a few words

The Limits of the Thinkable :: Coming Tomorrow!

Late notice here, but if you’re anywhere near New York City tomorrow, Fordham will be hosting its annual Graduate Theology conference. The conference title is “The Limits of the Thinkable: Religious Experience and the Apophatic Impulse between Antiquity and Modernity.” There is a full schedule posted here. The conference will run from 10am to 6pm in Tognino Hall, (the second floor of Duane Library, above the Theology Department). Catherine Keller will be speaking at 5:00, and all are welcome to attend. Folks from the conference will also be headed out to a pub in the neighborhood after the conference to continue the conversation. Hope to see you there!

2013 Reading

One of the few traditions here is to post the year’s reading—or, at least the books that I’ve read cover to cover. I always enjoy seeing what other people have been reading, so I figure that posting my list may—however minutely—increase the net amount of enjoyment in the universe. Despite intentions to the contrary, I’m not accomplishing much today, so adding a scrap of enjoyment to the universe seems like a decent use of time.

Explanations and caveats: I’ve put my favorite books of the year in bold face for each category. The categories, as previously, reflect my own idiosyncratic organization rather than the objective order of Being. Most, but not all, of the reading has been background for the dissertation, though I did much better this year than previous years about mixing fiction in with all the philosophy and theology. Of course, I’m eager to hear what other folks thought of the books here, as well as the books that should make my list for 2014.

So… an apt quote from Bernard Steigler and then the list:

“Stupidity is never foreign to knowledge; knowledge can itself become stupidity par excellence, so to speak. And this is so because knowledge, and in particular theoretical knowledge as passage to the act of reason—or more broadly noesis—only occurs intermittently to a noetic soul which constantly regresses, and which, as such, is like Sisyphus, perpetually ascending the slope of its own stupidity.”

Theology:

Adam Kotsko, The Politics of Redemption

Jose Comblin, Retrieving the Human: A Christian Anthropology

Stanley Grenz, The Social God and the Relational Self: A Trinitarian Theology of the Imago Dei

Jeannine Hill Fletcher, Motherhood as Metaphor: Engendering Interreligious Dialogue

Elizabeth A. Johnson, Women, Earth, and Creator Spirit

J. Wentzel van Huyssteen, Alone in the World?: Human Uniqueness in Science and Theology

Kathryn Tanner, Jesus, Humanity, and the Trinity: A Brief Systematic Theology

Catherine Keller, From a Broken Web: Separation, Sexism, and Self

Peter Scott, Anti-Human Theology: Nature, Technology, and the Post-natural

Christopher Southgate, The Groaning of Creation: God, Evolution, and the Problem of Evil

Catherine Keller, The Face of the Deep: A Theology of Becoming

Karen Kilby, Karl Rahner: Theology and Philosophy

James Cone, God of the Oppressed

Catherine Keller, Apocalypse Now and Then: A Feminist Guide to the End of the World

Celia Deane-Drummond, Rebecca Artinian-Kaiser, and David Clough, eds., Animals as Religious Subjects: Transdisciplinary Perspectives

Vine Deloria Jr., God is Red: A Native View of Religion

Emmanuel Falque, The Metamorphosis of Finitude: An Essay on Birth and Resurrection

Anthony Paul Smith, A Non-Philosophical Theory of Nature: Ecologies of Thought

Lisa H. Sideris, Environmental Ethics, Ecological Theology, and Natural Selection

 

Philosophy:

Jacques Derrida, The Beast and the Sovereign II

Aaron Gross and Anne Vallely, Animals and the Human Imagination: A Companion to Animal Studies

Jacques Derrida, Specters of Marx

Carol J. Adams, The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory

Alasdair MacIntyre, Dependent Rational Animals: Why Human Beings Need the Virtues

John Dupre, Humans and Other Animals

Val Plumwood, Environmental Culture: the Ecological Crisis of Reason

Judith Butler, Frames of War

William Jordan III, The Sunflower Forest: Ecological Restoration and the New Communion with Nature

Val Plumwood, Feminism and the Mastery of Nature

 

History/Historiography:

W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folks

 

Biography/Memoir:

Alex Haley, The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Dorothy Day, From Union Square to Rome

 

Science:

Reg Morrison, The Spirit in the Gene: Humanity’s Proud Illusion and the Laws of Nature

Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce, Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals

 

Fiction/Literature:

David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest, 1079.

