because of the demands of brevit... [theology]

6AM

When Scu says that he doesn’t know anything about Laruelle or theology, I want to say, with him, “but here you are!” My hope and my fear is that this book doesn’t really fit comfortably into any disciplinary mold so one shouldnR... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]
When Scu says that he doesn’t know anything about Laruelle or theology, I want to say, with him, “but here you are!” My hope and my fear is that this book doesn’t really fit comfortably into any disciplinary mold so one shouldnR... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]

April 5, 5AM

As I worked through God of the Oppressed with my students this week, a disturbing thought occurred to me: I began to detect a homology between Cone’s project (at least as represented in this particular text) and that of Radical Orthodoxy. Part of t... [Cone] [Milbank]
As I worked through God of the Oppressed with my students this week, a disturbing thought occurred to me: I began to detect a homology between Cone’s project (at least as represented in this particular text) and that of Radical Orthodoxy. Part of t... [Cone] [Milbank]

April 4, 11PM

Given a book such as this, which does so much so well, to approach a response by way of summation or comprehension is to risk binding oneself to cliché or dilution. Better, perhaps, to just pick up one of the singular insights with which the book is litt... [blog posts] [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]
Given a book such as this, which does so much so well, to approach a response by way of summation or comprehension is to risk binding oneself to cliché or dilution. Better, perhaps, to just pick up one of the singular insights with which the book is litt... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]

April 3, 6PM

Marika’s wonderfully playful engagement with Ecologies of Thought made my day in the midst of meetings from 9am-7pm and the slow creep of a head cold. I’ve been struggling since then to find an adequate way to respond and worry that despite h... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]
Marika’s wonderfully playful engagement with Ecologies of Thought made my day in the midst of meetings from 9am-7pm and the slow creep of a head cold. I’ve been struggling since then to find an adequate way to respond and worry that despite h... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]

April 2, 9AM

The author of this post is James Stanescu What’s in a prefix? The non- of non-philosophy, as Anthony frequently reminds us, is the same as the non- of non-Euclidean geometry or the non- of non-standard physics. Indeed, Laruelle, it seems, has taken to r... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]
The author of this post is James Stanescu What’s in a prefix? The non- of non-philosophy, as Anthony frequently reminds us, is the same as the non- of non-Euclidean geometry or the non- of non-standard physics. Indeed, Laruelle, it seems, has taken to r... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]

April 1, 11AM

When I learned that Helen Tartar, editor of Fordham University Press, had died in a tragic car accident, the first thing I thought of was the fact that my school’s (Drew University) annual Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquium was only a matter of we... [Academia] [feminism]
When I learned that Helen Tartar, editor of Fordham University Press, had died in a tragic car accident, the first thing I thought of was the fact that my school’s (Drew University) annual Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquium was only a matter of we... [Academia] [feminism]

9AM

Katerina’s research is fantastic for the way it brings Marxist analysis, gender theory, and Laruelle’s non-philosophy together. One of the things that brings us together in our thinking is the focus on pain or suffering as the condition for ... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]
Katerina’s research is fantastic for the way it brings Marxist analysis, gender theory, and Laruelle’s non-philosophy together. One of the things that brings us together in our thinking is the focus on pain or suffering as the condition for ... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]

March 31, 10AM

As surprising as it may seem to those of us who consider ourselves, despite it all, theologians, Anthony Paul Smith comes in peace. ‘Ultimately’, he writes, ‘this non-philosophical and non-theological practice, with all its constitutive parts, decla... [Christian Theology] [ecology] [non-theology] [prodigal son]
As surprising as it may seem to those of us who consider ourselves, despite it all, theologians, Anthony Paul Smith comes in peace. ‘Ultimately’, he writes, ‘this non-philosophical and non-theological practice, with all its constitutive parts, decla... [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event] [Christian Theology] [ecology] [non-theology] [prodigal son]

March 29, 12 PM

The author of this post is Katerina Kolozova. The human aspect of nature exists only for social man; for only then does nature exist for him as a bond with man – as his existence for the other and the other’s existence for him – and as the lif... [blog posts] [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]

March 27, 11PM

What a wonderful gift Liam has given me here in his response. In his own delightfully peripatetic prose he summarizes the main aims of the volume; that is, to think nature in a manner where that act of thinking explicitly unfolds its own recursive natural... [blog posts]

11AM

The author of this post is Liam Heneghan In the spirit of Schumann who when asked to comment on the meaning of a composition he had just played, simply played it again, it is tempting to suggest to those who want to know what’s going on in Anthony Paul ... [blog posts] [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]

