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A new political ethics that confronts the injustices of liberal democracy.
This groundbreaking volume for the Thinking Cinema series focuses on the extent to which contemporary cinema contributes to political and philosophical thinking about the future of Europe's core Enlightenment values. In light of the challenges of globalization, multi-cultural communities and post-nation state democracy, the book interrogates the borders of ethics and politics and roots itself in debates about post-secular, post-Enlightenment philosophy. By defining a cinema that knows that it is no longer a competitor to Hollywood (i.e. the classic self-other construction), Elsaesser also thinks past the kind of self-exoticism or auto-ethnography that is the perpetual temptation of such a co-produced, multi-platform 'national cinema as world cinema'. Discussing key filmmakers and philosophers, like: Claire Denis and Jean-Luc Nancy; Aki Kaurismäki, abjection and Julia Kristeva; Michael Haneke, the paradoxes of Christianity and Slavoj Zizek; Fatih Akin, Alain Badiou and Jacques Rancière, Elsaesser is able to approach European cinema and assesses its key questions within a global context. His combination of political and philosophical thinking will surely ground the debate in film philosophy for years to come.
A common basis for the project on which this volume is based is that one cannot understand religion and ethics without paying attention to the different contexts in, and by means of which, these cultural elements are expressed. This approach makes both religion and ethics liquid, and allows us to see them as based on specific contingencies rather than as expressions of some essential features. The changing societal and cultural conditions in late modern Western societies pose new challenges for established religion, theology and ethics: Not only does religion itself appear to be in some kind of crisis, but also many of the established ways of understanding and doing religion, theology and ethics appear obsolete, inadequate or dated. Against such a backdrop, the articles in the present volume represent attempts to rethink theology and religion with regard to these late modern conditions. The volume is the result of a joint undertaking of two research groups, one based in Åbo, Finland, and the other in Oslo, Norway, which have since 2006 focused on exploring the contextual character of theology in understanding both Christian belief and Christian ethics. The challenge of the idea that Christianity appears in new ways – and in “new” contexts, and of investigating what that means, is pursued in various ways.
Marxism's collapse in the twentieth century profoundly altered the style and substance of Western European radical thought. To build a more robust form of democratic theory and action, prominent theorists moved to reject revolution, abandon class for more fragmented models of social action, and elevate the political over the social. Acknowledging the constructedness of society and politics, they chose the "symbolic" as a concept powerful enough to reinvent leftist thought outside a Marxist framework. Following Maurice Merleau-Ponty's Adventures of the Dialectic, which reassessed philosophical Marxism at mid century, Warren Breckman critically revisits these thrilling experiments in the aftermath of Marxism. The post-Marxist idea of the symbolic is dynamic and complex, uncannily echoing the early German Romantics, who first advanced a modern conception of symbolism and the symbolic. Hegel and Marx denounced the Romantics for their otherworldly and nebulous posture, yet post-Marxist thinkers appreciated the rich potential of the ambiguities and paradoxes the Romantics first recognized. Mapping different ideas of the symbolic among contemporary thinkers, Breckman traces a fascinating reflection of Romantic themes and resonances, and he explores in depth the effort to reconcile a radical and democratic political agenda with a politics that does not privilege materialist understandings of the social. Engaging with the work of Claude Lévi-Strauss, Cornelius Castoriadis, Claude Lefort, Marcel Gauchet, Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, and Slavoj i ek, Breckman uniquely situates these important theorists within two hundred years of European thought and extends their profound relevance to today's political activism.
Articulates the intersection of anarchism and poststructuralism in order to frame a new approach to politics: 'postanarchism'.
Gerald Moore shows how the problematic of the gift drives and illuminates the last century of French philosophy. By tracing the creation of the gift as a concept, from its origins in philosophy and the social sciences, right up to the present, Moore shows

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