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Dis-Enclosure: The Deconstruction of Christianity (Perspectives in Continental Philosophy (Paperback)) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 15. März 2008

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A technical and demanding series of essays . . .

An outstanding, groundbreaking work.-Laurens ten Kate

A technical and demanding series of essays . . .

An outstanding, groundbreaking work.-Laurens ten Kate


This book is a profound and eagerly anticipated investigation into what is left of a monotheistic religious spirit - notably, a minimalist faith that is neither confessional nor credulous. Articulating this faith as works and as an objectless hope, Nancy deconstructs Christianity in search of the historical and reflective conditions that provided its initial energy. Working through Blanchot and Nietzsche, re-reading Heidegger and Derrida, Nancy turns to the "Epistle of Saint James" rather than those of Saint Paul, discerning in it the primitive essence of Christianity as hope. The "religion that provided the exit from religion," as he terms Christianity, consists in the announcement of an end. It is the announcement that counts, however, rather than any finality. In this announcement, there is a proximity to others and to what was once called parousia. But parousia is no longer presence; it is no longer the return of the Messiah. Rather, it is what is near us and does not cease to open and to close, a presence deferred yet imminent.

In a demystified age where we are left with a vision of a self-enclosed world - in which humans are no longer mortals facing an immortal being, but entities whose lives are accompanied by the time of their own decline - parousia stands as a question. Can we venture the risk of a decentered perspective, such that the meaning of the world can be found both inside and outside, within and without our so-immanent world? The deconstruction of Christianity that Nancy proposes is neither a game nor a strategy. It is an invitation to imagine a strange faith that enacts the inadequation of life to itself. Our lives overflow the self-contained boundaries of their biological and sociological interpretations. Out of this excess, wells up a fragile, overlooked meaning that is beyond both confessionalism and humanism.

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7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Religion as ethics and praxis devoid of economy 20. Juli 2012
Von Rex Styzens - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Don't make the mistake of letting this book's title put you off. "Deconstruction"? Isn't that cutting edge philosophy? Sure, but if read with care, its cuts need draw no blood. But be prepared for a European perspective that makes the typical American discussion of Christianity look like kindergarten boys fighting on the playground.

This book can be characterized by something from its final article (the book is 15 or so separate essays rather than one long tome). The death of God is the sense of religion all used up. No longer any sense to religion because such religion now makes complete sense. "[T]he absolute of presence [Christianity's claim] ends by merging with the infinity of passage [Christianity's message]. Sense is then completed, or, to say the same thing differently, used up." We, in the West, are letting go of our mainline traditional religious ideology because it has fulfilled itself--as perpetual claim.

The most difficult remark by Nancy for me is when he writes ". . . the "kerygma" of Christianity, that is, the essence, the schema of what is proclaimed, the schema of the proclamation. . . . What is proclaimed? Nothing." To be sure, he tries to clarify his usage of "nothing" so that it might just as well mean "everything," because what matters is the end as an opening. I interpret that to mean that the message is that the Christian revelation has happened and is happening and continues.

Nancy makes special reference to the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church proclaimed in Vatican I that identifies the Church with its history. "When we consider the history of Christianity, we find three stages:. . . whose conjunction corresponds to the constitution of a dogmatic/ecclesiastic integrality and to the internal tension of an identity that can be conceived only in relation to what it negates in transcending it. Christian identity is therefore from the start a constitution by self-transcendence. . . ."

So what remains? Nancy loads his essays with images galore. They are unlikely to be what you want to hear if you are seeking the social and political triumph of Christian orthodoxy. But there's no shortage of suggestive allusions. I wish the book had an index so I might have ready access to his themes to copy here. But there's no easy reading in this volume. If you want to know what lies beyond the horizon (that's a joke, because Nancy characterizes our current condition as one without horizons; lost in space, so to speak) it may be necessary to squint. One professor told me that "squint" is the original meaning of the word "mystery" in Greek. Our condition today is where we can see the future by closing our eyes.

Throughout, Nancy achieves a level of compatibility between Heidegger and Derrida that is new. Derrida critiques Heidegger for reliance on the conceptuality of "presence," as used in accord with MH's theory of truth as "aletheia," what shows itself. Yet D's neither-word-nor-concept of "differance" implies the idea of "the Open" as much as does MH's "aletheia." Nancy's ability to find a page big enough for the two together is an epic achievement.

I expect that I shall return to this work again and again, as its content illustrates alternative approaches to traditional Western religious doctrines. I have already placed my order for volume 2 of this series, due out in December Adoration: The Deconstruction of Christianity II (Perspectives in Continental Philosophy, Fup). At the moment Nancy represents the best in liberal theology or philosophy of religion, if you prefer.

PS The essays cover a period back to 1995 up to the book's publication in 2008. The "Opening" was written for its publication. There Nancy hazards a preview of what the future holds for Christianity. First of all he makes clear that the demarcation between philosophy and religion is indistinct, even while he denies that what he offers is a Christian philosophy. More significantly, it is the bankruptcy of western humanism that motivates his interests. I interpret that to mean that progress is no longer guaranteed and time is not necessarily on our side.

