Sentimentalist Ideology– a feeling that has a point

Sentimentalist Ideology

I have noticed a recent form of ideology rearing its head on commercials lately.  This ideology is perfectly captured in the recent VISA television commercial about the speed skater Dan Jansen.

Just to be clear, I understand Ideology (which is too complex to fully define here) as a congealed collection of ideas that are presented to us on TV, the news media, in novels, newspapers, and so forth– in a manner that motivates us to perform certain actions and enact certain behaviors even to the point where these actions run contrary to our basic beliefs we hold about the world.  So big actors in society (such as Banks, the Military, the Government, the Oil corps., the Media etc.) purposefully project a vision of the world (of existence etc.) that tries to convince you that this vision is one in which you “see yourself” fitting into.

Think of the Mac/PC commercials where the hip young man represents the Apple product and the overweight and out-of-date man stands in for the PC.  Here of course Apple is projecting a vision of the world which you can literally buy yourself into (and that is precisely the point).  Or you can think of the TV show, The Office in which one “entry-point” is that the common viewer associates themselves readily with the “normal” characters of the program, namely Pam and Jim.

Pam and Jim --The Office

In this way, we can see what Karl Marx understood as an “instrument of social reproduction” which is precisely the core meaning of the term ideology.

Of course ideology is much, much more interesting and “hidden” then this basic understanding—and has been developed by Slavoj Zizek (and others) in terms of its perverted meaning etc.  But this is enough for us to see how ideology has recently been projected in terms of sentimentalism.  That is, you are presented with a 30 second commercial in which there is a simple story designed to “pull on your heart strings” that will have you reaching for the tissues.  In this way, one “feels” something and this “feeling” must be seen as another “instrument of social reproduction.”

Here is the commercial with Morgan Freemen narrating.  And keep in mind how the narrator’s amazing voice helps underwrite and support this “projection” of the world.

Hegel’s Introduction to the Phenomenology of Spirit

This is a gloss of Hegel’s Introduction to the Phenomenology of Spirit

Examine a curious phrase that Hegel’s uses in his second sentence in his Introduction.  “A certain uneasiness seems justified.”

Uneasiness is another word for anxiety— anxiety that arises from loss.  A loss?  What loss?  A loss of control, of power, of mastery over something.  For Hegel the PS (Phenomenology of Spirit) is written to confront the loss—this “lack” that doesn’t sit right in your belly (like having eaten spoiled food—“This meatlovers pizza aint loving me back”).

Something’s lost for Hegel.  One’s vision is blurred as the clouds crystallize around you making it difficult to see the horizon.

And it is even more complex than beginning in simple “loss.”  For the “logic of loss” is deeply disturbing.  To be at a loss is to have lost one’s bearings—one’s compass if you will.  To be lost is more than simple to be its direct opposite—to be fully aware of where one is, how they got there and where they’re going etc.).  No, to be at a loss is to not even know you are lost!  Is being so lost that you don’t even have a care that you are in fact, unable to plot yourself down in reference to something else.  You are beyond the very limits of what constitutes “being on the map.” To be lost, in Hegel’s sense is to cancel out being lost as a conscious state of mind.  It is unconscious—and thus negates the very meaning of the term itself.   To be lost thus is to transcend the very meaning of the terms themselves.

Do you see where Hegel begins his Introduction?  It is, if you will the acknowledgement that we are so lost that we must try to figure out how lost we really are.  But how is this even possible?  How does one even begin to identify where they are when they have no bearings by which to start?

Ok, but Hegel tries to begin…but not at the beginning (this is utterly impossible) …rather in the middle he begins.  In the middle of what?  In the middle of philosophy’s crisis (a crisis that is equally a cultural, political, economic, scientific, and theological crisis).  Crisis is the Condition of Possibility (CoP) in which philosophy gives birth to truth.

So Hegel begins to give birth to a truth, but this truth cannot simply be born without the experience of tarrying down the hard road of overcoming loss—and this must begin with the overcoming of a contradiction that you (the reader) didn’t even know you had.  This unconscious contradiction that already inheres within one’s naked and naïve consciousness of the world.  Sure you could ignore this “loss” that hovers in you like a ghost that could easily be dismissed, but ignoring it is only a diversionary tactic that will eventually haunt you all the way to your death-bed.  It is there that it patiently awaits you with open arms and a warm glow.  But in life this “glow” appears not warmly but hidden and cool (hiding just beyond the desk and in the closets in the space between).

