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Toward a Material Belief

Competing Christian ideologies result from varying interpretations of a largely singular body of texts. That is, although our interpretive systems are rooted in readings of the same text, they lead us in supposedly antagonistic directions. But this is not only a matter of textual interpretation—the issue of competing fundamentalisms and ideologies is also one of practiced faith, of material belief. We can no longer afford to fragment the issue of interpretation from that of... Read More

Master Signifiers and the Survival of Evangelicalism: An Interview with David Fitch

In his latest book, “The End of Evangelicalism?”, pastor and professor David E. Fitch explores the possibility of evangelicalism surviving, in some form, throughout the 21st century.  Fitch utilizes the philosophy of Slavoj Žižek to deconstruct what many evangelicals hold most dear–inerrancy of Scripture, the decision for Christ, and belief that the U.S. is a Christian nation–to point toward a reconstructed evangelical church that faithfully embraces... Read More

On Cultural Neuroses, Primal Screams, and the Psychology of Celebrity: An Interview with Carl Raschke

In our fractured cultural world, celebrities have emerged as something of a common language for us to speak. The latest exploits of Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton, or the stellar performance (or downfall) of a given athlete, become our methods for connection at office water coolers and dinner parties. And publications like US Weekly or In Touch, and the numerous television shows devoted to celebrity, reinforce this notion that somehow the private, mundane exploits of the rich and... Read More

Bono’s Dream of Capitalism without Capital? Don’t You Dare Steal My Enjoyment!

Enjoy Your Capitalism while It Lasts In his early, groundbreaking workTarrying with the Negative, Slavoj ?i?ek opens up a novel, unchartered terrain of both “postmodern” thinking and the possibility of serious philosophical and theological reflection on a broad conceptual space that was just then beginning to exfoliate—the problem of globalization. In the book, ?i?ek leverages his now trademark Lacanian reading of German idealism, especially Kant and Hegel, to offer... Read More

Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss: An Interview with Eugene McCarraher, Part Three of Three

In the rapidly changing political and economic conditions of our time, it is important that we consider existential questions of how to live as Christians. As we seek to answer these questions, historian Eugene McCarraher offers an incisive, prophetic voice from that rare vantage point of historical competency and theological literacy. In part one of our interview with McCarraher, he talks about some salient themes emerging in the 2000s, including the credulity of the U.S.... Read More

Radical Tragedy, Subversive Comedy: On Milbank, Žižek, and The Monstrosity of Christ

Slavoj Žižek and John Milbank. The Monstrosity of Christ: Paradox of Dialectic? Edited by Creston Davis. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2009. 416 pages.$18.45 hardcover. Click on the image to purchase The Monstrosity of Christ from Amazon.com and help support The Other Journal. For at least several decades, there has been a growing convergence between radical philosophy and certain branches of Christian theology. Although the phenomenon is too large and diverse for me to summarize... Read More

Politics, Virtues, and Struggle: An Interview with Cornel West

The renowned philosopher and social critic Cornel West has been faculty at Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Haverford, the University of Paris, and Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Among his large corpus of written material, West is best known for his books Race Matters and Democracy Matters, and in this interview with David Horstkoetter, West revisits ideas of race and democracy, especially in the context of Christianity. More particularly, West discusses his own theological... Read More

Teaching the Universal Subject: A Manifesto

Educational reform, like death and taxes, seems to be always upon us, a collective fantasy evoking all kinds of incompatible wish-fulfillments. Nearly everyone is sure that we must improve our educational system, yet almost no one agrees as to how, exactly, that improvement is supposed to come about, or, for that matter, what is wrong with the system to begin with. Consider the following contradictory stock-phrases of “educational reform”: We should require more arts,... Read More

Following Žižek to the End, or The Pleasures (and Perils) of Metaphysical Suicide

Review: Žižek! Directed by Astra Taylor. Zeitgeist, 2005. 71 minutes. The Parallax View. By Slavoj Žižek. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006. 434 pp. Slavoj Žižek should make everyone very, very uncomfortable. The irony of the situation is, he doesn’t. Indeed, Žižek, a large, bearded beast of a man, who talks incessantly, particularly when he is under the eye of Astra Taylor’s tongue-in-cheek camera, is hounded by his complex reputation: as an intellectual heavy-weight... Read More