David Foster Wallace, Consider the Lobster and Other Essays, 343.

David Foster Wallace, Oblivion, 329.

Teju Cole, Open City, 259.

Ed Abbey, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness, 337.

Herman Melville, Moby Dick, 527.

Peter Matthiessen, The Snow Leopard, 338.

James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time, 106.

James Baldwin, Go Tell it on the Mountain, 226.

 

Self-Help/Self-sabotage:

Stan Hieronymous, For the Love of Hops: A Practical Guide to Aroma, Bitterness, and the Culture of Hops, 319.

 

Poetry:

Kelly Davio, Burn This House, 82.

Call for Papers: 2014 Fordham Theology Conference — The Limits of the Thinkable

The Theology Graduate Student Association at Fordham is organizing its third conference, centered on the theme of religious experience and apophaticism at the limits of thought. The theme is meant to encompass both historical inquiry and constructive work mysticism, apophaticism, ecstatic revelry, theophany, and records of experiences that remain at the edges of “proper” forms of knowing. The conference will take place on Saturday, February 8th at Fordham’s Rose Hill Campus.  

Catherine Keller will be delivering a keynote address at the end of the conference on the logic of the infinite in Nicolas of Cusa. Previous conferences have brought together a rich collection of papers, and presenters have come from all over the Northeast (from as far as Toronto and Ohio). 

If your interests lie in the area, I would encourage you to submit an abstract. Your proposal should be roughly 300 words, and should be sent to fordhamtgsa@gmail.com by January 17th. Notifications will be sent by January 28th. We can provide housing (staying with grad students) for some of the presenters to help defray the cost of attendance.

The full, official text of the CFP is below:

The Limits of the Thinkable: Religious Experience and the Apophatic Impulse Between Antiquity and Modernity (with a keynote address by Dr. Catherine Keller)

2014 Fordham Graduate Theology Conference: Call for Papers

“The concept of limit-situation is a familiar one in the existentialist philosophy and theology of the very recent
past. Fundamentally, the concept refers to those human situations wherein a human being ineluctably finds manifest a certain ultimate limit or horizon to his or her existence… either those ‘boundary’ situations of guilt, anxiety, sickness, and the recognition of death as one’s own destiny, or those situations called ‘ecstatic experiences’- intense joy, love, reassurance, creation… Such experiences… seem to demand reflection upon the existential boundaries of our present everyday experience.”

—David Tracy, Blessed Rage for Order

“For any ‘modernity’ to be worthy of one day taking its place as ‘antiquity,’ it is necessary for the mysterious beauty which human life accidentally puts into it to be distilled from it… By modernity, I mean the transitory, the fugitive, the contingent, which makes up one half of art, the other being the eternal and the immutable.”

—Charles Baudelaire, The Painter of Modern Life

For contemporary scholars of religion, David Tracy’s description of limit-situations as the “stuff” of theological reflection provides a helpful lens through which to consider religious experience. And yet, while one might easily suppose that such “ecstatic” and “boundary” experiences name timeless or perennial aspects of human life, Tracy himself is quick to note that the limit situation is itself a distinctively “modern” discursive phenomenon, having its roots in existentialist philosophy, and entering the mainstream of theological discourse only in the last several generations.

Today both historians of religion as well as constructive theologians are faced with the task of deciding how far religious experiences and limit situations can be meaningfully discussed as separate from their contextual origins in time, language, and culture. As Baudelaire suggests, such a disentangling of what is “eternal and immutable” from the “accidents” of the present-day constitutes a daunting task. And indeed, as each successive generation’s “modernity” seeks to distinguish itself even further from the “pre-modern” preceding it, entanglements between limit-experiences and the new discourses that attend to them can only grow in complexity.