For the “natural assumption” in philosophy (that must be dealt with prior to the real meat of the matter is what the heck is “cognition” itself?  What is thought (which presupposes that you are thinking it as you as the question about its very nature)?  In this sense, the question has a circularity to it, does it not?  Does it not require you to employ the very thing that you are using in order to explain what that thing is?    It is a circle—because you need to USE cognition (as a means) by which you accomplish your end goal?  The goal thus is already in the means, and conversely the means is already in the goal itself.

For cognition, Hegel tells us is one of two things:

(a) it is an instrument (like a tool of power) in order to get hold of the Absolute

(b) medium through which one discovers it (cognition)

But here the answer is not immediately clear and this causes some anxiety.  Which way to go?

Hegel questions both (a) and (b) because in both cases “we employ a means which immediately brings about” a distortion because the means turns the ends into itself.  This is for Hegel absurd.  Why should we begin with THIS view of cognition when it only leads us down the road to a deadlock (a deadlock that is circular, as we established above).    Likewise, the Absolute cannot be perverted by the very process of knowing it.  Rather the Absolute would have to already know cognition before cognition tries to “get to it.” “For it is not the refraction of the ray, but the ray itself whereby truth reaches us” (47).

In other words, the journey that unfolds all the way to the End already has within each step the End.  But cognition forgets this.  Moreover, the presence of the End (Absolute) within each step is obscured within the spaces between, or what Freud would later call the “unconscious.”  What Hegel is saying is that Modern philosophy (Descartes, Spinoza, Hume, etc.) and science (Bacon) is driven by the compulsion to impose an idea of cognition “as an instrument” or “as a medium” which “assumes that there is a difference between ourselves and this cognition” (47).[1] Modern philosophy does this because it wants to find a sure footing on which one can be confident to rest ideas (and the hierarchical framework of conceptual knowledge).  But Hegel sees that this “foundation” of knowledge is really a sand pile in the rain.  For these two options “presupposes that the Absolute stands on one side and cognition on the other, independent and separated from it, and yet is something real….” Or “it presupposes that cognition” is sundered from the Absolute and so the process of knowledge begins in cognition being alienated from the Absolute.  In other words, cognition necessarily cannot know the Absolute despite the contradictory impulse to want to know it.  In other words the contradiction of modern philosophy is the drive to avoid epistemological errors instead of desiring truth itself.  So the “natural assumption” of modern philosophy rests on an unnatural artificial break that severs human thinking from truth.

Hegel deconstructs the “natural assumption” on which the practice of philosophy rested from two-hundred years (or more).   And even sees within Modern philosophy a logic of tragedy.   For the logic of tragedy happens when the actor in the plot brings about their own demise because they were unaware of the consequences of their own choices.  In other words, the tragic hero digs their own grave whilst thinking they are laying the road down for their own immortality.  As Hegel put it perfectly himself:  The tragedy of modern philosophy is that they tried to avoid the “fear of error” which “reveals itself rather as a fear of the truth.”

Now this is very odd.  I mean think about this:  Who purposefully avoids the truth in a way that produces all kinds of flashy accruements with pomp and circumstance, with smoke and mirrors to boot?  I mean we all have hang-ups and do weird and strange things (even extraordinary things) in order to avoid doing what we don’t want to do.   And we have an extraordinary capacity to deceive ourselves in thinking we are doing something productive when we’re not accomplishing the task at hand. One is reminded here of really bad Rock bands in Irish pubs that merely turns up the volume in order to mask their severe lack of talent.  In a crude analogy modern philosophy turns up the volume of epistemology in order to cover up the fact that it refuses to do ontology as Hegel says, it “give[s] the impression of working seriously and zealously” (48) when it is really just a tactic of deception.  By contrast Hegel says, “Science must liberate itself from this semblance, and it can do so only by turning against it” (48).

But instead of simply dismissing modern philosophy’s “natural assumptions” willy-nilly Hegel reveals his thinking as truly genealogical in that for him modern philosophy had to reach the deadlock of their own deception in order to press “forward to true knowledge… so that it may purify itself for the life of the Spirit, and achieve finally, through a completed experience of itself, the awareness of what it really is in itself.”  This is a remarkable stance that Hegel has because he not only has contempt for the alienation that modern philosophy (and liberalism) establishes, he also has an uncanny reserve for forgiveness too.  Hegel, if you will “forgives” the hubris nature of modern philosophy because, in fact, the errors committed by philosophy can be seen as a necessary stage that unfolds and even as it can’t help but to reveal a truth deeper than itself.  But here the difference for Hegel is that he sees in error a truth that “mends error” beyond itself.

