Following of week of Adam alienating our readers with controversial statements like, “Maybe this bin Laden guy was sort of a bad person” and people objecting to his objections of their policing because he too was policing, I thought we could all use a healing link post.
The UK based Association for Continental Philosophy of Religion has posted audio from two of their recent seminars. One is by David Lewin on “The Middle Voice in Eckhart and Heidegger“, but of particular interest to AUFS readers will be Daniel Whistler’s “Improper Names for God“.
For comedy purposes I’d suggest checking out James KA Smith’s grumpy, old man exasperation at this new-fangled blogging stuff. Added to this comedy is, well, Christians talking about universalism.
Speaking of universalism, it appears that some headway can be made between British Atheists and British Christians on the basis of the universality of racist logic. In a recent blog post flagged up by Lenin’s Tomb the racist Richard Dawkins suggests that, while all religion is evil, Islam is an unmitigated evil that may require atheists supporting Christians in Africa in conflicts between the two evil groups. This reminded me of the racist logic I located at work in Milbank’s approach to Islam that I flagged up in an article recently (finally!) published in Political Theology. The editors asked that I move this into a footnote and soften some of the language, since it was considered inflammatory, so I’ll quote from the bulk of that footnote below:
Milbank’s own recent (and somewhat troubling) views concerning the confrontation between “the West and political Islam” show that his own ontology of peace must be fought for, or at the very least, defended from Islam: “it is also dangerous to our liberty to ignore the fact that most global terrorists are now indeed part of political Islam and that other manifestations of this also threaten the West. This is because the majority Islamic religious view that political law and the political state are full aspects of a religious order is not compatible with Christian religious views. There can be no dialogue’ about this. To the contrary, this constitutive aspect of Islam does in fact need to be defeated – as peacefully as possible. […] Suddenly the idea that we do indeed have to defend ‘Christendom’ seems not entirely ridiculous to all those in the West who think clearly and rigorously.” John Milbank, interview by Luiz Felipe Pondé, “Appendix: An Interview with John Milbank and Conor Cunningham,” in Belief and Metaphysics, eds. Peter M. Candler Jr. and Conor Cunningham (London: SCM Press, 2007), 507. The closeness of Milbank’s views here with that of the court intellectuals of the American empire should give pause especially because of his own criticisms of the American empire. Any construction of a binary of “the West” and Islam already suggests a stratification that is not only conservative, but potentially extremely harmful in that it slips Schmitt’s friend/enemy binary into hierarchical political theology. This slippage is present when he says, “For to a certain degree, it is indeed plausible to say that the arrival of Islam in Europe is a danger and to say this has, of course, nothing to do with racism.” However, he immediately follows this by saying, “It is a threat in population terms” (ibid).
Isn’t that charming? And yet some people like to mock those who reject RO on these grounds…
Don’t you all fell loved up now?