The 3rd Annual Fordham Graduate Theology Conference seeks to examine the relationship between such limit- experiences and their historical and discursive contexts. The Theology Graduate Association warmly invites submissions from graduate students in the disciplines comprising religious studies and theology (and cognate fields). Students whose research is primarily textual/biblical, sociological, historical, philosophical, ethical, or constructive are all invited to submit and attend. Submissions are especially welcomed which: explore the relationship between “religious experience” and “religious history”; situate apophatic and negative theological texts/traditions within their broader historical, social, and discursive contexts (including proposals dealing with modern and contemporary constructive apophatic/negative theologies); explore the ways in which religious communities make use of shared “limit-situation” religious experiences, e.g., as in mystical traditions, Pietism, Pentecostalism, etc.; consider diachrony and synchrony in the construction of theological concepts such as history, memory, affect, and identity; and address the “limits” of religious language generally. Papers addressing related themes beyond these suggestions are welcomed as well.

Abstracts (of roughly 300 words) proposing 20 minute presentations should be sent via email
to fordhamtgsa@gmail.com. The deadline for submissions is Friday, January 17th, 2014. Notifications regarding submissions will be given by Monday, January 27th.

The conference will be held on Saturday, February 8th at Fordham’s Rose Hill Campus. A keynote address by Dr. Catherine Keller (Professor of Constructive Theology in the Graduate Division of Religion at Drew University) will consider the curiously “modern” logic of the infinite in Nicolas of Cusa. Complete conference schedule and program to follow. Limited New York City lodging for graduate student presenters is available. Please direct any questions to fordhamtgsa@gmail.com.

Animals as Religious Subjects :: Book/Chapter Announcement

This news will be old in the timeframe of social media, but still fresh in the timeframe of books. A little more than a month ago, T&T Clark released an edited volume entitled Animals as Religious Subjects: Transdisciplinary Perspectives. The essays collected within were (by and large) presented at a conference by the same title that took place in the summer of 2011 near the University of Chester. The book was edited by Celia Deanne-Drummond, Rebecca Artinian Kaiser, and David Clough, to whom I am very grateful.

My gratitude is due because of the inclusion of an essay of mine entitled “‘Marvel at the Intelligence of Unthinking Creatures’”: Contemplative Animals in Gregory of Nazianzus and Evagrius of Pontus.” The quote in the title is from Gregory’s 28th Oration, and the essay examines this “unthinking intelligence” of animals, which Gregory and other late-antique authors often attribute to an externalized rationality, an infusion of the divine Logos. With Giorgio Agamben’s “anthropological machine” providing the framework for analysis, my essay argues that what Gregory and Evagrius (among others) describe as the goal of (human) contemplation–the very height of human spirituality–cannot be so easily differentiated from this externalized animal rationality.

There are many other excellent essays in the volume. Essays particularly helpful for my own interests were Tim Ingold’s chapter on “Walking with Dragons”; Aaron Gross’s chapter on “The Study of Religion after the Animal”; and Ingvild Sælid Gilhus’s chapter “From Sacrifices to Symbols: Animals in Late Antiquity and Early Christianity.” Additionally, David Clough has an excellent essay on the theological uses of classification schemes, and Charles Camosy, a Fordham professor with whom I have worked here and there, has an essay engaging with Peter Singer, putting forth a Roman Catholic argument that personhood cannot be categorically denied to non-human animals.

The book is prohibitively expensive for most people, but those with the ability to order books at their library will likely find the volume to be helpful.

2012 Books

In years past, I’ve posted a list of the books that I’d read cover-to-cover over the course of the year. I never got around to it last year, but thought I’d resume the habit. All the usual caveats attain with regard to my categorization; it is inevitably arbitrary and disputable. For most categories, I’ve put the book that I found to be most illuminating or entertaining in Bold face, and the book that I don’t particularly recommend in a shade of the color brown.

I’m happy to say that I’ve read quite a bit more fiction this year than in several previous years, and I’m close to being able to include DFW’s Infinite Jest on the list, though it will have to wait for next year. Of course, I wish that I’d taken the time to read more, but unfortunately reading seems to be what “gives” when I’m under the gun of writing or application deadlines. Since I never posted last year’s books, I’ve included that list separately, below the break.

What books from your 2012 reading will your thoughts carry into 2013?

__

2012

Theology:

Christopher A. Beeley, Gregory of Nazianzus on the Trinity and the Knowledge of God: In Your Light we see Light, 396.

Sigurd Bergmann, Creation Set Free: The Spirit as Liberator of Nature, 389.

Peter Scott, A Political Theology of Nature, 275.

Kevin Corrigan, Evagrius and Gregory: Mind, Soul, and Body in the 4th Century, 245.