But what helps Hegel perceive in the presence of the untruth, that which is an absent-truth?  This is one of Hegel’s “tricks” he pulls out of his bag.  His trick is to get to the high-ground so that he can see a more expansive horizon.  Think of the basic military tactic of claiming the high ground so that the enemy is at a great disadvantage like the Union claimed the high-ground of “Big and Little Roundtop” on the left southern flank during the battle of Gettysburg.  Thus, the problem that plagued Modern philosophy was this it thought it had the “high-ground” of the cogito (I think therefore I am), but, in reality this was a like Tolkien’s “ring of power” that literally blinded the philosopher from the “historical perspective.”  The cogito was the philosophical fetish—a symptom that masked its cause (dualism of subject and object) and thus only tragedy could ensue.

Hegel thought can thus be seen as a kind of drug rehab unit that weans you off of the dangers of cogito and trains you to think the “unnatural” logic of the “whole.”  By “whole” Hegel means something akin to a story or a journey whose pilgrim is the character called “Consciousness” and whose terminal point is its own death (which he calls “negation”).  Hegel says, “…the result [of Science] is conceived as it is in truth, namely, as a determinate negation, a new form has thereby immediately arisen, and in the negation [death] the transition is made through which the progress through the complete series of forms comes about of itself” (51).

You see by signing the death-warrant of the cogito one negates it so that “ a new form” alights and the journey of truth continues unfolding.  In effect Hegel’s entire philosophical apparatus is one premised on the Phoenix that dies but arises from its ash-heap.  Yes, so the cliché “we learn from our mistakes” is literally true for Hegel.  Truth is paradoxically revealed in the error of trying to get to it but failing miserably.  This is why there really is no final terminal point in Hegel!  This is because the “progress towards this goal is …unhalting, and short of it no satisfaction is to be found at any of the stations on the way” (51).

“Whatever is confined within the limits of a natural life cannot by its own efforts go beyond its immediate existence; but it is driven beyond it by something else, and this uprooting entails its death.”  But unlike a finite entity that cannot transcend itself (except by birthing its offspring and dying), Consciousness “is explicitly the Notion of itself.  Hence it is something that goes beyond limits, and since these limits are its own, it is something that goes beyond itself.”

So here Hegel simply put together these two:  a singular entity (say a man) and Consciousness.  Now the Man has a different fate than does Consciousness, because the Man is “driven beyond” itself “by something else” (i.e., desire, sex-drive, reproduction etc.), and this drive to become immortal is its own death-keel.  By contrast, Consciousness is able to go beyond itself through its own powers.  It thus “suffers…violence at its own hands” and frustrates its own satisfaction.  Now Consciousness could at this point panic for Hegel and it could “retreat from the truth, and strive to hold on to what it is in danger of losing.  But it can find no peace” (51).  But its own unrest troubles its and arouses its from its slumber (like Hume wakes Kant up).  Consciousness could try to lie down and catch some Zzzzzz but in doing this it “flees from the universal, and seeks only to [sleep with itself]” (52).  It thus risks nothing and will die without returning anew via a resurrected form.

Hegel’s assumption here is that Consciousness “simultaneously distinguishes itself from something, and at the same time relates itself to it, or, as it is said, this something exists for Consciousness; and the determinate aspect of this relating, or of the being of something for a consciousness, is knowing” (52).

This is absolutely key for understanding Hegel.  Here to know something like an object (a tree) one must NOT be the tree, but also NOT be unfamiliar with the tree.  You must be familiar (related) to the tree but not the tree itself.  The tree likewise must be related to consciousness otherwise it is unknowable—for nothing can exist without it being related to consciousness.  In other words, what Hegel is saying here is that for you to know anything at all (like a tree) you must be participating inside of the unfolding of consciousness itself otherwise you could not even think at all.  This further means that the tree and you are part the unfolding of consciousness—which paradoxically unfolds necessarily through you (and the tree) and all other existing objects and subjects.

