The Politics of Praise: Naming God and Friendship in Aquinas and Derrida, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Politics of Praise

Naming God and Friendship in Aquinas and Derrida, 1st Edition

By William W. Young Iii


230 pages

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While the revelation of God's name is a central theological topic, its ethical and political significance are often overlooked. In a world filled with violence committed 'in the name of God', how might invoking God's name enable peace, community, and hope? The Politics of Praise argues that the redemptive potential of naming God lies in how this event transforms friendship. It breaks new ground by tracing the connections between naming God and friendship in the work of Thomas Aquinas and Jacques Derrida. Advancing an innovative reading of Aquinas on the divine names, the book explores how Dionysius' mysticism shapes Aquinas' appropriation of Aristotle's ethics, then retraces how Derrida's reading of religion renders possible an alternative conception of friendship. These explorations lead to a surprising convergence between Aquinas and Derrida on the conditions of friendship.


’The Politics of Praise is a provocative and challenging work that cracks open the social and political implications of charity. … a remarkable book that convincingly demonstrates how our lives are subverted and transformed when God is named as friend and we are called to abide in that friendship.’ Modern Theology

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: naming God and friendship; Proper names and the logic of friendship; Names and proofs: modes of signification in Aquinas' Summa Theologiae; Charity, friendship and justice in the Summa Theologiae; The impossibility of naming: on Jacques Derrida; Conclusion: in the name of friendship; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

William W. Young III is Assistant Professor of Humanities at Endicott College, Massachusetts, USA.

About the Series

Routledge New Critical Thinking in Religion, Theology and Biblical Studies

The Routledge New Critical Thinking in Religion, Theology and Biblical Studies series brings high quality research monograph publishing back into focus for authors, international libraries, and student, academic and research readers. This open-ended monograph series presents cutting-edge research from both established and new authors in the field. With specialist focus yet clear contextual presentation of contemporary research, books in the series take research into important new directions and open the field to new critical debate within the discipline, in areas of related study, and in key areas for contemporary society.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General