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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Edmund Standing on academic theology

This piece by Edmund Standing (whose forays onto the internet I always enjoy) deserves more than a placeholder, though that's all I can give it right this moment. I did enjoy reading it - he excoriates post-this-post-that theology. Of course, a lot of post-this-post-that thinking has much to answer for, not just theology.


Postmodern theology can be seen to have really got underway in the early ’80s, and its early proponents seemed positively intoxicated by the ideas that at that time were the latest trend in Humanities thought. Carl A Raschke’s 1982 article ‘The Deconstruction of God’ offers a perfect example of this kind of writing. Raschke’s article is filled with hyperbole and an almost orgasmic celebration of deconstruction and the ‘death of God’, with claims that deconstruction is ‘the immolation of the transcendental signified’, ‘the dance of death upon the tomb of God’, and ‘the eschatology of the twenty-five-hundred-year epoch of logos’ (Raschke 1982: 26; 28; 31). Interestingly, all this talk of the ‘death of God’ was not, however, as in Nietzsche’s writings, an embrace of atheism. On the contrary, rational thought was under attack as much as the notion of God. Raschke claimed that ‘[d]econstruction is the revelation of the inner vacuity of the much touted “modern” outlook’  and that  ‘the idols of the secular marketplace have a tinny ring’ (2-3).

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