Later Hegel says that consciousness has a double-nature:  “For consciousness is, on the one hand, consciousness of the object, and on the other, consciousness of itself; consciousness of what for it is the True, and consciousness of its knowledge of the truth” (54).

And this is how consciousness overcomes itself.  “Herewith a new pattern of consciousness comes on the scene as well, for which the essence is something different from what it was at the preceding stage.  It is this fact that guides the entire series of the patterns of consciousness in their necessary sequence.”  But how does this happen exactly?  What is the origination of the “new object” that appears and thus presents itself (like a child dressed for Church presents herself for her mother’s approval) to consciousness?  In this presentation consciousness does not know how this happened—and so it happens “behind the back of consciousness” (56).  But when consciousness “grasps its own essence (of both knowing and not knowing of both relating to otherness and not relating at once), it will signify the nature of absolute knowledge itself” (57).

So Hegel in short begins in a void of unknowing and arises out of it by giving us a formula for consciousness grasping its own essence of presence and absence (of relation and non-relation, of the identity of identity and non-identity) in which case consciousness thus becomes aware of itself.  Thus consciousness is finally self-consciousness!


[1] Italics belong to Hegel

Postmodern Philosophy–A Seminar

Man at the Café by Juan Gris

Rollins College
Religion Senior Seminar: REL 490
Spring 2010
Weds 4 to 6:30pm, ORL 215
Office Hours: 8.30-9.30 & 11-12 M&W

Seminar Title:
Religion Senior Seminar
Postmodernism: System. . . Structure . . . Difference . . . Truth

Dr. Creston Davis
Email: Creston.Davis@gmail.com

Teaching Assistant: Megan Flocken
Thursdays, 5:30-6:30pm, Olin library pillow room (crowd permitting)
Fridays, 1-2pm, French House patio (weather permitting)
meganflocken@gmail.com
407.353.6329

*This seminar begins with the high-water mark of modern “critical” philosophy, which is constituted in the Post-Enlightenment trend called “Romanticism” and especially in the thought of Hegel, seen most vividly in his interpretations and responses to Kant’s and Fichte’s transcendental grounding of the subject/Ego. Above all it is Hegel who gives us a sustained critique of “critical” philosophy that culminates in the thought of Kierkegaard whose version of “repetition” gives birth to a seminal logic found within the post-modern philosophical outlook. The seminar then takes us through the “Heideggerian” turn framed by Western philosophy’s forgetfulness about the very question of Being and then into the heart of postmodern philosophy (Derrida) and out the other side (in the thought of Badiou, Derrida’s student, Malabou and Zizek). So, if you like, we move from modern philosophy, to postmodern philosophy, and into a moment that I call a “post-secular” horizon in which the question of Being and theology has returned to the centerpiece within the tradition of Continental philosophy.

Mark Tansey "Derrida Queries de Man"

Some of the questions this seminar will address include: How can we pass beyond absolute Knowledge? (this is the question Mark C. Taylor poses). How can we approach that which marks the closure of a system of thought that needs nothing but its own system to subsist? If modernism is, as Alain Badiou asserts, a system of our “accepted facts” of a world articulated by “the great constructions of the 19th Century to which we remain captive—the idea of the historical subject, the idea of progress, the idea of revolution, the idea of humanity and the ideal of science,” then what comes after modernity? What, in other words, is the “logic of thinking, critique, and existence” in the wake of the collapse of the great “metanarratives” of history? In short: What becomes of philosophy and theology after the fall of the project we call modernity?

Is there hope for thinking (for the production of thought) after the failure of modern philosophy seen at its zenith when “Kant’s efforts to unearth the conditions of the possibility of knowledge actually births the conditions of the impossibility of knowledge precisely because the a priori categories of understanding forever sunder thought from the thing-in-itself (ding an sich)?” (Tayor) This very epistemological move (a move that requires the subject to “step-back” from the objects) necessarily articulates a split between subject and object, between the “external world” and our mind that thinks the objects in the world). In the heart of epistemology the world is thus alienated from the thinking subject, because the question of the certitude of the ideas of the external objects in the mind actually representing those objects in the external world cannot be established. Hence, the subject and the object are sundered into an irreconcilable relation (i.e., a relation premised on non-relation). The Critique of Pure Reason ends by confirming an unbridgeable gap between subject and object, which again undermines the very possibility of knowledge in the first place. In other words, Hegel’s project begins by trying to address this “gap” set between the world “out there” and our ideas that think “the world” in our mind.

