For Our Sins

I have a chapter in a new book out now: Afxentis Afxentiou, Robin Dunford and Michael Neu (eds), Exploring Complicity: Concepts, Cases and Critiques (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017). My chapter is called ‘For Our Sins: Christianity, Complicity and the Racialized Construction of Innocence’. The whole book is worth a read, but you can also get hold of my chapter here.

Bergsonian Continuations: Commemorating 75 Years Since the Death of Henri Bergson

The newest issue of the Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy is out. I was the guest editor for this special issue, which is devoted to (extensions of) the thought of French philosopher Henri Bergson. It includes an essay by APS that I highly recommend. Also, it includes a translation by Len Lawlor of Bergson’s Politeness and a unique roundtable titled Bergson(ism) Remembered: A Roundtable (Curated by Mark William Westmoreland with Brien Karas (Villanova University, USA)) that features Jimena Canales (University of Illinois-UC, USA), Stephen Crocker (Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada), Charlotte De Mille (The Courtauld Gallery, UK), Souleymane Bachir Diagne (Columbia University, USA), Michael Foley (University of Westminster, UK), Hisashi Fujita (Kyushu Sangyo University, Japan), Suzanne Guerlac (University of California, Berkeley, USA), Melissa McMahon (Independent Scholar, Australia), Paulina Ochoa Espejo (Haverford College, USA), and Frédéric Worms (L’École Normale Supérieure, France).

Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy
Vol 24, No 2 (2016)
Table of Contents

Forum
——–
Introduction: 75 Years Later (1-2)
Mark William Westmoreland
Politeness (3-9)
Henri Bergson
Mysticism and War: Reflections on Bergson and his Reception During World War I (10-20)
Donna V. Jones
Human Rights and the Leap of Love (21-40)
Alexandre Lefebvre
Bergson and the Morality of Uncertainty (41-61)
Adriana Alfaro Altamirano
The Intuitive Recommencement of Metaphysics (62-83)
Camille Riquier
On Bergson’s Reformation of Philosophy (84-105)
Keith Ansell-Pearson
Beyond Dualism and Monism: Bergson’s Slanted Being (106-130)
Messay Kebede
Darkened Counsel: The Problem of Evil in Bergson’s Metaphysics of Integral Experience (131-153)
Anthony Paul Smith
The Concept in Life and the Life of the Concept: Canguilhem’s Final Reckoning with Bergson (154-175)
Alex Feldman
Bergson before Bergsonism: Traversing “Bergson’s Failing” in Susanne K. Langer’s Philosophy of Art (176-202)
Iris van der Tuin
The Cinematic Bergson: From Virtual Image to Actual Gesture (203-220)
John Ó Maoilearca

Roundtable
——–
Bergson(-ism) Remembered: A Roundtable (221-258)
Mark William Westmoreland and Brien Karas, eds.

Articles
——–
Beauvoir’s Reading of Biology in The Second Sex (259-285)
David M. Peña-Guzmán
Solidarity and the Absurd in Kamel Daoud’s Meursault, contre-enquête (286-303)
Sarah Horton

Review Essays
——–
Recent Work on Negritude (304-318)
Chike Jeffers

Special Issue of Religions

I have a new article out in a special edition of Religions edited by Michael Thate and Douglas Davies, on the theme Religion and the Individual: Belief, Practice, and Identity. My article, ‘It’s Not the Money but the Love of Money That Is the Root of All Evil’: Social Subjection, Machinic Enslavement and the Limits of Anglican Social Theology reads some recent attempts to articulate a distinctively Anglican/Church of England Social Theology through Lazzarato’s discussion of the role of Christianity in shaping capitalist subjectivities. The issue as a whole looks great, and the journal is open access so all the articles are free to read or download.

Radical Theologies: Why Philosophers Can’t Leave Christianity Alone

I recently edited a special edition of Modern Believing looking at the relationship between philosophy and Christianity; it’s out now and you can read it here (hit me up if you want to read anything in there but don’t have institutional access). Alongside my editorial, the special edition includes the following articles:

Beverley Clack: ‘On Returning to the Church: Practicing Religion in a Neoliberal Age’
In 1999 I wrote an article ‘on leaving the church’ (Craske and Marsh 1999). In this article I revisit this theme having recently returned to church. I explore the themes that led to me leaving (the Christian contribution to the history of misogyny and the desire for liberation, coupled with the desire to have the freedom to think); themes which, paradoxically, are not dissimilar to the reasons behind my return. The paper engages with the reductionist functionalism of the dominant social and political paradigm of neoliberal consumerism, and engages with Michèle Le Doeuff’s claim that the framework provided by religion for life is attractive, precisely because it allows for uncertainty and a deep engagement with the realities of being human.