7AM

Common sense tells us that we’re morally accountable because we have free will. In reality, the opposite is the case — a free will is attributed to us so that we can be viewed as morally accountable. Put more briefly: we don’t blame pe... [Agamben] [Aquinas] [Christian Theology] [neoliberalism] [Nietzsche]

March 25, 12 PM

Owing to an unforeseen event, Beatrice is regrettably unable to post an introductory post for the book event on A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature: Ecologies of Thought. I hope it does not seem uncouth for me to post in her stead and moreover to do so ... [blog posts]

9AM

Let’s say, just in theory, that a friend of mine were to be assigned to teach an introductory course on Islamic thought at a college with a discussion-centric pedagogy based on primary texts. Let’s say further that this friend of mine wants t... [Islam] [teaching]

6AM

This past weekend was my aforementioned seminar on Agamben at the American Comparative Literature Association, at which I delivered this paper (PDF). It was an excellent panel all around — all the papers were substantive, and the discussion was eas... [Adventures in Conference Attendance] [Agamben]

March 23, 8AM

Here is my paper (PDF) for the ACLA session on Agamben that Virgil Brower and I organized. It was the final paper of the seminar and provided an oblique “preview” of the final Homo Sacer volume, The Use of Bodies.Filed under: Agamben, lecture... [Agamben] [Lectures]

March 18, 7AM

We haven’t had enough conference announcements lately, so I thought I’d let you know of the forthcoming event at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities in London entitled “The Actuality of the Theologico-Political.” I will be ... [Conference announcement]
In The Nomos of the Earth, Schmitt argues that every legal order is founded in a kind of topology that divides the earth into regions and determines the law’s applicability to those regions. His book traces the metamorphosis of this fundamental app... [Agamben] [Schmitt]

5AM

E.L. Kornegay, Jr., a fellow CTS alum, has a new book out with Palgrave, entitled A Queering of Black Theology: James Baldwin’s Blues Project and Gospel Prose. It has been recommended by the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, and a sample chapt... [Black theology] [queer theology]

March 17, 11AM

  Later this month, we’ll be hosting a new book event here at AUFS on Anthony Paul Smith’s A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature: Ecologies of Thought (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). I’m guessing that most readers of the blog already have ... [blog posts] [A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature Book Event]

March 16, 8PM

Thanks, all who read, retweeted & linked my serialized short story last week. For the sake of internet posterity & ease of reading, I’ve added a link at the bottom of each page to the next part. Use them as you will. I realize now I never ac... [Serialized Short Story]

3AM

The academic year passed without noticeable incident or breach of routine. Ramsey took lunch on his perch above the city, reported for work, and attended class. His grades remained average, with neither applause nor concern, and preaching baroque, frowned... [Serialized Short Story]

March 15, 10PM

Readers of the blog may be interested in a philosophy symposium this summer that I have a hand in organizing. I’ve pasted the full information below the fold, but please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions. Pittsburgh Summer Symposiu... [Badiou] [CFP] [Lacan]

11AM

St. Patrick’s Day plays a crucial role in the American holiday calendar, bridging the gap between the post-Christmas “TV event” season (Superbowl, award shows, etc.) and the summertime “grilled meat” season. More importantly... [boredom]

7AM

I’ll be in New York at the end of April presenting at Division 39′s annual spring conference. This year the topic of the conference is Conflict and the dates are April 23-27. I’ll be chairing a panel on April 25th entitled: Childhood Sex... [Conference announcement] [Psychoanalysis]

6AM

A couple days ago, I posted a confused series of tweets on the revelation of Heidegger’s anti-Semitism in the recently published “black notebooks.” It was exceptionally unwise to attempt to address this issue in that format, and so I th... [Heidegger] [politics]

3AM

● —But were they made right, Homer, the words? she asked, sounding at least unperturbed by his late-night call. —To be honest, I’m not even sure what he means by that, Mary-Ann.* —Are you so sure about that? Seems you know very well. —I ch... [Serialized Short Story]

March 14, 7PM

Some of you may know that I recently took a pilgrimage to the Holy Land through the generosity of the charitable work of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of the United States.  Hermit Commandery of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, of which I am a member, no... [blog posts]

10AM

As I grow more accustomed to Shimer’s discussion-centered pedagogy, I am increasingly coming to understand that a big part of my job is not simply to encourage students to speak in class, correcting them or encouraging them as appropriate, keeping t... [Shimer College] [teaching]