The New Man by El Lissitzky

Enter Hegel! For Hegel the impasse of Kant’s critical philosophy can be transcended only by giving, as Mark C. Taylor argues “speculative expression to Kant’s aesthetic idea, and secondly, by establishing the actuality of this speculative idea uncovered in its concrete embodiment in both nature and history.” So “Hegel reformulates Kant’s definition of poetic Geist, by defining spirit as that which relates itself to itself and is determinate, is other-being and being-for-self, and in this determinateness, or in its self-externality, abides within itself; in other words, it is in and for itself” (Taylor). So Hegel solves Kant’s epistemological problematic but at the cost of turning the world’s Geist into a totalizing system in which difference is neutralized into the background of the Whole; difference and otherness are sacrificed to the god of History—The Absolute! (or at least this is one well known way of situating Hegel’s system–a way that I challenge in my forthcoming book on Hegel (that Clayton Crockett, Slavoj Zizek and I edit) coming out with Columbia University Press later this year).

The thoroughgoing critique of Hegel’s “totalizing-system” was launched by Soren Kierkegaard and in doing so establishes many seminal pillars of what will become known as postmodernism in the 20th century. For Kierkegaard what is forever missing in Hegel’s system is the individual who emerges within the throes of temporality and becoming which always resists the closure that absolute knowledge exerts upon it. Thus, “truth for Kierkegaard is an irreducible process; one that is lived as a struggle against the closure of the absolute knowledge in the fabric of time. This is because he regards “reality” as “an inter-esse between the moments of the hypothetical unity of thought and being that abstract thought presupposes.” So, in the final analysis, truth for Kierkegaard is “inaccessible and unachievable”—a motif that confronts his readers clearly in his seminal text, Repetition. (cf. Taylor’s Introduction for more about Kierkegaard vis-a-vis Hegel).

After closely reading Hegel and Kierkegaard the class will turn toward the 20th Century. The dominant philosopher in the 20th century is none other than Martin Heidegger. For Heidegger philosophy has come to its terminus—we must now think after metaphysics. But this is not a sad moment for philosophy; indeed it forces us to think the “unthought” within philosophy. Heidegger’s entire project is predicated on the question of what philosophy has not-thought! We know what philosophy has thought but this thinking for Heidegger is conditioned by the subject wedded to the Cartesian cogito that ends by burning down the house of metaphysics. What becomes interesting for Heidegger, what philosophy has forgotten, is the very question of Being as Being. Not being as constituted by the parameters of the human subject thinking “Being” but thinking Being external to the subject thinking it. In other words, for Heidegger philosophy must think difference—“the difference between Being and beings” (between Being (as pure presence) and objects that indwell in Being). For Heidegger’s question (combined with Kierkegaard) opens up a new space within which philosophy attempts to account for “otherness” beyond the Hegelian “totality” or the “Absolute.” This brings us right into the heart of Jacques Derrida’s idea of la differance and deconstruction, and second, engages Alain Badiou’s idea of the Truth-Event (inspired by his two teachers, John Paul Sartre and Louis Althusser, both of whom were introduced to Hegel through A. Kojeve’s lectures). For the former, the idea of deconstruction is understood as a “critical rereading of all Western philosophy in which Derrida tries to dismantle (the) tradition, as if from within, by tracing philosophy’s other,” as Taylor argues. Siding with Kierkegaard and Heidegger, (early to middle) Derrida unleashes an all out attack on Hegel’s totalizing structure by attempting to think difference as difference and other qua other. “This difference, irreducible to identity—this other, irreducible to same, is an alterity that ‘exceeds the alternative of presence (pure Being) and absence (concealment)’.” Finally, we will observe how, Alain Badiou and Slavoj Zizek attempt to save “truth” from both postmodern and modern philosophy (of both Derrida and Lyotard as well as Gadamer and Heidegger) by re-reading Hegel’s idea of “the negation of negation” along side of his “atheistic” retrieval of St. Paul’s idea of “Event” as a way to re-claim philosophy’s original desire, namely the quest for truth in being-in-the-world.

Rene Magritte

Thus, in a sentence (kind of?): This seminar seeks to trace out Kant’s problematic inextricably bound up in Critical Philosophy, how Hegel attempts to resolve this dualism in terms of a “system” of history and science, which Kierkegaard both agrees and disagrees with, as Heidegger recapitulates the entire tradition of philosophy by thinking difference as such, which inspires Derrida, Badiou and Zizek’s “the Parallax View.”

