Monday, November 10, 2008

Distinguishing between devotion and subversion

[CFP: Foucault and St. Paul from Continental Philosophy by Farhang Erfani
Call for Papers – Special Edition of The Journal of Cultural and Religious Theory
‘Foucault and Saint Paul’
The French philosopher Michel Foucault has been cited in relation to Saint Paul from a number of different critical perspectives. In the early 90’s, Stephen D. Moore and Elizabeth Castelli have used Foucault’s early work to analyse the notion of power within the Pauline epistles, allowing them to adopt a critical perspective on Paul. More recent scholarship, such as the work of Halvor Moxnes, has tended to focus on how Foucault’s later work on the care and ethics of the self found in first and second century Greek philosophy might provide insight into Paul’s understanding of the self. In this case, interaction between Foucault and Paul is seen more as a dialogue than as a critique of Paul by Foucault. In this special edition of JCRT, we hope to focus on a truly dialogical approach to Foucault and Paul. In order to accomplish this, we aim to provide a panoramic view of the various critical ways in which the two thinkers have been engaged. To this end we invite articles and reviews on any aspect of this ‘dialogue’ between Foucault and Paul.]

[Judith Butler on Obama
The election of Barack Obama is historically significant in ways that are yet to be gauged, but it is not, and cannot be, a redemption, and if we subscribe to the heightened modes of identification that he proposes (”we are all united”) or that we propose (”he is one of us”), we risk believing that this political moment can overcome the antagonisms that are constitutive of political life, especially political life in these times. There have always been good reasons not to embrace “national unity” as an ideal, and to nurse suspicions toward absolute and seamless identification with any political leader. After all, fascism relied in part on that seamless identification with the leader, and Republicans engage this same effort to organize political affect when, for instance, Elizabeth Dole looks out on her audience and says, “I love each and every one of you.”
Read the rest here. from Larval Subjects] 10:27 AM

[Devotion can grow as one's understanding of who They are and what They have done increases, but to make it a prerequisite is an exclusionary practice tantamount to religion. Re: Representing Swami Vivekananda: Some Issues and Debates By Makarand Paranjape Debashish What is Critique? An Essay on Foucault's Virtue By Judith Butler Debashish]

Distinguishing between devotion and subversion is of primary importance. If devotion or a common faith serves as a cementing factor for self-defense and also offers joy of identity and affiliation, then nothing else can replace that role. It is part of the package; take it or leave it. [TNM]

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