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Rebellion Without a Cause – How to Start a Revolution

Reforming a cultural, political or religious system doesn’t begin by articulating a ready-made alternative. The problem is that we’re generally so immersed in a given ideology that we can’t even imagine a genuine alternative that isn’t simply a reshuffling of what already exists. Instead of carefully constructed alternatives the revolutionary figure begins by attempting to Read More

Power and Resistance: What we can learn from Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill

Previously I’ve written about how ideology doesn’t merely offer us an explicit set of practices that are acceptable and unacceptable, but also an implicit constellation of acceptable ways to do unacceptable practices. Ideology doesn’t simply police the borders between the law and transgression, but also offers up ways of transgressing what is acceptable to the Read More

If you don’t want your faith to be challenged, do read this post

In my last book there’s an interesting typo on the back cover. While Tony Jones assures me that he wrote, “If you don’t want you’re faith to be challenged, don’t read this book,” you will see on the back, If you don’t want you’re faith to be challenged, do read this book In analysis the Read More

Why Atheists Need the Church

“Only theologians can be true atheists” Lacan I’ve recently been preparing for an online seminar I’m teaching with John Caputo at the GCAS, and one of the thinkers I’ve been brushing up on is the 19th century philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach. While he never achieved philosophical sainthood and missed becoming a canonical figure in Western thought, his ideas have Read More

Everyone Has What I Lack: The Delusional Vision of Elliot Rodger and its Wider Message

In fundamental ways psychotherapeutic practice stands at odds with the wider society within which it’s embedded. Individuals are bombarded with the injunction to enjoy their life, while both sacred and secular sources openly provide formulas for achieving this goal (from embracing spiritual practices to finding the perfect partner, fame or wealth). Nowhere is this superego Read More

Facing What We Dare Not Speak: Communities of Exorcism

There’s an old Russian joke from the days when goods were scarce. It tells of a man who finally gets to the front of a line and says, “I guess you don’t have any beef?” To which the shopkeeper responds, “I’m sorry sir, I’m a fishmonger, I don’t have any fish. You want the butcher Read More

Gay people? North Korea, Hillsong and the Denial of Denial

  North Korea never fails to offer up interesting and telling examples of how ideology functions. One such example can be found in their claim that homosexuality doesn’t actually exist there. What this strange denial presents to us is the way that ideological systems do not simply operate with prohibitions, but also with prohibitions against Read More

New Atheism, Fundamentalism and the Eclipse of Belief

“I think it’s rather pernicious to inculcate into a child a view of the world which includes supernaturalism – we get enough of that anyway… Even fairy tales, the ones we all love, with wizards or princesses turning into frogs or whatever it was. There’s a very interesting reason why a prince could not turn Read More

The King and His Jester: Religion and its Acceptable Transgressions

Religion, in its various forms, offers up a constellation of acceptable beliefs and practices that tell us how to think and behave. A denomination, for instance, will offer us a set of dogmas, doctrines and rituals that, to a greater or lesser extent, let us know how to interact with the world. Political, moral and Read More

Continual Subversion: Pyrotheology, Dialectics and the Art of Disruption

The term “Transformance Art” was coined a number of years ago to describe the praxis of Pyrotheology. Transformance Art is basically a practice that employs various art forms in an attempt to disrupt, disturb, surprise and confront a given individual/community with themselves. This disruption involves bringing to light the things that the individual/community have repressed, Read More