2AM

Freed from the conforming influence of a grade, Ramsey’s fancies also took flight. Reading aloud to Stein from his collection of sermons, none of this century and few of the one past, most seen likely by more mites than humans, Ramsey found a kinshi... [Serialized Short Story]

March 13, 1PM

Next week, Virgil Brower and I will be presiding over an ACLA seminar entitled “Agamben, Capital, and the Homo Sacer Series: Economy, Poverty, People, Work.” The full conference schedule is available for download here. Our seminar’s li... [Agamben] [Conference announcement]

11AM

Readers in the Philadelphia area will not doubt be interested in this year’s Villanova Philosophy Conference (sponsored by PGSU) on March 21st and 22nd. The theme is Feminism: Body, Image, Power with keynotes from Dr. Lisa Guenther (Vanderbilt) an... [Conference announcement]

4AM

Whatever you think of their awesome “faculty” (i.e., the roster of people who said they’d hypothetically be open to doing guest lectures), it appears that the intellectual habits that the Global Center for Advanced Studies is inculcating... [Academia] [politics of the absurd]

2AM

From his opening course to his final degree, Ramsey remained a mediocre student. Which made him, nevertheless, slightly above average nearly by default, given the seminary’s faith-based approach to admission standards. Quick with a lexicon, his Hebrew h... [Serialized Short Story]

March 12, 10AM

Our New York readers may be interested in the conference this Friday and Saturday at The New School. I will be giving a keynote on Friday evening entitled: ‘Will Nothing Ever Be with Nothing Ever Again?’: The Theological Construction and Its N... [Academia] [Conference announcement]

3AM

—Eripitur persona, manet res, Ramsey, you recall? We take pains to heap up things useful in our life and get our death in the purchase. —”The Rule and Exercises of Dying”? —Not simply dying, my boy. The Right Reverend Jeremy Taylor doesn... [Serialized Short Story]

March 11, 11AM

The Global Center for Advanced Studies is offering a one-credit course on contemporary philosophy of religion. It will consist of four class sessions team-taught by John Caputo, Clayton Crockett, and Creston Davis, with special guest lectures by Thomas A... [Academia] [neoliberalism] [politics of the absurd]

4AM

Kim Jeong Un did remarkably well in his recent election to a seat in North Korea’s supreme people’s assembly. The Western media is being suitably sarcastic about the 100% turnout, of whom 100% voted for the young Kim, but for me it highlights... [Agamben] [Communism]

3AM

—Pay attention, boy. A cock. They mean to turn us into a cock! Professor Max Stein’s exclamations were not out of character. For forty-eight years from his second-floor office of Old Main he held court — no matter that the final two decades, as ... [Serialized Short Story]

March 10, 3AM

The septic smells of summer at Cincinnati Seminary: where cirrus smoke puffed from the water treatment plant mingled with the indigestive burps of the Victorian-era plumbing: whose hillside-high perch above the city did not escape the humidity that hung l... [prodigal son] [Serialized Short Story]

March 9, 10AM

What follows is a first pass attempt to bring together the themes of sovereignty I have been exploring alongside Stephen Keating this semester with contemporary hip hop. What could be an anonymous homonymy that moves towards the name itself? A herald fro... [Agamben] [Justice] [love] [politics]

March 8, 7AM

Anthony noted on Twitter this morning that our humble blog and Women in Theology both feature in an article by occasional commenter Robert Saler on discussions of philosophy and theology online. The last time our name appeared in print (in a column in Ch... [blog posts]

6AM

Some guys came up with a web service called Twitter that would facilitate sending group text messages. They imagined people would use it to help coordinate in-person socializing — for instance, you could send a message to your group of friends sayi... [the last analysis]

March 7, 4AM

The United States Constitution specifies that no state can be involuntarily deprived of equal representation in the Senate, which I take to mean that any state that refused to ratify a constitutional amendment establishing proportional Senate representati... [politics of the absurd]

March 6, 5AM

The other day, Stephen Keating asked me what attracted me to Agamben initially, and I had to confess that at first it was simply a desire to see what the big deal was about Homo Sacer. I found the book pretty baffling, and out of stubbornness (and with s... [Agamben] [Badiou] [Christian Theology] [Zizek]

March 4, 12 PM

I served on a steering committee for a programming unit of the American Academy of Religion for several years, and I have helped plan a seminar for the American Comparative Literature Association national conference this year. I have also proposed paper ... [Academia]

7AM

This week in my humanities course, we’re following up the music unit with a unit on visual art woven together with Heidegger’s Origin of the Work of Art. It’s spread over three days, and I pre-distributed some scans of paintings to them... [aesthetics] [Cézanne] [Heidegger] [van Gogh]

