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This book offers a close reading of Romans that treats Paul as a radical political thinker by showing the relationship between Paul's perspective and that of secular political theorists. Turning to both ancient political philosophers (Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero) and contemporary post-Marxists (Agamben, Badiou, Derrida, and Žižek), Jennings presents Romans as a sustained argument for a new sort of political thinking concerned with the possibility and constitution of just socialities. Reading Romans as an essay on messianic politics in conversation with ancient and postmodern political theory challenges the stereotype of Paul as a reactionary theologian who "invented" Christianity and demonstrates his importance for all, regardless of religious affiliation or academic guild, who dream and work for a society based on respect, rather than domination, division, and death. In the current context of unjust global empires constituted by avarice, arrogance, and violence, Jennings finds in Paul a stunning vision for creating just societies outside the law.
This book explores the interweaving of several of Derrida’s characteristic concerns with themes that Paul explores in Romans. It argues that the central concern of Romans is with the question of justice, a justice that must be thought outside of law on the basis of grace or gift. The many perplexities that arise from thus trying to think justice outside of law are clarified by reading Derrida on such themes as justice and law, gift and exchange, duty and debt, hospitality, cosmopolitanism, and pardon. This interweaving of Paul and Derrida shows that Paul may be read as a thinker who wrestles with real problems that are of concern to anyone who thinks. It also shows that Derrida, far from being the enemy of theological reflection, is himself a necessary companion to the thinking of the biblical theologian. Against the grain of what passes for common wisdom this book argues that both Derrida and Paul are indispensable guides to a new way of thinking about justice.
Paul's Letter to the Romans is one of the most influential writings of Christian theology. In this reinterpretation, the author provides a new reading that places Romans within the sociocultural, historical and rhetorical contexts of Paul's world.
If your mentally ill patient dies, are you to blame? For Dr. Françoise Davoine, a Parisian psychoanalyst, this question becomes disturbingly real as one of her patients commits suicide on the eve of All Saints' Day. She herself has a crisis, as she reflects on her thirty-year career and questions whether she should ever return to the hospital. But return she does, and thus commences a strange voyage across several centuries and countries, in which patients, fools, and the actors of medieval farces rise up from the past along with great thinkers who represent the author's own philosophical and literary sources: the humanist Erasmus, mathematician René Thom, writer Antonin Artaud, philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, and physicist Edwin Schrödinger, to name a few. Imaginary dialogues ensue as the analyst conjures up an interconnected world, where apiculture, wondrous rituals, theater, and language games illuminate her therapeutic practice as well as her personal history. Deeply affected by her voyage of discovery, the author becomes capable of implementing the teachings of psychotherapist Gaetano Benedetti, a mentor she visits at carnival time on a final fictional stopover in Switzerland. His advice, that the analyst become the equal of her patients and immerse herself in their madness so as to open up a space for treatment, is premised on the belief that individual illness is a reflection and result of severe historical trauma. Mother Folly, which ends on a positive note, is an important intervention in the debate about how to treat the mentally ill, particularly those with psychosis. A practicing analyst and a skilled reader of literary and philosophical texts, Davoine provides a humane antidote to our increasingly mechanized and drug-reliant system of dealing with "fools and madmen."
Frantz Fanon may be most known for his more obviously political writings, but in the first instance, he was a clinician, a black Caribbean psychiatrist who had the improbable task of treating disturbed and traumatized North African patients during the wars of decolonization. Investigating and foregrounding the clinical system that Fanon devised in an attempt to intervene against negrophobia and anti-blackness, this book rereads his clinical and political work together, arguing that the two are mutually imbricated. For the first time, Fanon's therapeutic innovations are considered along with his more overtly political and cultural writings to ask how the crises of war affected his practice, informed his politics, and shaped his subsequent ideas. As David Marriott suggests, this combination of the clinical and political involves a psychopolitics that is, by definition, complex, difficult, and perpetually challenging. He details this psychopolitics from two points of view, focusing first on Fanon's sociotherapy, its diagnostic methods and concepts, and second, on Fanon's cultural theory more generally. In our present climate of fear and terror over black presence and the violence to which it gives rise, Whither Fanon? reminds us of Fanon's scandalous actuality and of the continued urgency of his message.
Transcolonial Maghreb offers the first thorough analysis of the ways in which Moroccan, Algerian, and Tunisian writers have engaged with the Palestinian question and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict for the past fifty years. Arguing that Palestine has become the figure par excellence of the colonial in the purportedly postcolonial present, the book reframes the field of Maghrebi studies to account for transversal political and aesthetic exchanges across North Africa and the Middle East. Olivia C. Harrison examines and contextualizes writings by the likes of Abdellatif Laâbi, Kateb Yacine, Ahlam Mosteghanemi, Albert Memmi, Abdelkebir Khatibi, Jacques Derrida, and Edmond El Maleh, covering a wide range of materials that are, for the most part, unavailable in English translation: popular theater, literary magazines, television series, feminist texts, novels, essays, unpublished manuscripts, letters, and pamphlets written in the three main languages of the Maghreb—Arabic, French, and Berber. The result has wide implications for the study of transcolonial relations across the Global South.
As long as we care about suffering in the world, says political philosopher Simona Forti, we are compelled to inquire into the question of evil. But is the concept of evil still useful in a postmodern landscape where absolute values have been leveled and relativized by a historicist perspective? Given our current unwillingness to judge others, what signposts remain to guide our ethical behavior? Surveying the nineteenth- and twentieth-century Western philosophical debates on evil, Forti concludes that it is time to leave behind what she calls "the Dostoevsky paradigm": the dualistic vision of an omnipotent monster pitted against absolute, helpless victims. No longer capable of grasping the normalization of evil in today's world—whose structures of power have been transformed—this paradigm has exhausted its explanatory force. In its place, Forti offers a different genealogy of the relationship between evil and power, one that finally calls into question power's recurrent link to transgression. At the center of contemporary evil she posits the passive attitude towards rule-following, the need for normalcy, and the desire for obedience nurtured by our contemporary mass democracies. In our times, she contends, evil must be explored in tandem with our stubborn desire to stay alive at all costs as much as with our deep need for recognition: the new modern absolutes. A courageous book, New Demons extends an original, inspiring call to ethical living in a biopolitical age.

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