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Criticism, Commitment, and Cultural Engagement: A Review of James K.A. Smith’s The Devil Reads Derrida

James K. A. Smith, The Devil Reads Derrida and Other Essays on the University, the Church, Politics, and the Arts. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2009. 163 pages. $12.24 paperback (Amazon). Click here or on the image to purchase The Devil Reads Derrida and Other Essays from Amazon.com and help support The Other Journal. It has become all too common these days for discussions of North American evangelicalism to transpire solely in terms of disdain, so much so that the very... Read More

Race and Hospitality: Pursuing Racial Reconciliation through Derrida’s Understanding of Hospitality

With the historic 2008 presidential campaign in the United States, the question of race again came to the fore of the American consciousness.1 In this campaign, we saw a number of racially charged news stories–Bill Clinton likened Barack Obama to Jesse Jackson during the South Carolina primary, Rev. Jeremiah Wright riled the nation up with his controversial words, and many in the Republican Party wondered aloud if Barack Obama might be a Muslim or Arab, to name but a few.... Read More

Listening on the Day of Silence: Khora and Holy Saturday

When Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. He said, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” Throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed; and he went and hanged himself. But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since... Read More

Embracing Sister Death: The Fraternal Worldview of Francis of Assisi as a Source for Christian Eschatological Hope

The idea of death, the fear of it, haunts the human animal like nothing else; it is the mainspring of human activity—activity designed largely to avoid the fatality of death, to overcome it by denying in some way that it is the final destiny for man. —Ernest Becker1 Praised by You, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death, from whom no one living can escape. —Francis of Assisi2 For many of us, death is our worst fear, while others ignore its existence completely. Still... Read More

On What Could Quite Rightly Pass for a Fetish: Some Thoughts on Whether “Every Christian Should ‘Quite Rightly Pass for an Atheist’”

Jon Stanley’s provocative piece “Why Every Christian Should ‘Quite Rightly Pass for an Atheist’”[1] is notable for the way it facilitates a move beyond the reductionistic tendencies of rigid categorization, as well as for the ways it begins to identify and resist the gods of our age. In these pursuits, Stanley also seeks to spell out a Christianity that moves beyond the vulgar terms of dogmatic atheisms and theisms alike. In the first part of his essay, Stanley draws... Read More

Why Every Christian Should ‘Quite Rightly Pass for an Atheist’

“Only an Atheist can be a good Christian.” -Ernst Bloch “Only a Christian can be a good Atheist.” -Jürgen Moltmann “I quite rightly pass for an Atheist” -Jacques Derrida On Passing for an Atheist Along With Derrida When the late French post-structuralist philosopher Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) confessed, “I quite rightly pass for an atheist,”1 it raised quite a stir—to say the least. This was not the first of Derrida’s devilishly pithy comments, but it remains... Read More