The Politics of Praise
Naming God and Friendship in Aquinas and Derrida
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.
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.
William W. Young III is Assistant Professor of Humanities at Endicott College, Massachusetts, USA.
’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