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Making an Ass out of You and Me: Questioning the Answers in Our Questions

I remember a friend once asking me the following question, A man is approaching the center of a field. When he gets there he will die. Why? I could ask as many questions as I liked, but could only receive “yes” or “no” answers. The point was to try and answer it as quickly as possible. What made it difficult to solve lay in Read More

You’re Looking For Nothing: John Caputo Responds to My Work (Updated)

John Caputo has long been a monumental influence in my life and work. From the first time I randomly picked up one of his books (On Religion) in a little bookshop in Belfast back in 2000, to the present day where I’m working through his stunning philosophical memoir Hoping Against Hope (I’m honored to be writing the Read More

On the Subversive Meaning of the Supreme Court Ruling: Let them be as miserable as the rest of us

One of the common threads that I’ve seen in relation to the Supreme Court decision concerning same-sex marriage is the idea that same-sex couples can now participant in the transcendent and sacred sacrament of marriage. Whether people agree with this decision or disagree, they all seem to hold marriage up as something truly sublime. I’d Read More

In Defense of Total Depravity

As some of you will know, every year I run a small festival in my home town of Belfast. This year one of our guests was the ever brilliant philosopher John “Jack” Caputo. During a discussion in the talks part of the festival someone asked him what the main difference was between the two of us. The Read More

The Chapel of Negation: Some thoughts on Pyrotheology

One of my favorite spaces is the Rothko Chapel, hidden away in a largely suburban area in Houston. The chapel itself houses fourteen large black, color hued, canvases painted by Rothko shortly before his suicide in 1970. This sparse, void-like space, dominated by Rothko’s stark work invites the individual into an experience of a radical Read More

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