Tomorrow, I will be giving a masterclass (PDF flyer) at the University of Auckland, where we will be discussing my Crisis and Critique article (PDF) as well as a paper I gave at a conference earlier this year at Loyola University Chicago, entitled “Agamben and the Problem of Evil” (PDF). I have been reluctant to post the latter, as I was pondering turning it into a proper article, but since it is being distributed for the masterclass, I might as well make it available. It gives an overview of The Kingdom and the Glory‘s argument and its place in Agamben’s project, then critiques it from the point of view of the problem of evil. In many ways, it reflects and expands upon my critique of K&G in The Prince of This World (preorder link), so perhaps you can consider it an indirect preview.
7 thoughts on “A critique of The Kingdom and the Glory”
I was sad to miss your presentation at the conference since I was presenting at the same time, so thanks for making this available!
Adam, how are we to situate, if at all, ‘the problem of evil’ with the contention of God’s impotence (à la Zizek and Theology)?
That’s one way of resolving it — a relatively unpopular one, to be fair, but a coherent one.
This post convinced me to finally buy a copy of kingdom and glory. So there’s that.
Thanks for this. It makes me excited to read “The Prince of This World” soon!
In this context, do you have any thoughts on the first few chapters of Stanzas? They discuss on the problem of sloth in Christian thought (and other places) in the context of morality and the devil, though not in a systematic way like TKAtG’s approach to the economic-providential tradition or like your approach to the devil as a figure. It strikes me that sloth may have been an early way for Agamben to think something like inoperativity, but, like you say in the lecture, when this concept arises explicitly in TKAtG it is thought alongside glory rather than evil and tempting demons. I am not a theologian so I want to ask: do Christian thinkers ever name forms of “sloth” associated with/counter to liturgy or glory?
The theme comes back in either The Highest Poverty or Opus Dei — I’m not sure how to connect sloth and inoperativity, though.
Re: God’s impotence, l fear the way the argument is employed by Zizek ‘even God is castrated…’ is a kind of false modesty. The ultimate ruse to save oneself from castration is to claim that you are already castrated.
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