Daniel Colucciello Barber, On Diaspora: Christianity, Religion, and Secularity, 155.

David Clough, On Animals: Volume I, Systematic Theology, 215.

Deborah Creamer, Disability and Christian Theology: Embodied Limits and Constructive Possibilities, 156.

David Kelsey, Eccentric Existence: A Theological Anthropology vol. 1, 602.

David Kelsey, Eccentric Existence: A Theological Anthropology vol. 2, 490.

 

Philosophy:

Jean-Christophe Bailly, The Animal Side, 87.

Giorgio Agamben, The Kingdom and the Glory: For a Theological Genealogy of Economy and Government, 303.

Michael Naas, Miracle and Machine: Jacques Derrida and the Two Sources of Religion, Science, and the Media, 407.

Penelope Deutscher, How To Read: Derrida, 133.

Richard Sorabji, Animal Minds and Human Morals: The Origins of the Western Debate, 267.

Georges Bataille, Theory of Religion, 126.

Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There, 228.

Donna J. Haraway, When Species Meet, 423.

Julia Kristeva, Strangers to Ourselves, 230.

Peter Singer, Animal Liberation, 320.

 

History/Historiography:

Ingvild Sælid Gilhus, Animals, Gods and Humans: Changing Attitudes to Animals in Greek, Roman, and Early Christian Ideas, 322.

Robert M. Grant, Early Christians and Animals, 214.

James Serpell, In the Company of Animals, 215.

David Brakke, Demons and the Making of the Monk: Spiritual Combat in Early Christianity, 308.

Julia S. Konstantinovsky, Evagrius Ponticus: The Making of a Gnostic, 217.

 

Biblical Studies:

Scot McKnight, Junia is Not Alone, 25.

 

Biography/Memoir:

John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra, 270.

Fiction/Literature:

Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God, 160.

Ed Abbey, The Monkey Wrench Gang, 385.

Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow, 776.

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, 232.

Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Devils, 704.

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Uncle’s Dream, 155.

David Foster Wallace, The Broom of the System, 467.

 

Sports:

Christopher McDougall, Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World has Never Seen, 287.

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“Maybe we are doing it wrong?”: On Diversity in the Theological Academy

Readers interested in the theological academy should go to Brandy Daniels’ latest piece at  AUFS. Brandy is responding to a post by Tony Baker, following up on some questions at a meeting tangential to the AAR last weekend. I was not at the Theology Studio meeting, but I’ve seen the same white-male dynamic enough to be familiar with what went on.

I want to append one comment to my recommendation of Brandy’s post, which looks to be the beginning of a longer series. After reading Tony’s post. I really wish that, for once, the response to a question about the overwhelming predominance of white men in certain kinds of conversations would be something along the lines of, “Hmmm… Maybe we’re doing this wrong?”

Instead, the most common response  is something of the sort that Tony has written in which the discourse continues on as usual (with a touch more sensitivity mixed in). There seems to be an operating assumption that if the discourses are just a little more open to participation from women and folks of color, eventually the non white-male people will “catch up” and want to join in. There is rarely, if ever, serious reflection about how the structure of the discourse itself, and that of the institutions, organizations, and histories that make up the discipline of systematic theology as it stands have—to put it nicely—”privilege problems” that run all the way to the core.

I am a theologian; I’m a part of the game too, and I’m not giving up on the questions and concerns that drive theological inquiry. But responses like the one Tony has offered remind me all too much of MLK’s claim with regard to civil rights that the real impediment to change wasn’t the fire-breathing racists of the KKK, but the sensitive, well meaning, sympathetic white moderates who were “on the right side” but just wanted to think things through on their own terms a little longer.

Christians and Other Animals :: NYC, November 16th, 4-6pm

 

Fordham is hosting a panel on animals, ethics, and Christian responsibility. The conversations will take place November 16th, from 4-6pm at the Lincoln Center Campus (60th and Columbus), in the 12th floor Lounge.

The headliner for the event is obviously Peter Singer, but David Clough has been doing quite a lot of really important work on animals in Christian ethics and theology, for which he is increasingly getting much-deserved attention. Rusty Reno, of First Things fame, has been invited to play the role of “sympathetic skeptic.” I’m very honored to be rounding out the panel, talking about ethical implications in my current research. My approach to animal questions differs as much from Singer and Clough’s as theirs differ from one another, and Reno is not known for shying away from controversy—so I’m looking forward to a very lively conversation. All the credit for organizing the event goes to Charles Camosy, who will moderate the panel.