March 3, 12 PM

As far as I understand it, the price of the physical book is a trivial portion of the cost to produce a book. The difference in price between hardcover and paperback may have misled us in this regard, but what you’re paying for with a hardcover is ... [Books] [the last analysis]

4AM

Modern critics of Christianity have repeatedly drawn attention to the recurring trope of the blessed watching the damned being tortured in hell. It appears most forcefully in the famous passage from Tertullian’s De spectaculis that was quoted by bo... [apocalyptic] [augustine]

March 2, 5AM

Heroes of the Holocaust were people just like you.In Remnants of Auschwitz, Agamben writes of a soccer match between the SS and the Jewish Sonderkommando (pg. 26): This match might strike someone as a brief pause of humanity in the middle of an infinite h... [Agamben]

March 1, 5AM

In my Humanities capstone class, we just finished a unit on music, interweaving key modern classical pieces — Wagner’s “Prelude to Tristan und Isolde,” Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of the Faun, Schoenberg’s Pierro... [Hebrew Scripture] [music] [Stravinsky]

February 27, 9PM

My first book of sermons, Too Good to Be True, is now published by Christian Alternative and is available through Amazon and good bookstores like Hearts & Minds Books.  The book features a foreword by Peter Rollins and an afterword by Thomas Altizer,... [blog posts] [Altizer] [Books] [death of God] [Girard] [publications] [Sermons] [Shameless Promotion]

2PM

I recently had the misfortune to come across this article in the journal First Things. Written by Michael Hannon, it is entitled ‘Against Heterosexuality’ and subtitled ‘The Idea of Sexual Orientation is Artificial and Inhibits Christian Witness’.... [blog posts]

12 PM

In recent years, it’s emerged as the leading academic cliche, the ultimate objection. Asked quizzically or impatiently, good-heartedly or dismissively, in any case it does not invite an answer. “Yes, but what would that look like?” &#... [Academia]

5AM

It is possible to keep up with research and writing in a teaching-heavy position, even in a position that makes heavy demands on faculty to participate in the administration of the school. The only problem is that it is extremely exhausting and stressful... [Academia]

February 26, 12 PM

Augustine is a difficult writer, and City of God is one of his most difficult works. The problem, it seems to me, is not that of following his arguments on a line-by-line level, or not primarily. Rather, the problem is figuring out why he is even talkin... [augustine]

February 23, 7AM

[The following is a segment from a draft introduction for Creepiness, which did not seem to fit very well with the rest of the argument.] Anyone who undertakes to define creepiness faces seemingly insuperable obstacles. How can we define a concept that ca... [aesthetics] [Creepiness (the book)]

February 20, 7AM

Next Thursday, February 27, I will be giving a talk at Columbia College Chicago’s Cultural Studies Colloquium entitled “Creepiness and Culture.” The talk is at 4pm at the Columbia campus’ 624 South Michigan Avenue building, room 6... [Creepiness (the book)] [Lectures]

February 19, 6AM

In class this semester I volunteered to give a presentation summarizing some key points from Derrida’s The Gift of Death for a group that had not read the book. It was fun to engage in a careful reading of this text after looking at interpretation... [derrida]

February 18, 4PM

The last night before I graduated from Olivet Nazarene University, I lay awake in bed. Looking back, I can now see that I got a lot out of my education there, but at that moment, it seemed like four wasted years — and worse, it seemed like it had s... [messianism]

6AM

I’m part of a group trying to put together a pedagogy panel for the AAR about religious studies people who are in “niche” schools — basically, the kinds of places that don’t have traditional departments, etc., like Shimer, St... [Academia]

February 17, 4PM

Leonardo da Vinci – John the Baptist What are we to make of the fact that Leonardo da Vinci and his students detected a certain kinship between John the Baptist and Dionysus? The two figures seemingly could not be more different — the grim as... [art] [Christian Theology] [Nietzsche]

11AM

In The Birth of Tragedy, one of Nietzsche’s most concrete illustrations of Appolinian art is Raphael’s Transfiguration (pictured above): In a symbolic painting, Raphael, himself one of these immortal “naive” ones, has represented f... [art] [Nietzsche]

7AM

Just wanted to call the attention of AUFS readers to the fact that the second post of Amaryah Shaye’s excellent series is now up over at Women in Theology. But if you haven’t already, then first check out the initial post. “Reconciliatio... [blog posts]

