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Hope in a Secular Age

Hope in a Secular Age
Deconstruction, Negative Theology and the Future of Faith

  • Publication planned for: April 2020
  • availability: Not yet published - available from April 2020
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108498661


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About the Authors
  • This book argues that hope is the indispensable precondition of religious practice and secular politics. Against dogmatic complacency and despairing resignation, David Newheiser argues that hope sustains commitments that remain vulnerable to disappointment. Since the discipline of hope is shared by believers and unbelievers alike, its persistence indicates that faith has a future in a secular age. Drawing on premodern theology and postmodern theory, Newheiser shows that atheism and Christianity have more in common than they often acknowledge. Writing in a clear and engaging style, he develops a new reading of deconstruction and negative theology, arguing that (despite their differences) they share a self-critical hope. By retrieving texts and traditions that are rarely read together, this book offers a major intervention in debates over the place of religion in public life.

    • Demonstrates that secular and religious hopes are of the same kind
    • Addresses debates over religion and public life in light of the author's account of hope
    • Reconsiders traditional readings of deconstruction and negative theology to demonstrate their relevance to broader issues
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'For David Newheiser, hope holds together relation and negation. Hope in a Secular Age explains what this means, drawing on Dionysius the Areopagite and Jacques Derrida and putting the constructive proposal that results in conversation with a range of important thinkers, from Mark Lilla to Giorgio Agamben. Offering important correctives to scholarship on Continental philosophy of religion, this book reframes the field by focusing on ethics rather than epistemology. Particularly exciting are little-known, unpublished, but quite revealing texts by Derrida that Newheiser unearthed and mobilizes to alter how we understand the relationship between deconstruction and negative theology.' Vincent Lloyd, Villanova University, Pennsylvania

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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: April 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108498661
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • availability: Not yet published - available from April 2020
  • Table of Contents

    1. Deconstruction: the need for negativity
    2. Negative theology: critique and commitment
    3. The discipline of hope
    4. Beyond indeterminacy and dogma
    5. Atheism and the future of faith
    6. Negative political theology

  • Author

    David Newheiser, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne
    David Newheiser is a Research Fellow in the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry at Australian Catholic University, Melbourne. His work has appeared in The Journal of the American Academy of Religion, The Journal of Religious Ethics, and Theory, Culture & Society, and he is the editor of numerous collections, including Desire, Faith, and the Darkness of God (2015).

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