If you’re in the area and you’d like to attend, please RSVP to christiansandotheranimals@gmail.com  I believe that the conversation will also be streamed live, and I’ll post the details here for that as soon as I have them.

 

Sacred Topographies: or, Parks and Revelation


The second rendition of the Fordham Graduate Theology Conference will take place on October 20th, from 9:30AM – 6:00PM at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus (60th and Columbus). Dr. Elizabeth Castelli of Barnard/Columbia will be giving a keynote address at 5 PM. Fellow student John Penniman has done a fantastic job pulling this year’s conference together.

If you are in the area and interested, I would encourage you to come for all or part of the proceedings. The program is available here, and promises a wide range of interesting papers/panels. Here is the conferences official site.

Bruno Latour on Religious Language

At its best, religious language does not mystify and blur, but focuses the attention with absolute precision upon some expansive reality. The ongoing use of language tends to render once-crisp metaphors stale and cliche. Given that religion tends to deal in so many intangibles and has a strong inclination to preserve and pass on particular formulations, its language is especially susceptible to codification into strange esoteric systems in which very many words are employed to say very little. This whole article is worth reading, but I was particularly struck by the description (more of an exhortation, really) given to religious language.

Uncomprehending outsiders will assume that the transformative truths of religion are about getting yourself teleported to some other, better world, but for insiders the opposite will be the case: religious truths serve to remove distractions, enabling us to focus on what is taking place in our space and in our time – to attend to incarnation, to the flesh, to a face, a stone, a child, a fly, a tomato or a piece of wood – and to find them replete with significance, and calling for no response except gratitude, reverence and love.

Religious language can be risky “it requires great care,” Latour says – “it might save those who utter it” but it is never mysterious: it contains “nothing hidden, nothing encrypted, nothing esoteric, nothing odd”. It has its own robust wisdom, and does not need to beg for “tolerance”, or to plead with tough-minded sceptics to concede that the facts of science are too dry for some tastes, and that a spoonful of “wonder” or “quaint religious feelings” might make them much more palatable. Contrary to what we have been brought up to think, the daring heroes of intellectual escapology are not the religious believers but the practising scientists, going boldly into the unfathomable mysteries of eternity; while religion, properly speaking, is a set of exercises in “breaking the will to go away, ignore, be indifferent, blasé, or bored”, and focusing our minds on the intimate textures of what lies close.

via The cult of science — newhumanist.org.uk — Readability.

On Mark Regnerus and Research about Same-sex Child Rearing

I am on the fringes of a few circles in which there has been some flapping about “thought policing,” “witch hunts,” and “inquisitions” over the case of a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin. Mark Regnerus is being investigated by his university over questions of scientific integrity following an article he published that included data showing that adult children of same-sex couples have more emotional issues than children raised by heteronormatively “standard” couples.

I’m not really writing here about my stake in issues of academic freedom, or about the best way to characterize the investigation, and any comment I might make about the scientific integrity of the data would be speaking way, way outside my expertise. Rather, I’m writing about some of the assumptions that seem to underlie both sides of the conversation, assumptions that I noticed myself conspicuously not-sharing from the moment I read about the story.

Perhaps it shows just how long it’s been since I drank the critical-theory humanities kool-aid, but my first response upon reading about the whole thing was to wonder why people are so cranked up over this data in the first place. Both the de-bunkers and the defenders seem to share the premise that data of this kind (if not this data) could really show us whether same-sex couples ought to be raising children or not. Science will peel back the veil on nature and we’ll (finally) see for certain what sort of familial arrangement is most conducive to healthy children. That’s a falsely constrained and reductive view of “nature” and the “natural.”

The results of the study at hand just don’t seem all that surprising to me, given that our broader cultural context contains a lot of adamant voices insisting that same-sex couples raising children are not only statistically rare, but morally aberrant. Why should we expect kids to grow up without some maladjustment to society at large when, minimally—assuming that they aren’t bullied or otherwise excluded—their default awareness of the “way the world is” includes the knowledge that a significant segment of mainstream culture believes that their home and the love shared by their family is verboten? Or, on the other side, why should we be surprised when a study shows that growing up in a stable home with two parents grow up to be better adjusted than kids raised in less-stable single parent homes—irrespective of the orientation of the parents?