February 15, 6AM

I’m starting to notice an alarming pattern: when no one posts, traffic falls. We have so many great posts in the archives that one would think that people would take advantage of gaps between posts to go back and read all our old material, but it a... [housekeeping]

February 13, 6AM

In the devil class, we noted out a strange feature of the New Jerusalem as portrayed in Revelation: the kings of all nations come to pay tribute there. It seems that we are to envision the continued existence of the system of “the nations” in... [Athanasius] [Political Theology]

February 10, 5AM

Imagine there was a new drug that could indefinitely increase a person’s physical strength — the more they have, the stronger they are. In the aggregate, the increased use of this drug would increase the total physical strength of the human r... [Economics]

February 8, 9PM

I recently finished reading through William R. Jones Is God a White Racist?  and it was a good read. More than that it felt good. I say it felt good because in Jones I feel like I have found a kindred spirit. His methodology and commitments in particul... [blog posts] [Christian Theology] [Race]

February 7, 2PM

The question may seem strange, as “influence” is a central category of intellectual history — indeed, without understanding a thinker’s influences, it seems impossible to understand that thinker at all. In practice, however, it of... [Academia]

1PM

AUFS lurker Raúl Zegarra informs me that Notre Dame is inaugurating an annual graduate theology conference this year, with a theme of “The Mission of Academics in the Context of Suffering.” The topic is inspired in part by the 1982 Rio Negro... [Conference announcement]

February 4, 5AM

Recent scholarship has overthrown the dominant image of Gnosticism, which Karen King has shown to derive from a carrying over of anti-heresy polemics into the modern scholarly literature. No single document in the extant texts evinces all the qualities t... [Gnosticism] [Marcion]

12 AM

From a footnote of his magnificent book Where the North Sea Touches Alabama, Allen C. Shelton recounts a job application letter for an unnamed university teaching position he scrawled by hand while shivering through a “blizzard of the century.”... [Academia]

February 3, 5AM

This Thursday, February 6, I will be giving a talk at Harvard University entitled “Why Agamben Needs Psychoanalysis,” as part of the Psychoanalytic Practices Seminar. It will be at 4:00 in Room 133 of the Barker Center. The talk will deal wi... [Lectures]

February 1, 12 PM

I have been contracted by Stanford University Press for two further Agamben translations. The first is a pamphlet-length book entitled Pilate and Jesus, which I have promised to complete this summer. The second, and presumably more interesting to most, ... [Agamben] [translation]
After finishing the first season of Enterprise, I can see clearly why it’s universally regarded as the weakest series. Half the characters are totally forgettable, the time travel plot is stupid beyond belief, and the theme song is simply intolerab... [Television]

January 30, 5AM

In my devil class, we read Daniel and Revelation in a short period, attempting to get at the apocalyptic mindset that produced our familiar figure of the devil. I’ve written previously about my theory that Antiochus Epiphanes’ brief but horri... [apocalyptic]

January 26, 6AM

Dasein — the convention of leaving this term untranslated seems to be the single most consistent trait across all English translations of Heidegger. It does have the disadvantage that leaving foreign words untranslated can make them seem like myste... [Heidegger] [translation]

January 25, 7AM

In recent months, faculty from Chicago State University, a public university on the far South Side of Chicago, have taken to the internet to expose the chronic mismanagement of their institution. Their latest find is that the school’s Provost plagi... [Academia] [the last analysis]

6AM

This piece by Sarah Kendzior on the pointlessness of academic publishing is making the rounds. I found myself at once objecting and feeling like I couldn’t object, and on further analysis, it came to seem to me that she was conflating two issues: a... [Academia]

January 24, 12 PM

I love Kant, but I think we all need to just need to admit that the Prolegomena failed to achieve its intention. It claims to be an introduction to the Critique of Pure Reason, but it is borderline incomprehensible if you don’t already broadly know... [kant] [teaching]

January 21, 10AM

LIVING THEOLOGY: the eucharist in question The 2014 Dallastown UCC Theological Summit May 16, York County, PA CALL FOR PROPOSALS Description / Rationale:  In American Protestant churches, the practice of the sacrament of communion can vary intensively fr... [blog posts] ["the church"] [Call for Papers] [Conferences]

5AM

Normally one reads the Gospels as all filling out details of the same basic story. This traditional attitude even affects critical scholars, who have focused on questions about the synoptic gospels’ shared source and their incorporation of their ow... [Gnosticism] [New Testament]

January 20, 7AM

It is well known that when straight adolescent males are put into a gender-segregated setting, a vicious cycle begins wherein they will egg each other on to ever more extreme performances of masculinity. These performances necessarily entail the objectif... [Academia] [Gender]

