When the Whole Is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

It has reached the status of a colloquialism to claim that sometimes “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Most Westerners today occasionally say or hear this phrase without giving it a second thought. But in fields such as metaphysics and the philosophy of science, the main idea that this phrase is suggesting is understood as tapping into a far deeper and... Read More

The New Hegelian Moment – Why Postmodernism Needs to Retrace its Own Radically Real, Rational, and (Of Course) Rhizomic Roots

Hegel is to philosophy what  the economist Joseph Schumpeter was to the concept of capitalism.  He embodies the historical inexorability of what the latter termed “creative destruction.” Very few philosophers, let alone theologians, who still after all these years of abuse continue to sport the name tag “pomo”, understand that if it were not for Hegel,... Read More

Critical Theology for an Age of Global Crisis

Until the shocks to the world system in the past decade following the turn of the millennium  – e.g., the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001, the global financial collapse of 2008 – the “postmodern era” was supposed to be a kind of immense carnival of peoples reveling in a new global prosperity, the giddy prospects of emerging democracy, and a spirit... Read More

Early Onset Postmortality – 2

In The Time That Remains: A Commentary on the Letter to the Romans, Giorgio Agamben reads Paul’s letter as an extended commentary on messianic time and the grace that attends early onset postmortality. The model for what Agamben calls messianic time is that peculiar time—that remnant of time that remains—following the messianic event but preceding the end of time. Agamben... Read More

“Outlaw justice” – was Paul really a political theologian?

The standard average Christian evangelical, or Reformed, reading of Paul makes him into a huckster of cheap grace. How many times have you heard a sermon on Romans, or a Christian song on the radio, or some radio plug for a new church or ministry, invoking the Reformation-revivalist message that it’s all about giving up trying to make something out of your life on your own,... Read More

Those Which were Possessed by Devils

Pop-culture, Demons and Philosophy Recently, I enlisted a friend to see The Conjuring with me. The movie claims to be based on real events, which seems to be a standard feature for these types of films, and depicts the haunting of a family upon moving into a new home with a grisly past, yet another fairly standard feature. The family enlists the help of self-proclaimed demonologists,... Read More

The exception rules, or why postmodern theology needs to think the impossible

A number of years ago when I was a department chair I asked a certain administrator at my institution why he had not followed the rules in granting certain privileges to a certain faculty member that seemed to go against the very rules he himself had laid down. The response was classic, and since the impact of his decision was entirely favorable, though not perhaps for those who... Read More

WHY WE REVOLUTIONARY BELIEVERS LOVE EXISTENTIALISM

(This is a guest post by Mark Manolopoulos on the current Existentialist revival in certain quarters of postmodern theory as a radical theology.) WHY WE REVOLUTIONARY BELIEVERS LOVE EXISTENTIALISM   Mark Manolopoulos Monash University   First of all, allow me to explain the ‘we’ in the title by way of a kind of hope or prayer: when I say ‘we,’ I mean ‘I,’ but... Read More

With My Apologies

If studying theology has taught me one thing, then it is always to be prepared with an apology. By apology here, I mean to invoke both its technical and colloquial meanings. When introducing myself as a student of theology, I often am required to offer a defense of theology as a discipline independent of religious practice, to be followed shortly thereafter by a confession of guilt,... Read More

Evangelicals and Capitalism: Cultural Despisers and Cultural Accommodators

Cultural Despisers William Connolly, in his 2008 work Capitalism and Christianity, American Style, sets out firstly to diagnose how the ‘capitalist project’ has been perverted and warped by its resonant relationship with conservative right-wing Christian religious beliefs.[1] The religious right within Evangelicalism in America in relation to capitalism has given rise to a... Read More