If it feels as if I’m being dismissive about the discipline of sociology generally, that’s not at all my intention. On some level it’s the nature of our cynical politics that wherever science touches down in issues such as this, it functions (for either side) largely as a political bludgeon, something concrete to lob at one’s ideological opponents. I get that. I think that the point of my frustration with the heat in this conversation is directed at: a) people’s expressions of surprise and anger that data like this should exist; and b) people’s convictions (whether stated or not) that data of this sort is not only a measurement of how things are, but is capable of telling us what we should do, how we ought to arrange our society. There seems to me to be a measure of pretense in the former, and a measure of backwards thinking in the latter.

“Call the Super—the faucet is leaking, and there are missiles on the roof!”: Olympics Edition

So far, coordinated dissent has been specific: bus drivers went on strike to demand a bonus for transporting an extra eight hundred thousand passengers; protestors gathered in Trafalgar Square as part of a global day of action against Dow Chemical’s sponsorship; and East London residents resorted to legal action to try and stop the installation of High Velocity Missiles on their building’s roof. Last week, bus drivers accepted a new offer of a £577 bonus to recognize their increased workload; Dow Chemical is still sponsoring the events; and the High Court ruled in favor of the Ministry of Defence (MOD), agreeing that a tower block was a suitable site for the missiles.

The missiles, put in place as part of an air security plan to protect the Olympic site from terrorist attacks, cover most homes in East London: residents within range must like it or lump it. In an article for The Guardian, Stephen Graham, author of Cities Under Siege, places the missiles in the context of a larger “total security” operation, which will leave a legacy of its own: “The security preoccupations of the Olympics present unprecedented opportunities to push through highly elitist, authoritarian, and speculative urban planning efforts that otherwise would be much more heavily contested–especially in democracies.”

Via: Guernica, The Grand Project of the Olympics (Natasha Lewis)

So, this story demonstrates excellently how a planned event can serve as the trojan horse for all sorts of public security policy changes that, inevitably, do not go entirely back to “normal” afterward. The military may remove the missiles from the roof, and the “dispersal zones” may not become a permanent part of crowd-control and the restriction of public assembly in London. But London will have been a place where, in order to feel safe, society was subjected to a quasi martial-control for a time. At the next sign of instability, those measures are all the more ready-to-hand if needed.

The story also contains a heckler shouting “You prick!” at everyone’s favorite big society thinktank guru Philip Blond.

The Divinanimality of the Logos and the Curse of Human Uniqueness

I’ve been working today, editing my essay for the Divinanimality volume, coming out later this year through Fordham University Press. Here is a favorite paragraph from the essay—one of the most explicitly theological paragraphs I’ve written in years. In context, I’m making an argument for rethinking the significance of the Incarnation for thinking about the human-animal distinction:

On this understanding, the Logos of God is no longer the Master Signifier, the keystone that anchors the logos of self-reflective human thought and speech in a stable economy of meaning. Instead, relative to the logos of humanity, the Logos of God is negatively transcendent. God’s Logos is the charged silence over which humanity finds itself interminably babbling. The logos of humanity can find no entryway into the Logos of God; it tries to speak its way over a communicative abyss rather than being immersed in the silence of divinanimality. The unsettling eyes of animals—whose gazes have so little regard for human discourse—are unsettling not because they lack meaning but because they convey an excess of meaning that cannot be borne in language; they are icons of the mystery of the zōē of God. The living silence of the divinanimal Logos offers (or threatens) to swallow whole the logos of humanity—and no one can guess what kind of new zōē might emerge from this end

The paragraph and the paper in which it lives grew out of this post from a few years ago (see mom, blogging is good for something!). One of the broader contributions that I hope to make through the essay is the argument that despite their many differenced and disagreements, Derrida’s and Agamben’s texts on animality and politics are not only mutually illuminating, but have a kind of convergence. So, it’s an effort to read The Open and Homo Sacer alongside The Animal that Therefore I am and The Beast and the Sovereign—all in the context of John’s prologue.

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