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Joined By Our Lack: On Sacrifice, Pyrotheology and Burning Man

At a Homebrewed event recently my friend Bo Sanders made a comment that he felt pyrotheology wasn’t substantive enough. In this post I want to offer a brief response. One that I will be elaborating on in future talks and writing. For the theorist Lacan our entry into subjectivity is structurally similar to the situation Read More

You Can Fulfill Your Dreams… Just be Prepared for the Abject Horror

In a previous post I contrasted neurotic, psychotic and perverse political strategies to a psychoanalytic approach that attempts to help people realize their fantasy in reality (rather than in a retreat from, or protest against, it). The problem here, as Todd McGowan points out, is that the political potential of psychoanalysis can start to sound like Read More

Smarting With Pain: On Moral Intention in Harris and Chomsky

This morning I woke up to see that a private exchange had been published between Sam Harris and Noam Chomsky on the issue of moral intention. The exchange is a very interesting and telling one that will no doubt result in many thoughtful and thoughtless responses. In this post I simply wanted to reflect on Read More

The Benefits of Being Odd

When I was home in Belfast recently a friend asked how I remained so immersed in networks made up of people who broadly believe very different things than I do. In asking this question she was referring to both my social circles and working relations in the US. While I had to admit that this Read More

It Spooks: Living in Response to an Unheard Call

Just over a year ago I sat with my friend Erin in a little coffee shop in Belfast during my April festival. As we talked over coffee she shared her dream of creating a book on Radical Theology. Not just any old book, a book that would bring together a rich array of academics, activists Read More

Thank God I’m not like them: On Shaming People’s Defenses as a Defense

Public shaming is as old as humanity itself. At any given time certain behavior is deemed disgusting and worthy of ridicule. Woman have been publicly shamed for having children out of wedlock, men have been ostracized for being gay, and certain sexual practices have been mocked. Shaming that is invariably carried out by those who self-identify Read More

Dreaming into the World: Beyond Neurosis, Perversion and Psychosis

One of the critiques often leveled against psychoanalysis is that it is effectively a normalizing discipline. That it aims to integrate the individual back into the social fabric that she feels alienated from. Politically speaking this is viewed as problematic, for the very experience of psychic alienation testifies to a problematic environment. The truly radical Read More

Paul and the Crucifixion: Neither Modern, Nor Postmodern

As some of you know, I’m currently teaching a course with Tripp Fuller that explores the turn to Paul found among atheist philosophers. In contrast to the “New Perspective on Paul” found in contemporary theology, people like Badiou, Zizek and Taubes are celebrating a militant, political Paul who provides a model for combating postmodernism. One Read More

Confronting the End of Meaning: Crucifixion and the Critique of Signs and Wonders

Last night Tony Jones had a launch for his latest book Did God Kill Jesus. The book itself is an excellent and very readable overview of the various ways that the church has understood the meaning and significance of the Crucifixion. Partly motivated by Trip Fuller’s statement, “God has to be at least as nice Read More

You’d Better Give Me What I’ve Never Had: Some Thoughts on Nostalgia, Paranoia and Ontic Shock

Nostalgia and paranoia describe two different strategies for avoiding a confrontation with a fundamental loss. In nostalgia, the individual fantasizes that there was some previous time in which things were fulfilling and satisfying. Whether the individual idealizes childhood, a previous relationship, or a supposed Golden Era in history the general structure involves imagining a type of Read More