*My short narrative (a story that we will more or less be following and challenging throughout the seminar) is partly indebted to the work of my friend, Mark C Taylor (professor at Columbia University). See especially his Introduction: “System . . . Structure . . . Difference . . . Other” in his edited book Deconstruction in Context: Literature and Philosophy, Chicago University Press, 1986).

Oedipus Rex by Max Ernst

Required Books:

G.W.F. Hegel, Early Theological Writings, intro by Richard Kroner, trans. TM Knox, University of Chicago Press, 1975.

G.W.F. Hegel, The Phenomenology of Spirit, forward by JN Findlay, trans. AV Miller, Oxford University Press, 1977.

Soren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling/Repetition, trans. Edna and Howard Hong, Kierkgaard’s Writings Vol. 6, Princeton University Press, 1983.

Jacques Derrida, The Gift of Death, trans. Davis Wills, University of Chicago Press, 1992.

Alain Badiou, Saint Paul: Foundation of Universalism, trans. Ray Brassier, Stanford University Press, 2003.

Additional Texts (selections provided in class):

Slavoj Zizek and John Milbank, ed. by Creston Davis, The Monstrosity of Christ: Paradox or Dialectic, MIT Press, 2009.

Creston Davis, Slavoj Zizek, and John Milbank, Paul’s New Moment: Continental Philosophy and the Future of Christian Theology, Baker Academic, 2010 (forthcoming).

Catherine Malabou, Plasticity at the Dusk of Writing: Dialectic, Destruction, Deconstruction, trans. Carolyn Shread, Columbia University Press, 2009.

Martin Heidegger, Being and Time New York, NY: Harper & Row, 1962

GRADE

There will be three graded aspects of this seminar. First there will be your final research paper. Your twelve-page paper will be on a topic approved by me no later than the ides of March (i.e., 15th). This paper will comprise 50% of your final grade. The second aspect will require you to both present and respond in the seminar. These are official—formal requirements that require you to accomplish quality work. When you present you will be required to write out your presentation in a three-page paper and get it to the respondent one-week prior to your scheduled presentation in the seminar. The respondent will then have until Sunday at midnight to email his/her two-page response to everyone in the class. The presenter, too, will have to email his/her presentation to everyone in the class by Sunday night midnight. In this way, everyone will have to read the original assigned text, the presenter’s paper, and the respondent’s paper. This part of the grade will comprise 30% (15% for your presentation paper & 15% for your response paper). The third and final graded task will be to post weekly responses to the assigned texts on Blackboard by no later than Wednesday at 3pm. This part of the course will comprise 20% of your grade. You will be required to posit ten (10) posts responding to the assigned reading by the end of the term. Failure to post all ten responses will severely compromise your grade, i.e., the highest grade you can receive in the seminar will be a C. Note: the presenter and the respondent do not have to post their responses on Blackboard the week that they are presenting/responding.

SCHEDULE

#1 January 13 – Hegel: Early Theological Writings

#2 January 20 – Hegel: Early Theological Writings

#3 January 27 – Hegel: The Phenomenology of the Spirit, A. Consciousness, & B. Self-Consciousness

#4 February 3 – Hegel: The Phenomenology of the Spirit, Reason

#5 February 10 – Hegel: The Phenomenology of Spirit, Spirit

#6 February 17 – Hegel: The Phenomenology of Spirit, Religion & Absolute Knowledge

#7 February 24 – Hegel: The Phenomenology of Spirit, Preface

#8 March 3 – Kierkegaard: Fear and Trembling

SPRING BREAK

#9 March 17 – Heidegger: Introduction to Being and Time (provided)

#10 March 24 – Derrida: The Gift of Death (Chapters I & II)

#11 March 31 – Derrida: The Gift of Death (Chapters III & IV)

#12 April 7 – Badiou: Saint Paul: Foundation of Universalism (Prologue and Chapters I-5)

#13 April 14 – Badiou: Saint Paul: Foundation of Universalism (Chapters VI-XI)

#14 April 21 – Malabou; Davis, Milbank, Zizek (selections from the forthcoming book Paul’s New Moment: Continental Philosophy and the Future of Christian Theology forthcoming with Baker Academic).