6AM

At Women in Theology, Amaryah Armstrong has a post critiquing the idea of “racial reconciliation”: I want to be clear here that conflict resolution at an interpersonal level is important for life together, but the framework of reconciliation, ... ["the church"] [Martin Luther King Jr.] [Race]

January 19, 6AM

In my talk over the devil at Shimer College, I insisted that the figure of the devil that emerged out of Jewish apocalyptic thinking and had such a distinguished career in Christian theology had to be distinguished from the generic “trickster”... [apocalyptic] [Hebrew Scripture] [Political Theology] [The Devil]

5AM

This semester, I will be giving the following talks: Thursday, February 6, at Harvard University, under the auspices of the Psychoanalytic Practices Seminar, which is sponsored by the Mahindra Humanities Center, I will be giving a talk entitled “Why... [Lectures]

January 17, 10AM

Friend of the blog and curator of the Barth Collection, Kait Dugan, has alerted us to a CFP for the upcoming Karl Barth Conference at Princeton Theological Seminary. What: 2014 Karl Barth Conference — “Karl Barth, the Jews, and Judaism”... [Conference announcement]

January 16, 10AM

Several years ago, Bruce Rosenstock recommended that I look at 2 Maccabees as a way of contextualizing Paul’s discussion of God’s “adaptive” approach to historical events in Romans 9-11. His general thought was that the Jews had g... [apocalyptic] [Hebrew Scripture] [Political Theology]

3AM

In Reason, Truth and History, Hilary Putnam defines metaphysical realism as the belief that ‘the world consists of some fixed totality of mind-independent objects’ and that there is, in principle, one true complete description of that world. His criti... [ontology]

January 15, 12 PM

For the last couple years, I’ve been living with a huge Stravinsky boxed set, slowly working my way through it. This overlapped with my teaching as one of the pieces that we use in connection with Ovid in the fine arts course is the Stravinsky/Bala... [music]

January 14, 5PM

Imagine being the kind of professional philosopher, priding yourself on your rigor, openness, and clarity, yet you wrote this: Imagine for a minute how you might respond if I were to insist that Cornell West can only be understood as a black philosopher a... [blog posts]

10AM

I spent the morning rereading the Book of Job for the first day of my devil course, and while many enigmatic passages leapt out at me, none was quite as surprising as this segment from the final chapter (emphasis added): And the Lord restored the fortunes... [Hebrew Scripture]

January 13, 7PM

We had to confront it eventually, and tonight The Girlfriend and I started Enterprise. I’m already fairly familiar with the general parameters of the show due to my fascination with reading Memory Alpha, and it seems clear to me that the show was n... [Television]

6AM

This semester, I’m teaching Humanities 4: Critical Evaluation in the Humanities (syllabus), an elective on The Devil in Christian Thought (syllabus), and a small tutorial/directed reading that I’m calling Heidegger’s Middle Period (provi... [Shimer College] [teaching]

January 11, 9AM

For the past two days, the Shimer faculty was involved in an assessment workshop with a knowledgable consultant who was so enthusiastic about our program that he offered his services for free. One thing that struck me was that I had been thinking of asse... [Academia] [teaching]

January 9, 9PM

This is just a quick announcement that my book, Deleuze and the Naming of God: Postsecularism and the Future of Immanence, is now out. Which is to say that physical copies have appeared, that it’s available on Amazon (at least in the US and the UK),... [Adorno] [Deleuze] [immanence] [Shameless Promotion]

7AM

The best books in the humanities have the structure of a really cool grad seminar. They bring together a compelling reading list, striking the right balance between cutting edge “cool” stuff, stuff you know you should read but maybe havenR... [Academia]

6AM

It’s as though life is a constant election. With our every choice, we signal our preference, and someone or something (public opinion, the market, etc.) registers it and acts accordingly. We don’t simply consume things — we “supp... [boredom]
In the U.S., our weather reports respect both sides of the analytic/continental divide, giving us both the empirical temperature and a phenomenological account of what temperature it feels like (wind chill or heat index). This can lead to some confusion.... [boredom]

January 7, 4AM

As I’ve mentioned before, The Girlfriend and I planned a trip to Paris for this winter break. In addition to being near-perfectly timed to avoid the catastrophic cold in Chicago, it also proved to be a particularly fruitful moment for me, given tha... [art]

January 5, 12 PM

I preached this sermon this morning, the readings are the lectionary for Christmastide 2, Jeremiah 31:1-14 and John 1:1-18.  The sermon led into a celebration of communion. The prophet Jeremiah’s words characterizes the captors of the Jewish people, th... ["the church"] [Mary Daly] [Race] [Sermons]

