A common theme in Eastern thought, and mysticism generally: no thing and no one exist "in themselves," but only in relation to all other things. We are not neatly-separable objects, but knots of contexts. And it's in this sense that we literally call each other into existence.
Ray Brassier may be the rightful heir to Friedrich Nietzsche's wrestle with nihilism, in no small part because I think Brassier possesses a far more articulate and considered version of nihilism than most.
I recently finished reading a book that left my head spinning: the late radical theologian Thomas J.J. Altizer's Living the Death of God: A Theological Memoir (SUNY Press, 2006). Altizer is one of those thinkers I've had a hard time grasping, but relatively recently I've come to understand him a bit more readily.
Were I to review Terry Eagleton’s Radical Sacrifice, I would recommend it unequivocally. Though Eagleton and I may not see eye to eye in all things (and I would have it no other way; how else would I learn?), this latest addition to his bibliography is well worth the time of any reader interested in revolutionary politics, ideology, or even the Christian narrative itself. Rather than evaluate the merits of Eagleton’s work, I’ve instead experienced it for myself; and in lieu of a review, I have instead opted to share a stream of insights I gained from reading Radical Sacrifice.
I’ve recently found myself fascinated with the surviving fragments of Heraclitus and his philosophy, especially what he has to say about what we may call religious expression. What follows is a brief exploration of his ideas and an application to religion generally, especially my own native Mormonism.
Back in January I read Byung-Chul Han’s Shanzhai: Deconstruction in Chinese (MIT Press, 2017), a deceptively-thin book which I finished in a couple sittings, but which has captivated my attention ever since I finished it. An essay on “decreation,” Shanzhai explores the history of Chinese thought viz. originality and reproduction, while also critiquing Western notions of originality.
I recently happened on an old book I’d encountered before: Sigmund Freud’s Moses and Monotheism. The first time around, I didn’t know what to make of it; now, after some reflection, I think Freud was a poor historian, and at times even a poor therapist (at least as psychoanalysis’ “version 1.0”), but I think he had moments of intrigue — Moses and Monotheism, I’d now say, was one of them.