Hegel and the Infinite: Religion, Politics and the Dialectic (My New Book)

Hegel is at the origin of everything great in philosophy for the last century.

–Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Designed by Allie Osterloh

My new book, which I coedited with Clayton Crockett and Slavoj Zizek has been submitted to Columbia University Press. The basic thesis of this volume is that Hegel is finally the thinker of the 21st century. There are many reasons for this but we maintain that Hegel’s thinking (esp. his ontological structure in his
Science of Logic and the Phenomenology of Spirit ) was marginalized by much of French philosophy (and totally misunderstood by American analytic philosophy) in the 20th century to such a degree that he eventually becomes a formless scarecrow who represents the zenith of violence of the entire western tradition. This fake Hegel can be seen in Levinas’ critique in Totality and Infinity, Jacques Derrida from the mid 60s to the late 80s (until his student and my friend Catherine Malabou convinces Jacques about Hegel’s infinite potential that is not enclosed within the domain of Identity or the In-Itself), and even Gilles Deleuze (see esp. Difference and Repetition where the latter’s charge is very similar to Derrida’s that hovers around the idea of “contradition”). So this volume argues, among many things, that Hegel needs to be reclaimed in order to breakout of the deadlock of our political situation. As you can see from our Table of Contents we have some of the best scholars of Hegel alive today (some of whom finally reject Hegel, but not without a real lifelong bout with him).

Here is our Table of Contents:



Preface: Slavoj Zizek

Hegel’s Century

Introduction: Clayton Crockett & Creston Davis

Me and Clayton (far left) with Ernesto Laclau, Ken Reinhard, and Ken Surin (far right)

Me and Clayton (far left) with Ernesto Laclau, Ken Reinhard, and Ken Surin (far right)

Risking Hegel: A New Reading for the 21st Century

Chapter 1: Antonio Negri



Rereading Hegel—The Philosopher of Right (translated by Peter Thomas)

Chapter 2: Catherine Malabou

Catherine with Jacques

Catherine with Jacques

    Is Confession the Accomplishment of Recognition?: Rousseau and the Unthought of Religion in the Phenomenology of Spirit

Chapter 3: John D. Caputo

    Jack Caputo

    Jack Caputo

    The Perversity of the Absolute, The Perverse Core of Hegel and the Possibility of Radical Theology

Chapter 4: Bruno Bosteels

Bruno Bosteels

Bruno Bosteels

Hegel in America

Chapter 5: Mark C. Taylor

Mark C Taylor

Mark C Taylor

Infinite Restlessness

Chapter 6: William Desmond

Between Finitude and Infinity: On Hegel’s Sublationary Infinitism

Chapter 7: Katrin Pahl

Katrin Pahl

Katrin Pahl

The Way of Despair

Chapter 8: Adrian Johnston

The Weakness of Nature: Hegel, Freud, Lacan and Negativity Materialized

Chapter 9: Edith Wyschogrod



Disrupting Reason: Art and Madness in Hegel and van Gogh

Chapter 10: Thomas Lewis

Thomas Lewis "Tal"

Thomas Lewis "Tal"

    Finite Representation, Spontaneous Thought, and the Politics of an Open-ended Consummation

Chapter 12: Slavoj Zizek



Hegel and Shitting: The Idea’s Constipation

Notes on the Contributors


8 thoughts on “Hegel and the Infinite: Religion, Politics and the Dialectic (My New Book)

  1. Pingback: Creston Davis has a blog « La Perruque

  2. Thanks, Geoff! Yeah, I know what you mean. I’m in my 30s and I already eat Bran-Flakes for Breakfast! But this “method” does help when I read Hegel for some reason….. Of course, Slavoj may well be the fiber we need to read Hegel well again!!!

  3. Z. certainly is reading Hegel in ways that flow for me too. after reading Stout, and then recently Pippin on Hegel (which is good to a point), I have to say that Z. is closer to the reality. but I still need to read more of the Logic and Encyclopedia to know for sure. As a defense of the “cosmic mind” reading (of Taylor) Pipping tries to make Geist an emergent principle of nature and discourse, but this totally refuses all the religious aspects of Hegel.


  4. This looks great with some interesting contributors.
    But Caputo? Has his obsession with Derrida and Kantianized indeterminacy abated enough to actually now see Hegel and his pursuit of absolute knowledge as something other than the usual caricature of a maniacal totalizer?

  5. This volume sounds fascinating. For too long the image of Hegel has been reduced to a cliche of the “Absolutist philosopher who fetishized the dialectal process”. Even at my University in Canada, Hegel is demonized by the analytics as well as the Nietzschean/Heideggerian tradition.

    I hope this volume will revitalize the study of Hegel for the 21st century and help crush the cliched image of this most brilliant thinker.

    Can’t wait for the book!

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