1st Edition

Michel Foucault and Theology
The Politics of Religious Experience

ISBN 9780754633532
Published January 28, 2004 by Routledge
304 Pages

USD $180.00

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Book Description

Whilst Foucault's work has become a major strand of postmodern theology, the wider relevance of his work for theology still remains largely unexamined. Foucault both engages the Christian tradition and critically challenges its disciplinary regime. Michel Foucault and Theology brings together a selection of essays by leading Foucault scholars on a variety of themes within the history, thought and practice of theology. Revealing the diverse ways that the work of Michel Foucault (1926-1984) has been employed to rethink theology in terms of power, discourse, sexuality and the politics of knowledge, the authors examine power and sexuality in the church in late antiquity, (Castelli, Clark, Schuld), raise questions about the relationship between theology and politics (Bernauer, Leezenberg, Caputo), consider new challenges to the nature of theological knowledge in terms of Foucault's critical project (Flynn, Cutrofello, Beadoin, Pinto) and rethink theology in terms of Foucault's work on the history of sexuality (Carrette, Jordan, Mahon). This book demonstrates, for the first time, the influence and growing importance of Foucault's work for contemporary theology.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: The enduring problem: Foucault, theology and culture, James Bernauer and Jeremy Carrette; Foucault and the Church in late antiquity: Interpretation of power in 1 Corinthians, Elizabeth A. Catelli; Foucault, the Fathers and sex, Elizabeth A. Clark; Augustine, Foucault and the politics of imperfection, J. Joyce Schuld; Foucault, politics and theology: Michel Foucault's philosophy of religion: an introduction to the non-fascist life, James Bernauer; Power and political spirituality: Michel Foucault on the Islamic revolution in Iran, Michiel Leezenberg; On not knowing who we are: madness, hermeneutics and the night of truth in Foucault, John D. Caputo; Foucault and theological knowledge: Partially desacralized spaces: the religious availability of Foucault's thought, Thomas R. Flynn; Exomologesis and aesthetic reflection: Foucault's response to Habermas, Andrew Cutrofello; From singular to plural domains of theological knowledge: notes toward a Foucaultian new question, Thomas Beaudoin; The More which exceeds us: Foucault, Roman Catholicism and inter-faith dialogue, Henrique Pinto; Foucault, theology and sexuality: Beyond theology and sexuality: Foucault, the self and the que(e)rying of monotheistic truth, Jeremy Carrette; Sodomites and churchmen: the theological invention of homosexuality, Mark D. Jordan; Catholic sex, Michael Mahon; Indexes.

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James Bernauer is Professor of Philosophy at Boston College, Massachusetts, USA; Jeremy Carrette is Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Stirling, UK


'This book is timely, bringing to our attention an excellent range of essays from the past decade. Anyone interested in Foucault will find it a valuable resource. It explores the way in which the matrix of knowledge and power functions in Christian attitudes towards the body, marriage, sexuality, spirituality, theological knowledge and ecclesiastical authority.' Hugh Rayment-Pickard in The Church Times 'There's plenty here to provoke, delight and entertain. Evidently Foucault is of great relevance to theology, especially when theorizing power, truth and human identity.' Theology ’... succeeds as both an introduction to and a scholarly advancement of its subject-matter. Non-specialists will appreciate the inclusion of expository essays that provide jargon-free access not only to the religious relevant facets of Foucault's work, but also to the general contours and key terminology of his overall project... As for new developments, the volume pays welcome attention throughout [...] to the religious and political significance of the tradition of Christian asceticism, an often neglected facet of the Western theological heritage to which Foucault himself paid careful attention late in his career.’ Scottish Journal of Theology