In Search of Radical Theology
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In Search of Radical Theology : Expositions, Explorations, Exhortations

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Description

After an important statement entitled "What is Radical Theology?" written as an introduction to the present volume, in which Caputo spells out what he means by radical theology, what follows is a series of recently essays addressed to audiences both academic and non-academic. Under the flag of what he calls a "radicalization of the Catholic Principle," he offers an account of the resistance Catholicism throws up against its own idea of tradition and places it in juxtaposition Tillich's "Protestant Principle." Several essay examine the implications of Derrida for theology. Caputo argues that Derrida, who is his "favorite unofficial theologian" and "a devilish knight of faith," is a perfect model for radical theology. Another piece takes up the unorthodox interest continental philosophers show in Augustine. Caputo addresses two camps of critics here, some charging him with being an atheist, insinuating that radical theology does not take "real" religion seriously, while the other accuses him of not being an atheist, of just being Augustine redux. One point running through all the essays is that, unlike modernist dismissals of religion, as a form of deconstruction, radical theology does not debunk but reinvents the theological tradition. Radical theology is a double deconstruction - of supernatural theology on the one hand and of transcendental reason on the other, and therefore of the settled distinctions between the religious and the secular. He also address the challenge for radical theology to earn a spot in the curriculum, given that the "radical" makes it suspect among the confessional seminaries and the "theology" renders it suspect among the university seminars. There is a presentation of radical political theology which discusses theology in Trumptime. Another essay describes radical theology as a radicalization of hope, and the whole thing concludes with a eulogy to Derrida, written shortly after his death (2004), "to Jacques, who loosened my tongue," Caputo says.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 17.78mm | 362.87g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Abridged
  • 0823289192
  • 9780823289196
  • 119,927

Back cover copy

"The radical theology of the distinguished visionary thinker John Caputo is a great breath of fresh air in our claustrophobic and catastrophic time. He goes to the deep roots--the inner disturbance and generative inflection--of our existential crisis and political lockjaw. Caputo's powerful prophetic call flows from his philosophical subtleties and deep respect for religious traditions. His courageous voice is timely for us all!"--Cornel West Capturing a career's worth of thought and erudition, this rich volume treats readers to creative thought, careful argumentation, and sophisticated analysis transmitted through the lucid, accessible prose that has earned John D. Caputo a wide readership of academics and non-academics alike. In tackling "radical theology," Caputo has in mind the deeper stream that courses its way through various historical and confessional theologies, upon which these theologies draw even while it disturbs them from within. They are well served by this disturbance because it keeps them on their toes. When we read about professional theologians losing their job in confessional institutions, the chances are that, by earnestly digging into what is going on in their tradition, they have hit upon radical theological rock. Unlike modernist dismissals of religion, radical theology does not debunk but reinvents the theological tradition. Radical theology, Caputo says, is a double deconstruction--of supernatural theology on the one hand and of transcendental reason on the other, and therefore of the settled distinctions between the religious and the secular. Caputo also addresses the challenge for radical theology to earn a spot in the curriculum, given that the "radical" makes it suspect among the confessional seminaries while the "theology" renders it suspect among university seminars. From the academy to contemporary American culture, the book offers a captivating presentation of radical theology for our time. John D. Caputo is Thomas J. Watson Professor Emeritus of Religion at Syracuse University and the David R. Cook Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Villanova University.
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Review quote

The radical theology of the distinguished visionary thinker John Caputo is a great breath of fresh air in our claustrophobic and catastrophic time. He goes to the deep roots--the inner disturbance and generative inflection--of our existential crisis and political lockjaw. Caputo's powerful prophetic call flows from his philosophical subtleties and deep respect for religious traditions. His courageous voice is timely for us all!--Cornel West
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About John D. Caputo

John D. Caputo, the Watson Professor of Religion Emeritus (Syracuse University) and the Cook Professor of Philosophy Emeritus (Villanova University) is a constructive theologian who works in the area of "weak" or "radical" theology. His majors works include Radical Hermeneutics (1987), The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida (1997), The Weakness of God (2006). His most recent works are Hermeneutics: Facts and Interpretation in the Age of Information (2018) and a second edition of On Religion (2018). The Essential Caputo (2018) a collection of his work from the early 1970s on. His latest books is Cross and Cosmos: A Theology of Difficult Glory (2019). He has addressed more general audiences in books like What Would Jesus Deconstruct? (2006) and Hoping against Hope (2015).
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