For New York Magazine, Lisa Miller profiles Cornel West, surveying the course of his academic career, personal life, and variety of public spats with figures like Larry Summers and Barack Obama.
Posts Tagged ‘Cornel West’
“I would go with Pierre Hadot and say that the love of wisdom is a way of life; that is to say, it’s a set of practices that have to do with mustering the courage to think critically about ourselves, society, and the world; mustering the courage to empathize; the courage, I would say, to love; the courage to have compassion with others, especially the widow and the orphan, the fatherless and the motherless, poor and working peoples, gays and lesbians, and so forth—and the courage to hope. So, it is a way of life, a set of practices, no doubt, but, at the same time, I call it a kind of focus on the funk.”
The German translation, by Michael Adrian, of The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere will be published by Suhrkamp Verlag in October.
To say that religion has power in the public sphere is not to say that it can be easily absorbed or that it should be. It is a basis for radical challenges and radical questions; it brings enthusiasm, passion, indignation, outrage, and love. If enthusiasm is sometimes harnessed to unreflective conviction, passion is also vital to critical engagement with existing institutions and dangerous trends. The public sphere and the practice of public reason have power too. And they not only take from religion but also offer it opportunities to advance by reflection and critical argument.
El poder de la religión en la esfera pública, the Spanish language edition of The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere, will be released late this month by Trotta Editorial.
In The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere, due out spring 2011 from Columbia University Press and the SSRC, Judith Butler, Jürgen Habermas, Charles Taylor, and Cornel West interrogate the specificity of religious and secular reasons, dispositions, and ethical orientations in relation to democratic politics, each taking up a different strand of the complex intertwinement of religion and the public sphere in the contemporary world.
On October 22, 2009, over 1000 people gathered in the vast and venerable Great Hall at New York City’s Cooper Union to listen to four of our time’s preeminent public intellectuals discuss the place of religion in contemporary politics and public life. We have gathered links to recordings, transcripts and other materials related to this event, as well as relevant posts from the archives of The Immanent Frame. We encourage you to browse, read, listen and, of course, contribute your own reflections to our ongoing discussion of “the power of religion in the public sphere.”
In a recent symposium held by the Institute for Public Knowledge at NYU, the Social Science Research Council and the Humanities Institute at Stony Brook University, Judith Butler, Jürgen Habermas, Charles Taylor, and Cornel West came together to discuss the project of “rethinking secularism.” Today we are posting audio and a transcript of the discussion that took place between Butler and West, moderated by Eduardo Mendieta, in which the two leading thinkers exchange thoughts on the ethics and limitations of citizenship, as well as temporality, memory, and the problematics of progress. (Listen to the paper presentations that preceded this discussion here and add your own voice to the discussion here.)