January 2, 9AM

Two summers ago, at the Children, Youth, and a New Kind of Christianity conference in Washington, DC, our U of Chicago Div school delegation–Thomas Bowen, John Vest, and myself–gathered for barbeque after Tony Campolo’s entirely disappoi... ["the church"] [Conference announcement]

December 31 2013, 9PM

Speedboat and Pitch Dark, Renata Adler 2013 was a good year for Adler. Sure, it took a couple of years and NYRB re-publications, but her two wonderful novels, Speedboat and Pitch Dark are finally being given the due they deserve. Adler’s prose is p... [Books] [literature]

December 29, 8PM

The Limits of the Thinkable: Religious Experience and the Apophatic Impulse Between Antiquity and Modernity (with a keynote address by Dr. Catherine Keller) 2014 Fordham Graduate Theology Conference: Call for Papers “The concept of limit-situation i... [Conference announcement]

December 26, 10AM

As I am preparing to teach a slightly different version of my class on suffering and abstraction that uses the Book of Job as our guide, I am reading through some literature that I plan to assign for small groups to present to the class. Trying to catch t... [blog posts]

December 23, 1PM

  This is the draft for my short Christmas Eve homily, which will be delivered at the 11 PM service at St. Paul’s UCC in Dallastown, PA, tomorrow evening.  And, of course, I stole/cribbed the title from Laurel Schneider’s great essay in the ... [blog posts] [Laurel Schneider] [Sermons]

7AM

One point from Hardt and Negri’s Empire has always stood out to me: namely, that institutions typically become more powerful as they break down. The most familiar example is the university, which has in many ways squandered its cultural credibility... [Academia] [Economics] [family values] [Hardt] [Negri]

December 22, 8AM

This year, we are taking a year off from Christmas. The Girlfriend and I resolved at some point this summer that we would not travel to see either of our parents over the holiday — a choice made easier by the fact that it was my family’s R... [family values]

December 19, 5AM

I am currently engaged on a project to read Kierkegaard as a thinker of immanence. In my more pretentious moments I’ve described this as a kind of ‘creative misprision’, since it obviously goes against the grain of dominant readings of Kierkegaard a... [blog posts]

December 18, 12 PM

Excuse the frankness here and the use of “colloquial language”. Sensitive readers or employers may want to skip it, but the frankness is intended to break the easy path of intellectualizing the problem, speaking respectably when this concerns ... [blog posts]

December 17, 1PM

I can’t claim to have followed all of the debates surrounding the Accelerationist Manifesto (excerpts in italics in what follows). But I have remained intrigued by it—certainly intrigued enough to make my way to the accelerationist event this past wee... [blog posts]

December 14, 9PM

The internets exploded in the past few days with the news story of Fox News reporter, Megyn Kelly, making an idiotic statement about Jesus and Santa both being white. While I appreciate (former CTS President) Susan Brooks Thistlewaite’s Washington Post ... [Race]

6AM

Suey Park has written a post detailing the kinds of unhelpful responses people with anxiety disorders often receive from their professors. The question of how to help students deal with their anxiety is one that has bothered me since I started teaching &... [Academia] [teaching]

December 13, 6AM

The year is not yet over, but we can add new notable posts that are written after this date. The past year was not as exciting as 2012, when (to speak only of the biggest highlight) Brandy dropped a series of bombs on the theology blogging world after AA... [year-end wrap-up posts]

December 9, 8AM

The Girlfriend and I continue to obey some obscure drive to watch all of Star Trek, and currently we’re in the sixth season of Voyager. One of the most controversial characters in that series was Seven of Nine, a liberated Borg drone who was added ... ["the church"] [Star Trek] [Television]

December 7, 10AM

I’m finishing up my course, Intensive Biblical Hebrew. The book I use (Allen Ross, Introduction to Biblical Hebrew) gives students the chance to read real biblical Hebrew in its final chapters. It takes them through chapters 2 and 3 of Genesis, and... [blog posts]

December 6, 8AM

Like many people, I have a vague if unexamined sense that non-violent resistence is somehow the “best” political strategy — even if it doesn’t work under all circumstances, it would in any case be somehow better or preferable to us... [politics] [violence]

December 5, 2PM

This week saw another one day strike of university staff across the UK. For those not aware of the context, the dispute is over pay (a 13% decline in real terms salaries since 2009, whilst senior managerial pay has outpaced inflation, and universities ran... [Academia]

