The Reject: Community, Politics, and Religion after the Subject

The Reject: Community, Politics, and Religion after the Subject

IRVING GOH
Timothy C. Campbell series editor
Copyright Date: 2015
Published by: Fordham University Press
Pages: 384
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1287g5t
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  • Book Info
    The Reject: Community, Politics, and Religion after the Subject
    Book Description:

    This book proposes a theory of the reject, a more adequate figure than the subject for thinking friendship, love, community, democracy, the postsecular, and the posthuman. Through close readings of Nancy, Deleuze, Derrida, Cixous, Clement, Bataille, Balibar, Ranciere, and Badiou, Goh shows how the reject has always been nascent in contemporary French thought. The recent turn to animals and bare life, as well as the rise of the Occupy movement, he argues, presents a special urgency to think the reject today. Thinking the reject most importantly helps to advance our commitment to affirm others without acculturating their differences. But the reject also offers, Goh proposes, a response finally commensurate with the radical horizon of Nancy's question of who comes after the subject.

    eISBN: 978-0-8232-6272-4
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. PREFACE: A BOOK FOR EVERYONE
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  4. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xv-xviii)
  5. 1 INTRODUCTION Let’s Drop the Subject
    (pp. 1-23)

    This present work in many ways responds to the spirit of our times, that is to say, the early twenty-first century. The philosophical motivation for this work, however, has a slightly longer history, as it comes from the question Jean-Luc Nancy posed in 1986:Qui vient après le sujet,orwho comes after the subject?³ Given the date of Nancy’s question, it might seem at first glance an anachronism, if not (better), an untimely gesture, for a work today to revisit that question almost thirty years later. There is, however, as with all things untimely, a certain necessity in addressing...

  6. 2 (AFTER) FRIENDSHIP, LOVE, AND COMMUNITY
    (pp. 24-96)

    Let me begin eliciting therejectfrom within concepts that almost every contemporary French thinker from Bataille to Badiou more recently has been invested in: the related or interrelated concepts of friendship, love, and community. I will demonstrate in the following pages that therejectunderlies contemporary French thought in its engagement with these concepts. Put another way, I will show that what is nascent, or at work, in these thinkers’ “obsession”¹ with these concepts is the subterranean inscription of thereject, and I argue that such implicit mobilization of therejecthas served the purpose of radicalizing those concepts,...

  7. 3 THE REJECT AND THE “POSTSECULAR,” OR WHO’S AFRAID OF RELIGION
    (pp. 97-161)

    Having elicited the figure of therejectfrom the rethinking of friendship, love, and community in Nancy, Bataille, Agamben, and more specifically in Derrida, Clément, and Deleuze, I will now proceed to demonstrate that therejectis no less mobilized when contemporary French thinkers take on, or rather problematize, the question of religion. A theory of therejectcannot rest content to be just a matter of textual elucidation: it must go beyond conceptual rhetoric and suggest at least potential empirical applications. That was the endeavor of the previous chapter when it situated the question of therejectwithin the...

  8. 4 PROLEGOMENON TO REJECT POLITICS: From Voyous to Becoming-Animal
    (pp. 162-217)

    What deserves to be reiterated, with regard to unveiling and mobilizing therejectin contemporary French thought’s rethinking of friendship, love, community, and religion, is that the affirmation of differences is at stake. One may go further to say that this affirmation is an affirmation of radical differences, if not a radical affirmation of radical differences, without this affirmation ever having the intention to assimilate any of those differences within its discursive space. Indeed, its objective cannot be the neutralizing or the taming ofrejects. Put another way, a theory of therejectcritiques or disagrees withrejectsthat express...

  9. 5 CLINAMEN, OR THE AUTO-REJECT FOR “POSTHUMAN” FUTURES
    (pp. 218-238)

    In following the animal in the last two chapters — first the animal-messiah in Cixous, and then becoming-animal in Deleuze and Guattari — one could say that the question of therejecthas progressively taken on a “posthuman” contour, especially if one follows Cary Wolfe’s “posthumanism,” or Rosi Braidotti’s “posthuman critical theory” (even though, as I will explicate in a while, one should heed Braidotti’s “posthumanism” only in limited ways). According to Wolfe inWhat is Posthumanism?,the animal question — particularly that which Derrida inL’Animal que donc je suistakes as its point of departure — is what “posthuman” discourse, if it...

  10. 6 CONCLUSION: Incompossibility, Being-in-Common, Abandonment, and the Auto-Reject
    (pp. 239-252)

    The previous chapter concluded with a consideration of Deleuze’s reading of Leibniz’s incompossibility. Perhaps it is only apt to close this present work on that same note of incompossibility. After all, this work has called for the affirmation of “inoperative community” (especially in terms of a community of those who depart), the friend who leaves town, secant or even postapocalyptic friendship rent with fatigue or distress, syncopic love, the roguishhomo tantum, the traitorous nomadic war machine, the “postsecular” coexistence of faith and knowledge, the animal-messiah, a democracy-to-come open to the transversal politics of becoming-animal, if not becoming-animal itself, and...

  11. NOTES
    (pp. 253-334)
  12. WORKS CITED
    (pp. 335-358)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 359-362)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 363-366)