Book Series

Naturalism, Heidegger, and Žižek now released!

The Centre of Theology and Philosophy, along with Eerdmans Press is happy to announce two forthcoming volumes in the Interventions series: Naturalism, co-authored by Stewart Goetz and Charles Taliaferro, Heidegger: A (Very) Critical Introduction, by Sean J. McGrath, and Žižek: A (Very) Critical Introduction, by Marcus Pound.

Click on the names below to read blurbs for Naturalism

John F. Haught, Georgetown University

“This compact study makes a significant contribution
to the question of whether, in an age of science, reasonable people need
to resign themselves to a naturalistic understanding of the world. Is the
intellectually respected assumption that ‘nature is all there is’
intellectually coherent? In this ‘intervention’ Goetz and Taliaferro
provide a readable, critical response to this important question.”

John Milbank, University of Nottingham

“Demonstrates with succinctness, brilliance, and
precision that modern Anglo-Saxon naturalists are not rationalists but . . .
are, in fact, the enemies of reason, which can only have any reality if the
physical world has a spiritual, rational source.”

Robert P. George, Princeton University

“More than a few people seem to regard it as a mark of
sophistication to hold that nothing exists that transcends the natural
order. But, as Stewart Goetz and Charles Taliaferro show in their splendid
new book, ‘naturalism’ is anything but a sophisticated view of reality.
Under rigorous philosophical scrutiny, it isn’t even a plausible one. . . .
Patiently, gently, but in the end decisively, Goetz and Taliaferro demolish
the dogmas of naturalism.”

James K.A. Smith, Calvin College

“This little gem of a book is a bold intervention in
current discussions of naturalism that dominate philosophy and cognitive
science. Unlike so many others, it is not just a book written to make
theists comfortably smug in the face of naturalist critiques. It is
unabashedly directed to naturalists as well and seeks to engage them on
their turf and on their terms. It should be required reading not only for
theologians who sense an obligation to engage the broader cultural milieu,
but also naturalists willing to relinquish dogmatism and actually listen.
The book well fulfills its function as a ‘guide’—and more.”

J. P. Moreland, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

“The clearest and most penetrating exposition and
critique of naturalism anywhere. In accessible, nontechnical language and
brevity of style, the authors have managed to identify important versions of
naturalism and expose the Achilles’ heel of each. In a day when theologians
and Christian leaders feel bullied by scientific naturalism, this book is
a must-read.”

Paul Copan, Palm Beach Atlantic University

“Taliaferro and Goetz have written a brilliant book!
These veteran philosophers represent naturalism fairly, both allowing its
spokespersons to speak for themselves and accurately interpreting their
views. Yet the authors’ criticisms of naturalism and their defense of
theism are trenchant and insightful. Superbly done!”

Click on the names below to read blurbs for Heidegger: a (very) critical introduction

Thomas Sheehan, Stanford University

“In this elegantly written text Sean McGrath provides a
clear reading of Heidegger and an incisive critique of his ontology, ethics,
politics, and theology. McGrath anchors his critique in two positions that
Heidegger claimed to have surpassed—classical metaphysics and Christian
humanism. While it may not convince mainstream Heideggerians, this work opens
a discussion that merits serious attention from postmetaphysical and
postmodern thinkers.”

William Desmond, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

“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.”

Oliva Blanchette, Boston College

“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

Click on the names below to read blurbs for Žižek: a (very) critical introduction

Gerard Loughlin, Durham University

“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.”

Matthew Sharpe, author of Žižek: A Little Piece of the Real

“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.”



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(Sculpture by Sara Cunningham-Bell)

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