Publication of Altizer letters

local issue 2

Mike Grimshaw passes along the following announcement:

On the 50th anniversary of the famous TIME Magazine “Is God Dead?” cover, Radical Theologies has published This Silence Must Now Speak’: Letters of Thomas J.J. Altizer 1995-2015, edited and with an introductory essay by Mike Grimshaw.

Drawn from more than 300 e-mail letters written to friends and colleagues, these epistles are a series of meditative essays and mini-essays on religious, theological, political, and philosophical matters that are central and vital to our contemporary era. They reveal Altizer thinking though critical issues in communication with a fellowship of friends and likeminded scholars. Proclamations of intent, insights and questions they range in length from essays thousands of words long to far briefer ones of hundreds of words that raise a point of immediate interest and critical insight. Above all they are communications as the thinking through of critical questions. In these we are introduced again—and in a new format—to one of the formidable intellects of the last century of thought and theology. Altizer was and remains extraordinarily widely and deeply read. He is a scholar and an intellectual engaged in a world of words and ideas, ranging freely from the past into the present, from the present applied critically to the past.

In these letters Altizer reminds us that theology, especially radical theology, is nothing less than a continual reflexive and critical yet celebratory engagement with all of life and its possibilities. Nothing is outside the scope of theology and theological discussion. But also, in these letters, Altizer provides a crucial reminder that to attempt to do theology, to attempt to think and write theologically, to attempt to enter an understanding of modern life through the death of God, demands a deep and wide engagement with the intellectual and cultural expressions of modern life, with all that has contributed to it.