Impossible God introduces Derrida's theology for a new generation interested in Derrida's writings and in the future of theology, and clarifies Derrida's theology for those already familiar with his writings. Derrida's theological concerns are now widely recognised but Impossible God shows how Derrida's theology takes its shape from his earliest writings on Edmund Husserl and from explorations into Husserl's unpublished manuscripts on time and theology. Rayment-Pickard argues that Derrida goes beyond both the nihilism of the 'death of God' and the denials of negative theology to affirm a theology of God's 'impossibility'. Derrida's 'impossible God' is not another God of the philosophers but a powerful deity capable of wakening us into faith, ethical responsibility and love. Showing how central theology has been to Derrida's philosophy since the beginning of his career, Impossible God presents an accessible study of a neglected area of Derrida's writing which students of philosophy and theology will find invaluable.
'This is an outstandingly clear, careful and thorough account of where Derrida's thought is coming from, by a gifted younger scholar. Snap it up!' Don Cupitt, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, UK 'Rayment-Pickard has adroitly wovenÂ a picture of the theological implications of Derrida's thought, which he describes as a movement from the impossibility of theology to a theology of the impossible, a position that he situates on the border between the living God and the death of God.Â A challenging and thoughtful book that gets well beyond the usual stereotypes of Derrida and repays careful study'. John D. Caputo, David R. Cook Professor of Philosophy, Villanova University '…brilliant exposition of Derrida’s thought in relation to Husserl and Heidegger….Hugh Rayment-Pickard succeeds in making Derrida accessible to those who may need to have a philosophical turn of mind, but who do not need to be fully paid-up members of the post-modern cognoscenti. As he says: if we can understand why Derrida’s texts are so difficult, we will begin to understand what his philosophy is attempting to achieve.�… We are given remarkable insights into one of the great minds of modern times, and for that we should be very grateful.' Dr John Saxbee, Bishop of Lincoln, in Church Times '… compelling, well-reasoned, and historically sensitive arguments…' Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory 'There are some illuminating discussions of the relation between negative and positive theology, and of the death of God in Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger and from there to Derrida… an important, interesting and challenging read.' The Heythrop Journal 'This book will repay repeated reading and is to be highly recommended not only for students of Christian theology, but for those interested in the intersection between theology and philosophy, but also for students interested in the application of Derrida's deconstruction of decolonisation and the post-colonial experience.
Contents: Introduction: death, impossibility, theology: the theme of Derrida's philosophy; The living present of God: Derrida's deconstruction of Husserl's theology; Death, self and world: Heidegger's reversal from Husserl; From prophecy to mysticism: Derrida's reading of Heidegger; Theological impossibility; God, this subject, entity, or X; Bibliography; Index.