Vincent Lloyd: ‘Achille Mbembe as Black Theologian’
The Cameroon-born, South Africa-based Achille Mbembe is one of the preeminent theorists of race writing today. Leading the current wave of critical race scholarship that views anti-Blackness as a metaphysical rather than merely social problem, Mbembe’s work brings together the tools of psychoanalysis, critical theory, and postcolonial studies. In De la postcolonie: essai sur l’imagination politique dans l’Afrique contemparaine(2000),1 Mbembe focuses his critical lens on Africa as object of fantasy and resistance to fantasy; in his most recent work, Critique de la raison nègre (2013),2 Mbembe turns to the figure of the Black. While Mbembe himself offers provocative suggestions about the implications of his work for religious thought, his account of anti-Blackness as a metaphysical problem opens constructive avenues for re-thinking Black theology. When Blackness is defined by death, the critical practice Mbembe describes and commends may be understood as a form of resurrection, restoring death-bound-being to life. I argue that reading Mbembe as part of a conversation in Black theology can expand the Black theological imagination.

Katharine Sarah Moody: ‘The Death and Decay of God: Radical Theology and Emerging Christianity’
Radical theology has an intellectual heritage that can be traced to the idea of the death of God in western philosophy, and Christian theologemes remain of conceptual interest to a number of continental philosophers and philosophers of religion because this religion is, to quote Slavoj Žižek, ‘the religion of a God who dies’. I introduce readers to re-conceptions of the theologeme ‘God’ by John D. Caputo and Slavoj Žižek and illustrate how philosophical interest in Christianity is inspiring religious discourse and communal practices that aim performatively to enact the death and decay of God

Marika Rose: ‘The Christian Legacy is Incomplete: For and Against Žižek’
Slavoj Žižek’s enthusiastic endorsement of the Christian legacy as the only hope for the future of radical politics has, unsurprisingly, made him popular amongst many Christians and theologians in recent years. This article explores the underlying logic of Žižek’s celebration of the Christian legacy, arguing that his dual celebration of the Christian and European legacies not only reveals the entanglement of his argument with the white supremacist logic of Christian superiority but begins to expose the ways in which Žižek’s focus on Christian Europe is inconsistent with his own fundamental ontological claims.

Radical Interpretations of the Bible

There’s a new issue of the journal Postscripts out: a special issue on radical interpretations of the Bible, edited by Michael J Sandford. It’s got a piece by Sandford on whether we can understand Jesus as a Luxury Communist, one by Robert J Myles on the Jesus of John’s Gospel as a reactionary aristocrat, one by Wei Hsien-Wan on 1 Peter and imperial models of time, and response articles by me and Caroline Blyth. You can access the issue here.

Book announcement: Agamben’s Coming Philosophy

Colby Dickinson and I have been offered a contract by Rowman & Littlefield to publish a co-authored collection of essays entitled Agamben’s Coming Philosophy: Finding a New Use for Philosophy. The book gathers together both previously published and new work by both of us, including a co-written introduction and conclusion. As one might expect, given that Colby is the author of Agamben and Theology and I am the translator of several theologically-oriented works by Agamben, our primary focus is on Agamben’s use of theology — not just in terms of explication, though there is a healthy dose of that, but with a view toward what it tells us about his project and about the possibilities for future philosophical and theological work it opens up.

We will be submitting the manuscript in mid-December, and currently a June release date is anticipated.

(Unrelatedly, the release date for Creepiness has been set for late February.)

Special issue of Angelaki: ‘Immanent materialisms: speculation and critique’

You might be interested to know of a special issue of Angelaki just published entitled ‘Immanent materialisms: speculation and critique’. Co-edited by Patrice Haynes and Charlie Blake, it comprises papers from, and inspired by the theme of, the Association for Continental Philosophy of Religion‘s 2009 conference ‘Towards a Philosophy of Life’.

The issue includes work by AUFS regulars Anthony Paul Smith [the first 50 of you can download my article for free using this token, but please only use if you don’t have library access – APS] and Joshua Ramey, plus a host of others, many of whom will be familiar to readers of this blog: John Ó Maoilearca, Jim Urpeth, Colby Heath Dickinson, Frank Ruda, Michael Burns [again, first 50 of you can download this using this token – APS], Alastair Morgan, Patrice Haynes and Benjamin Noys.

IHE piece on assessment and other announcements

I have a piece in Inside Higher Ed today entitled “How to Make the Best of Assessment” (link). Some of the points made therein may be familiar to readers of this post, but there has been substantial editing.

Though I’ve announced it on Twitter, I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here: my translation of Agamben’s Highest Poverty is now available (Amazon; publisher site) in both print and electronic editions.

In addition, I have updated my CV page with links to the submitted versions of two of my recent articles — and more thoroughly updated it in general, because it’s not as though it’s the end of the semester and I have a lot of work to do….

Finally, on a totally different note, I was recently interviewed for a short piece in the men’s magazine Details, which focused on a recent trend of books taking psychopaths as models for self-help. The piece does not appear to be online, but you can read it on pg. 36 of the print edition.