Monday, February 23, 2009

Immersing myself in Zizek and Kierkegaard...

Well, my paper was accepted for the 2009 PNW-AAR conference, so I now begin the process of refining my thesis and trying to determine the best way to explain my particular take on Zizek's appropriation of Kierkegaard's "suspension of the ethical." I'm excited about this topic; I think there is a lot of value in listening to Zizek as sort of a post-millennial Freud or Marx - a philosopher of suspicion who can speak "prophetically" to what is often a milquetoast Christianity in our so-called tolerant culture. Here is a quote from Z's "The Puppet and the Dwarf" which illustrates my point:

"What we are getting today is a kind of 'suspended' belief, a belief that can thrive only as not fully (publicly) admitted, as a private obscene secret. Against this attitude, one should insist even more emphatically that the 'vulgar' question "Do you really believe or not?" matters... Perhaps... the 'nonfundamentalist' notion of 'culture' as distinguished from 'real religion... is in its very core the name for the field of disowned/impersonal beliefs - 'culture' is the name for all those things we practice without really believing in them, without 'taking them seriously'... And is this also not why we dismiss fundamentalist believers as 'barbarians,' as... a threat to culture -- they dare to take their beliefs seriously?"

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