Zizek at Harvard (Altizer Still Alive?)


The announcement:

Harvard Book Store is once again delighted to welcome renowned philosopher and critic SLAVOJ ZIZEK for a discussion of his new book, in which he debates the very meaning of theology, Christ, the Church, the Holy Ghost, universality, and the foundations of logic with theologian John Millbank.

In one corner, there stands Zizek, who represents the critical-materialist stance against religion’s illusions; in the other corner, “radical orthodox” theologian John Milbank, an influential and provocative thinker, argues that theology is the only foundation upon which knowledge, politics, and ethics can stand.

In The Monstrosity of Christ, Zizek and Milbank go head to head for three rounds, employing an impressive arsenal of moves to advance their positions and press their respective advantages. By the closing bell, they have proven themselves worthy adversaries–and have also shown that faith and reason are not simply and intractably opposed.

“In this dazzling dialogue, Zizek and Milbank change words and cross swords, until the point where both recognize that Christ and Hegel, in their monstrosity, look very much alike. A phenomenal achievement!” —Catherine Malabou, Maître de Conferences, Philosophy Department, Université Paris-X Nanterre

“The contemporary return to the theological most dramatically occurs in this book, as Zizek fully realizes his earlier Hegelian and Lacanian theological work, a work that Milbank can essentially know as a uniquely modern expression of nihilism. Nonetheless Milbank enters into a genuine theological dialogue with this nihilism, and a truly new theological discourse occurs. This effects a paradoxical union between orthodoxy and heterodoxy, and between radical orthodoxy and radical heterodoxy, which is perhaps the deepest motif of the contemporary return to the theological.” —Thomas J. J. Altizer (Godhead and the Nothing)

General Info:
617.661.1515

Media:
617.661.1424 ex.1

Email:
mcook@harvard.com

Event Information

DATE: Monday, April 20th
TIME: 6:00 PM
LOCATION: Brattle Theatre
40 Brattle Street
Cambridge
TICKETS: Tickets for this event are $5 and may be purchased STARTING MON., MARCH 30TH, at Harvard Book Store or over the phone with a credit card (617-661-1515).
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3 thoughts on “Zizek at Harvard (Altizer Still Alive?)

  1. This is the blurb from here:

    What matters is not so much that Žižek is endorsing a demythologized, disenchanted Christianity without transcendence, as that he is offering in the end (despite what he sometimes claims) a heterodox version of Christian belief.
    —John Milbank

    To put it even more bluntly, my claim is that it is Milbank who is effectively guilty of heterodoxy, ultimately of a regression to paganism: in my atheism, I am more Christian than Milbank.
    —Slavoj Žižek

    Honestly, yawn. While I think it’s funny and “edgy” that Zizek calls himself “more Christian” than Milbank, I can’t imagine that such a debate has any sort of consequences. By which I mean to say this: are either of them going to convince anyone to come over to “their side,” really? To be cynical, it’s just another thing Zizek can put his name on and the publishers can hope to sell some books. Then again, I was never very taken by the “turn” to the religious in “Continental” philosophy to begin with.

  2. I think you’re missing the point of Altizer being alive – I bet there’s someone there making a joke about a weird theologian from the 60s – God is dead, said Altizer; guess what? Altizer is dead, said God – what? he is not?! damn!

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