Deconstructing Undecidability: Derrida, Justice, and Religious Discourse

Derrida, Justice, and Religious Discourse
Rowman & Littlefield (Verlag)
  • erscheint ca. am 15. Februar 2020
  • Buch
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  • Hardcover
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  • 266 Seiten
978-1-9787-0438-1 (ISBN)
In Deconstructing Undecidability, Michael Oliver explores the problematic nature of decision, including the inherent exclusivity that accompanies any decision, and the ways in which we attempt to avoid recognizing this exclusivity. Advancing current readings of the deconstructive work of Jacques Derrida, Oliver critically examines the perennial problem of inescapable decision by focusing on two particular scenarios. In discourses where a pursuit of justice or liberation from systemic oppression is a primary concern, Oliver argues for an appreciation of the inescapability of making limited, difficult decisions for particular forms of justice. He highlights a similarly precarious predicament in the context of theological understandings and negotiations of divine decision, pointing to the impossibility of safely navigating this issue. In so doing, Oliver offers a renewed sense of undecidability that urges continued vigilance with regard to complex, difficult decisions. While wholeheartedly affirming the problem of exclusivity that inevitably accompanies decision, Oliver argues for the necessity of reckoning with difficult decisions and highlights how one only ever mistakenly inhabits the illusory position of "indecision," i.e. standing outside the decision point, as a reflection of power and privilege. Ultimately, this book aims to gain a greater appreciation for the complexity of the problem of decision--in the contexts of justice work and theological understandings of divine decision--in order to be more rigorous and transparent in our continued engagement with it.
  • Englisch
  • Lanham, MD
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  • USA
  • Fadenheftung
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  • Gewebe-Einband
  • Höhe: 229 mm
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  • Breite: 152 mm
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  • Dicke: 0 mm
978-1-9787-0438-1 (9781978704381)
Michael Oliver is a departmental lecturer in the faculty of theology and religion at the University of Oxford.
At last, a that offers a new way of working with Derrida's philosophy as it fronts on religion! It's edgy. It's controversial. It's contemporary. Here is a new theological voice that pushes both deconstruction and indecidability into original theological territories. New debates on familiar themes are opened with sparkling and generative insights. The book is needed and it's welcome.--Graham Ward, Regius Professor of Divinity, University of Oxford The tension in choosing one line of justice at the expense of another cannot be resolved. Indecision remains an illusion; we must decide. However, not without considering the larger context and its measure of power and privilege. This well-written and engaging study encourages the reader to face the challenge of deciding amidst competing calls for immediate and just attention.--Werner G. Jeanrond, University of Oslo Anyone beset by the devils of indecision will find needed wisdom in Michael Oliver's courageous investigation of the pitfalls of any presumptive inclusivism. He cuts--with disarming panache--to the ethical quick: where not to decide may prove as conceptually and ethically irresponsible as the feared exclusion.--Catherine Keller, George T. Cobb Professor of Constructive Theology, Drew University Michael Oliver examines the power of the theme of exclusion in determining the critical analyses and constructive remedies of certain progressive theologies--most specifically, postmodern and liberationist--alongside the theme's slippery, challenging complexity. He exposes a deconstructive-like double bind: the tendency to isolate and demonize exclusion as the source of all bad religion, theology, and ethics and the simultaneous inability to provide a theo-ethical remedy that does not itself participate in some form of exclusion. In doing so, Oliver brings to light a difficult truth that has not always been sufficiently addressed in our best progressive theologies, thereby offering progressive theologies an invitation to be more self-aware, transparent, and self-critical, toward the hoped for outcome of becoming even more viable and more compelling.--Chris Boesel, Drew University This book offers a welcome contribution to the literature on Derrida and religion. Where some interpreters associate deconstruction with an indeterminate openness, Michael Oliver shows that Derrida sees the act of decision as problematic but unavoidable. Drawing on Derrida, Oliver argues that theological debates over liberation and divine election must reckon with the need for discernment. With sensitivity and insight, Oliver offers an account of the struggle for justice that attends to its persistent ambiguity.--David Newheiser, Australian Catholic University

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