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After the Death of God

After the Death of God

Edited by Jeffrey W. ROBBINS
With an Afterword by Gabriel VAHANIAN
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  • Book Info
    After the Death of God
    Book Description:

    It has long been assumed that the more modern we become, the less religious we will be. Yet a recent resurrection in faith has challenged the certainty of this belief. In these original essays and interviews, leading hermeneutical philosophers and postmodern theorists John D. Caputo and Gianni Vattimo engage with each other's past and present work on the subject and reflect on our transition from secularism to postsecularism.

    As two of the figures who have contributed the most to the theoretical reflections on the contemporary philosophical turn to religion, Caputo and Vattimo explore the changes, distortions, and reforms that are a part of our postmodern faith and the forces shaping the religious imagination today. Incisively and imaginatively connecting their argument to issues ranging from terrorism to fanaticism and from politics to media and culture, these thinkers continue to reinvent the field of hermeneutic philosophy with wit, grace, and passion.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-51253-4
    Subjects: Philosophy, Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Introduction: After the Death of God
    (pp. 1-24)
    Jeffrey W. Robbins

    On April 8, 1966, the cover of Time asked, “Is God Dead?” When published, it was the best-selling issue in the magazine’s history. It announced to the public a theological movement that was making its way into the mainstream—namely, radical death of God theology. This theological movement was in fact a collection of various disparate voices and perspectives. It ranged from the cultural theologians’ grappling with what they termed the “post-Christian era,”¹ to the largely Jewish effort at developing a “post-Holocaust theology,”² to the popular reformational efforts of the Anglican bishop John Robinson’s book Honest to God and Harvey...

  5. I

    • Toward a Nonreligious Christianity
      (pp. 27-46)

      Let us start from an observation that may help us to understand what the meaning of interpretation is and the role it has to play in what we call knowledge. From a hermeneutical perspective, we must say that knowledge requires a perspective, that in knowing anything I must choose a perspective. But some may object, what about the case of scientific knowledge? Is scientific knowledge also perspectival? My answer is that because scientists have chosen not to have anything to do with their own private interest, and describe only what concerns their science, their knowledge as such is deliberately limited....

    • Spectral Hermeneutics: On the Weakness of God and the Theology of the Event
      (pp. 47-86)

      One way to put what postmodernism means is to say that it is a philosophy of the event, and one way to put what a radical or postmodern theology means is to say it is a theology of the event. Obviously, then, on such an accounting, everything depends upon what we mean by an event, which, for the sake of simplicity, I describe as follows. I. An event is not precisely what happens, which is what the word suggests in English, but something going on in what happens, something that is being expressed or realized or given shape in what...

  6. II

    • A Prayer for Silence: Dialogue with Gianni Vattimo
      (pp. 89-113)
      Gianni Vattimo

      To start things off, could you briefly explain how you see the philosophical significance of the death of god?

      For myself, there are complementary meanings of the death of God. In terms of Nietzsche, the anthropological meaning to the death of God is most clear. It is the idea that mankind has killed God because they recognize he is no longer a necessity. God was born into human consciousness to provide some security against the dangers of natural life. In this sense Nietzsche is similar to Giambattista Vico, who describes the condition of primitive man as somebody who sought in...

    • On The Power of the Powerless: Dialogue with John D. Caputo
      (pp. 114-160)
      John D. Caputo

      Let’s begin with a biographical question. Tracing a genealogy of your thought through your published writings, one could say that you have come full circle as a philosopher of religion—from your early interest in the mystical element in Heidegger’s thought, to a radical hermeneutics of demythologization, to Derrida and your present interest in religion without religion. Could you please explain how you understand the evolution (or is it a revolution?) of your thought, and reflect on what, if any, common thread runs throughout these developing interests of yours?

      The consistency is that I have always been interested in the...

  7. III

    • The Death of God: An Afterword
      (pp. 163-178)

      As both a figure of speech and a method of interpretation, the death of God and deconstruction each equally burdens and unburdens itself upon the other. Like two hands, they extend the body, and it is no longer the same again. Like the two lips of a mouth, they open the body to the call of language, embodying that word by which they are embodied. World without end. Word without end. And they are also like the two extreme panels of a triptych folded over its central one, covering and uncovering it. Or, again, they are like a TV screen...

  8. Notes
    (pp. 179-190)
  9. Index
    (pp. 191-204)