Books/Slavoj Zizek/Freedom:Christian Atheism: How to Be a Real Materialist

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About this book

If we want to be true atheists, do we have to begin with a religious edifice and undermine it from within?

Slavoj Žižek has long been a commentator on, and critic of, Christian theology. His preoccupation with Badiou's concept of 'the event' alongside the Pauline thought of the New Testament has led to a decidedly theological turn in his thinking. Drawing on traditions and subjects as broad as Buddhist thought, dialectical materialism, political subjectivity, quantum physics, AI and chatbots, this book articulates Žižek's idea of a religious life for the first time.

Christian Atheism is a unique insight into Žižek's theological project and the first book-length exploration of his religious thinking. In his own words, "to become a true dialectical materialist, one should go through the Christian experience." Crucial to his whole conception of 'experience' is not some kind of spiritual revelation but rather the logic of materialistic thought. This affirmation of Christian theology whilst simultaneously deconstructing it is a familiar Žižekian move, but one that holds deep-seated political, philosophical and, in the end, personal import for him. Here is Žižek's most extensive treatment of theology and religion to date.


About the Authors

Gautam Basu Thakur is associate professor of English at Boise State, USA and author of Postcolonial Theory and Avatar (2015) andPostcolonial Lack (2020) and co-editor of Lacan and the Nonhuman (2018).

Jonathan Dickstein is an Independent Scholar of Lacanian psychoanalysis, computer science, and mathematics. He is the co-editor of Lacan and the Nonhuman (2018).

Table of Contents

  • INTRODUCTION: WHY TRUE ATHEISM HAS TO BE INDIRECT

The Self-Destruction of the West-Anti-Semitism and Intersectionality- The Importance of Seeing All Six Feet

  • 1 LET A RELIGION DEPLETE ITSELF

Who Can't Handle the Truth?- Subjectivity in Afropessimism- Does God Believe in Himself?-Holv Spirit as a Model of Emancipatory Community- What Is True Materialism?-From Agnosticism to Pure Difference

  • 2 WHY LACAN IS NOT A BUDDHIST

Hinayana, Mahayana, Theravada- Buddhist Economics-Why Bodhisattva is a Fake-Against Sacrifice - The Ultimate Choice

  • 3 ON SUPERPOSITIONS AND THINGS

How Can Reality Itself Be Wrong?-Bell's Theorem -A Deceived God -Space or Time-Materialism of Athings

  • 4 THE SACRED, THE OBSCENE, AND THE UNDEAD

Eating the Last Cannibal- Incestuous Short-Circuit -A True Happy Ending- Searching for Yourself- Sweet and Sour God -All Under Heaven or a Divided Heaven?

  • 5 EQUE HOMO NEQUE DEUS NEQUE NATURA

Cosmism as a Case of Pagan Christianity- The Ultra-Intelligent Idiocy of Chatbots -Machines of Perversion- Welcome to the Desert of Post-Humanity!

  • 6 WHY POLITICS IS IMMANENTLY THEOLOGICAL

The Divine Clouds-Antagonism Without Enemy-Political Correctness versus Ethics-From Antagonisms to Class Struggle

  • CONCLUSION: THE NEED FOR PSYCHOANALYSIS

Neither Biological Sex Nor Cultural Gender- Testicle Crushers, Then and Now -Manipur is not only in India-A Leftist Plea for Law and Order

  • Notes 267
  • Index 287

About the Author

Slavoj Žižek is a Hegelian philosopher, a Lacanian psychoanalyst, and a Communist. He is International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, University of London, UK; Global Distinguished Professor of German at New York University, USA; Professor of Philosophy at The European Graduate School / EGS, Switzerland; and Senior Researcher in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.