Book Series

Two (Very) Critical Introductions: Heidegger and Žižek forthcoming

The Centre of Theology and Philosophy, along with Eerdmans Press is happy to announce two forthcoming volumes in the Interventions series: Heidegger: A (Very) Critical Introduction, by Sean J. McGrath (forthcoming: 29 September,2008), and Žižek: A (Very) Critical Introduction, by Marcus Pound (forthcoming: 29 October, 2008).

Listed below are the blurbs that have arrived for the respective books:

“This informed and informative book is an admirably compact and clear introduction to the essentials of Heidegger’s thought. It will be very helpful for the beginner, and for the more advanced reader it offers an honorable critical interpretation. McGrath exhibits a sharp sense for the often-recessed religious preoccupations of Heidegger: out of sight is not quite out of mind, which sometimes leads to convoluted results in Heidegger’s expressed thought. For the theological reader this book offers an exemplary critical engagement, attuned to Heidegger’s religious equivocality and what remains hidden in the Heideggerian unsaid.”
– William Desmond, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

“Heidegger’s entire life was an adventure in philosophy, from phenomenology to thought, focused on a distinction between ontological be and ontic being that he was never able to explain, but that he was also never able to let go of in his long explorations into what he called the metaphysical tradition. In this remarkably lucid introduction to a philosopher notorious not only for radicalizing and obfuscating philosophical questioning but also for bringing it back to this most radical question of being or not-being, McGrath uses both biographical and existential information and the writing of Heidegger himself, especially in its earlier stages, to illuminate where this preeminent philosopher of the twentieth century was coming from in his questioning and where he was trying to go. The life of Heidegger sheds light on his philosophy, just as his philosophy sheds light on his life, with all its existential ambiguities, which were as conservative as they were radical against the inauthentic and the technological in modern mass society. In the end we learn how or why Heidegger was unable to resolve these ambiguities in his own philosophy, especially in axiology and in theology, which were never entirely absent from his thinking, and why also McGrath will not, as Heideggerians do, settle for such nihilistic ambiguities, due to the finitizing of being in Heidegger, that affect the broader question of being as well as the question of life for the human being or for the ever-present Dasein.”
– Oliva Blanchette, Boston College

“With clarity and humor, and in wonderfully short compass, Marcus Pound introduces the thought of not only Slavoj Žižek but also his guru, Jacques Lacan. Pound finds in these masters of inversion a profound anti-theology that only needs to become more theological—more orthodox—in order to work, to rid us of complacency. This is a book for those new to Žižek and for those who, knowing him already, want to know him newly—as the theologian he might almost be. It’s as enjoyable as reading Žižek himself.”
Gerard Loughlin, Durham University

“Slavoj Žižek’s work, always iconoclastic, has since 1997 embraced the seemingly scandalous project of a materialist theology. Marcus Pound’s new book is a long-called-for response, from within the field of theology, that takes Žižek’s theological turn seriously, testing it against its sources, and situating it within wider theological debates. In doing so, Pound achieves a very searching examination of Žižek’s oeuvre, significantly recasting the reception of Žižek’s work. Pound’s theological perspective also allows him to pose searching questions about what he provocatively calls Žižek’s ‘politics of abandonment’ and about the wider situation of the post-Enlightenment Left today.”
– Matthew Sharpe, author of Žižek: A Little Piece of the Real



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(Sculpture by Sara Cunningham-Bell)

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