Expressing the Inexpressible in Lyotard and Pseudo-Dionysius

Expressing the Inexpressible in Lyotard and Pseudo-Dionysius : Bearing Witness as Spiritual Exercise

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Rigorously studying the inexpressible expression provoked by the silenced testimony of the Holocaust survivor, in Jean-Francois Lyotard's The Differend, and the religious faithful, in Pseudo-Dionysius' The Divine Names, proves to dissolve the apparent heterogeneity of postmodernism and Neoplatonist Christian mysticism and open radical new lines of dialogue. Expressing the Inexpressible critically evaluates each thinker and tradition, rethinks witnessing, testimony, sublimity, and apophaticism, and then engages them together to forge a new reading of silence and eros.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 326 pages
  • 152.4 x 231.14 x 30.48mm | 635.03g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739183419
  • 9780739183410

Review quote

"Melanie V. Walton explains why the paradoxical search to do justice to the inexpressible is central to Lyotard's later work. This demonstration places him at the heart of contemporary discussions in ethics and law about justice for those who cannot speak of the harm done to them. She does so on the basis of thorough and original research, with the added brilliant flourish of situating the debate in relation to Neoplatonism and the problems of knowledge of God." -- James Williams, University of Dundee "Melanie Walton's study goes beyond explaining the nature of a differend, where one idiom finds no access possible to the dominant genres without losing voice, validity, or persuasiveness. Walton moves sedulously through the context and argumentation of Lyotard's 'magnus opus' monument to the task of bearing witness to the inexpressible, into a study of the mystic who developed a negative semantics, an apophatics of 'God.' Her exploration of Pseudo-Dionysus reveals his method of naming as an impossible enterprise through which God is 'named' all that we could know and yet cannot know of the divinity." -- Bettina Bergo, Professor of Philosophy, University of Montrealshow more

About Melanie V. Walton

Melanie Victoria Walton is assistant professor of philosophy at Belmont University.show more

Table of contents

Acknowledgments Introduction: What is the Inexpressible Expression? Chapter One: Witness and Testimony Chapter Two: Contextualizing Jean-Francois Lyotard Chapter Three: Bearing Witness in The Differend Chapter Four: Contextualizing Pseudo-Dionysius Chapter Five: Bearing Witness in The Divine Names Chapter Six: Silence and Eros Conclusion: The Expression of the Inexpressible Bibliography Index About the Authorshow more