Instead we can expect the years immediately ahead to be convulsive--if not widespread social distress then at least global intellectual confusion and disagreement. "...what up to now the Enlightenment could not enlighten...is waiting to go up in flames in a messianic, mystical, prophetic, divinatory, and vaticinatory mode...whose incendiary effects may well prove more impressive than those of fascist, revolutionary. surrealist. avant-gardist, or mystical exaltations of all types." In part that is a consequence, at least in the West, of the fact that our Christian culture depends on a spiritual tradition that is always in ferment. He compares that to the process of deconstruction in philosophy. He treats Heidegger with considerable respect but so far gives no indication of privileging MH's notions of destiny. I await volume 2.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Christianity for the 21st century 22. Juni 2013
Von barryb - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
THIS IS PART ONE OF A TWO-PART PROJECT. At the age of 68, Nancy set out to write his post-modern position on the Christian faith. That project lasted for 5 years and finished with volume two being published in 2013, when he turned 73. This is not meant to be a stand-alone volume. And Nancy even directs his reader to realize that no "system" of thought is being presented here. In fact he recommends reading the essays in any order you prefer, since they were lectures given at separate and diverse dates and address various issues in post-modern thinking. The publisher was gracious enough ,however, to split the project into two separate works; one addressing de-construction(this volume), and the other addressing re-construction. I actually read these volumes in reverse; and I'm glad I did. Volume two does present a complete system; and then you can integrate the essays from volume one. But for now, let me address this volume separately:

regardless of Nancy's suggestion to skip around, I don't recommend it. The editor has arranged these essays in their proper logical order and they work beautifully that way. Start on page one and move forward through the book. This book does present Nancy's system, but not as clearly as volume two. With a little help you can organize the thought presented here into a "whole". The emphasis, of course, is on de-construction; and there are many significant and original ideas from Nancy here that I appreciated. Remember, Nancy's system is informed by Christianity; and he will borrow Christian concepts but then demythologize them.

He begins in the Unconscious, which post-modern thinking always emphasizes. He says that the de-construction of christianity is inherent as a principle inside Christianity itself. In other words, it is just in the process of "maturing" its own thought. There are "3" deconstruction traits inside Christianity. These are: 1. A tendency towards an atheism, which means eliminating the two-kingdom theory and emphasizing "kenosis" or the emptying of the divine into creation at the moment of creation. 2. The tendency towards demythologizing; recognizing divine language as symbolic. And 3. The tendency towards revised compositions since Christianity is a composition, the idea of "advent as possible in every moment of finitude as an "opening".

The interesting thing about this presentation is that Nancy, in a very Christian-way; presents the motivational set in the unconscious as "FAITH" and the conscious processing of the "praxical-excess" illuminated in the opening of reality as: WORKS. In other words, it's PAUL vs JAMES, faith plus works.

All of this motivation and re-construction of shaping the opening in reality does have a "place" of mediation in the external world, which is called: THE HOLLOW OF GOD.

Within the "hollow of god", the self is engaged in the two sides of "shaping the illuminated" opening. The "of-the-world" side represents the simple formality of "opening". The "outside-the-world" side represents the self's positing of relational form that organizes the regions and sub-sets present within the opening. He calls this "regionalization.

The result is interpreted as GIFT. Nancy tells us in this volume and volume two that "yes, you can still be a Christian in the 21st century; and in a powerful and authentic way. I loved this book. It represents some of the best thought on Christianity I've seen anywhere. And I've just mentioned a few of the gems you'll find. 5 stars for an original and powerful analysis of Christianity.
8 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A revolutionary analysis of theistic religion 6. Mai 2008
Von Midwest Book Review - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Written by Jean-Luc Nancy (Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Universite Marc Bloch) and skillfully translated from the original French by the team of Bettina Bergo, Gabriel Malenfant, and Michael B. Smith, Dis-Enclosure: The Deconstruction of Christianity most assuredly lives up to its subtitle as a methodical reverse-engineering of Christianity as a "religion that provided the exit from religion." Scrutinizing Christianity's constantly deferred proclamation of a forthcoming end times as a central tenet, and severely questioning the ramifications of such faith in today's demystified age, Dis-Enclosure suggests that the meaning to human existence is best searched for beyond the limiting constraints of dogma, though not necessarily beyond the mystery of faith itself. "The deconstruction of Christianity comes down to this: an operation of disassembling, focusing on the origin or the sense of deconstruction - a sense that does not belong to deconstructions, that makes it possible but does not belong to it, like an empty slot that makes the structure work (the question being to know how to fill the empty slot without overturning in the process the integrality of the integrity of the Christianity we are trying to disassemble)." An astutely reasoned philosophical text, offering a revolutionary analysis of theistic religion.
2 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Christian and Atheist? 30. Juli 2008
Von Bret A. Powell - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Christian Monotheist and Atheist? Nancy ingeniously dismantles these two structures which are typically opposed to one another, detailing their common provenance in (or as) Western culture. The questions and insights which Nancy raises are stirring and merit much reflection. Nancy's project does not take place in a strict philosophical confine. He is careful to glean from the ongoing status and conflict in the world around---while still being mindful of his own European roots.

Read my on-going online review here:
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