Posts Tagged ‘Baruch Spinoza’

March 10th, 2016

Robert P. Benedict Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy

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University of Cambridge historian John Robertson will be delivering this year’s Robert P. Benedict Lectures on the History of Political Thought at Boston College entitled, The Sacred and the Social: 1650-1790.

October 17th, 2014

Stacking the deck: Thomas Pfau’s strange history of the West

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Imagine that you’ve been invited to play a game of cards with Thomas Pfau and his cards are called Justice, Reason, Beauty, Humanism, Purpose, and Value, while yours are called Interest, Materialism, Naturalism, Historicism, Value-Neutrality, attributes of a World without Grace and without Narrative. Who wins? But why should you let Pfau have all those cards, especially with names like Justice, Reason, and Beauty, or the names he adds later“free choice, conscience, person, teleology…judgment…and, for that matter, art”; and why are you stuck with Interest and Materialism? This is a little bit what it’s like to read Thomas Pfau’s Minding the Modern. In the space I have, I will argue that Pfau has stacked the deck.

February 10th, 2012

The cry for immanence

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Today begins a discussion series at the collaborative theology blog An und für sich on Daniel Barber’s recent book, On Diaspora: Christianity, Religion, and Secularity. Daniel Whisper from the University of Liverpool makes the start in the AUFS series.

July 14th, 2011

Paul Kahn’s roots

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Paul W. Kahn’s Political Theology: Four New Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty is a compelling book, though compelling in a sense not unlike an intellectual bruise one is drawn to press on again and again. Ostensibly a re-purposing of Carl Schmitt’s 1922 Political Theology, Kahn’s book possesses a more ambitious armature than his title and the format of following Schmitt’s chapter scheme might suggest. Kahn is a legal scholar by training, and interested here in the problem of sovereignty, which takes him deep into questions of law, jurisprudence, constitutional reasoning, and forms of political organization. It is no less notable, however, that Kahn’s project weighs in on four classic philosophical and political problems . . . .

December 5th, 2007

Spinoza’s immanence

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secular_age.jpgMy hunch is that immanence does not necessarily lead to the “exclusive humanism” of which Taylor is so critical. My hunch is also that by questioning this connection we may (1) see some of Taylor’s own blind spots and (2) create a new frame of experience irreducible to dichotomies of belief and unbelief, naïveté and reflexivity, interior and exterior. […]