December 4, 5AM

Yesterday I received an Amazon shipment that included piano books collecting pieces by Debussy and Satie. When these were added to my collection, I felt fairly satisfied with my holdings in terms of “hitting the bases.” Along with those two,... [music]

December 3, 6AM

Inside Higher Ed has published an expanded version of my piece on teaching Shimer’s Humanities 1: Art and Music. The most notable addition is an introductory bit on Rancière’s Ignorant Schoolmaster. Filed under: Ranciere, Shimer College, te... [Ranciere] [Shimer College] [teaching]

December 2, 6AM

Following Chomsky’s advice, I follow the business press to see what the ruling class thinks is going on in the world, and more specifically, I subscribe to Bloomberg Businessweek, which occasionally allows reality to creep in (global warming is real... [Economics] [politics of the absurd]

November 30, 9AM

You can download the audio for the unofficial AUFS panel at the AAR this year. The panel, as part of the Theology and Continental Philosophy Group, was entitled “Figures of Immanence: Beyond Incarnational Logic” (though this “beyond̶... [Academia] [immanence]

6AM

It’s well known that dystopia is the hottest teen trend since vampires, but it’s more than a momentary trend — dystopia has been a staple of young adult literature and high school curricula for decades at this point. It’s very str... [nihilism] [popular culture]

November 28, 6AM

I took a year off from the AAR this time around. What did I miss?Filed under: blog posts [blog posts]

November 26, 7AM

The ending of Kakfa’s short story “A Hunger Artist” is strange, even for Kafka — in fact, it initially makes the story seem like kind of a “shaggy dog” story. After detailing the rise and fall of a professional faster,... [art] [Kafka]

November 23, 8AM

My course over Being and Time is nearly complete. On our last remaining day, we will be reviewing the introduction as a way of reviewing the whole — this week, we finished the final chapter and did one last “review day” over the last tw... [Heidegger]

November 19, 9AM

In the fifth chapter of Division Two of Being and Time, Heidegger addresses the question of Dasein’s historicity and how it relates to the academic discipline of history. He argues that authentic historical study must not content itself with a cata... [Heidegger] [Mad Men]

November 17, 7PM

Francophone Philosophy Today A Dialogue between Diogo Sardinha and Gabriel Rockhi Date:  December 6th, 2013 Time:  4-6 p.m. Location:  Bartley Hall 1001, Villanova University, 800 Lancaster Ave, Villanova, PA 19085 Sponsor:  Philosophy Department,... [blog posts]

11AM

During my recent trips I took along Hollis Phelps’ relatively new book Alain Badiou: Between Theology and Anti-Theology. Phelps’ thesis is that “Badiou’s philosophy contains an anti-philosophical core that coincides with theology (... [Badiou] [Christian Theology]

10AM

When I was growing up, environmentalist propaganda efforts were in full swing. I learned about environmental problems in school. I watched Captain Planet at home. Recycling programs were rolling out in local communities for the first time. My father, ... [ecology] [eschatology]

November 16, 9PM

In Sophocles’ Antigone our tragic heroine demonstrates to us what is regarded as one of the greatest moral principles of the Western world:  when the laws of the state require one to do something against one’s own religion, or when following one’s ... ["the church"] [Agamben] [Girard] [hierarchy] [homosexuality] [nihilism]

7PM

Some readers might be interested in submitting something to an upcoming conference at Villanova. Please note that we accept both abstracts and papers from both graduate students and faculty. 2014 Call for Papers -19th Annual Philosophy Conference at Villa... [CFP]

November 14, 8AM

One way to understand the OOO project is to say that other entities are more Dasein-like than we might have expected. They too disclose each other’s possibilities, even when Dasein isn’t there to intermediate the encounter. The notion that o... [Heidegger]

November 12, 5AM

In recent years, a reactionary discourse on rape has infected our political discourse. While American attitudes and practices on this issue have always been alarmingly inclined to naturalize men’s violent impulses and blame the victim whenever poss... [feminism]

November 11, 12 PM

I don’t need to say this, to readers of this blog. But I’ll say it anyhow: the figure of Jesus is a charged and loaded figure. To throw Jesus into conversation, or into the title of a book, is to throw a stone into waters that are stagnant with a fiel... [blog posts]

November 10, 12 PM

I recently had the misfortune of watching Star Trek Into Darkness. It is of course an utter failure as a film — a convoluted and contradiction-laden plot barrels along with no character development whatsoever — and as an adaptation of Star Tr... [politics of the absurd]

6AM