Feast upon the Word Blog

A blog focused on LDS scriptures and teaching


Posted by douglashunter on December 8, 2007

A little off topic, I realize, but knowing there are a few folks interested in philosophy here I’m wondering if anyone else is as excited as I am about Jean-luc Nancy’s forthcoming book Dis-Enclosure: The Deconstruction of Christianity?

Also since it’s that time of year, what is on everyone’s Christmas list for books that give insight into scriptures, theology, the philosophy of such things, and teaching?

Nancy’s book is at the top of my list and I’m also interested in Simon Chritchley’s Infinitely Demanding: Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance.

anyone else?

11 Responses to “Dis-Enclosure”

  1. Jim F. said

    I have to confess that my interest in Nancy is only peripheral. I’ll wait to see what others who read him say before I read him. (Marion, Chretien, etc. are more my ilk.)

    I’ve known Simon since he was a graduate student, and I have a lot of respect for his work. I haven’t gotten to his book yet, but I intend to do so.

  2. Clark said

    Do you mean Jean-Louis Chretien? Very few of his works have been translated, haven’t they?

    Out of curiosity, if you don’t mind a slight threadjack, who do you see the most important French contemporary philosophers? I admit I’m just not able to enjoy Marion. We’ve discussed that before. To me he just is embracing a kind of hyper-ousia I’m not sure I buy. Zizek (even though he’s not French) appears to be everyone’s darling but I also just don’t find him appealing.

  3. Joe Spencer said

    At the top of my Christmas list is Terry Eagleton’s just-released introduction to the Gospels. I’ll be very interested to see how he reads them.

    There are two contemporary French thinkers that seem to me to be of the most importance (this will hardly be a surprise to many): Marion and Badiou, hands down. I read the entirety of Badiou’s Ethics last night and this morning, and I just picked up Infinite Thought this week (after having finished Saint Paul some months ago and Being and Event last week). Marion’s work is something I’ve spent more time with over the past couple of years, but I’m planning, over the next couple of months, to reread his Reduction and Givenness, Being Given, and In Excess, for a number of reasons.

    About Nancy: I too have not yet gotten too excited about Nancy’s work. Douglas, do you mind sharing a bit more about what gets you so excited by his work? That might pique my interest enough to get me to read him more carefully.

  4. Clark said

    A lot of people have been telling me to get into Badiou. I really must read him one of these days.

  5. Douglas Hunter said


    Honestly, I have not had that much exposure to Nancy, I’m excited about this new book because there are so few thinkers who are working on Christianity from a post structural perspective, or more specifically, are bringing the full implications of deconstruction to Christianity. To my knowledge this has not been done. I was eager to see what Caputo would do in What would Jesus Deconstruct? but its more of an introductory text that limits deconstruction to a thematic and a methodology. I think Nancy will be capable of working at an entirely different level. Or so I hope.

  6. Jim F. said

    It is hard to say who is most important. I don’t think I know what is happening right now in Paris well enough to say. However, I can say who I like best among those I know.

    Joe recommends Badiou highly. I still remain on the periphery there. Though I liked his Saint Paul, I’m not sure I get it, though Adam Miller does a pretty good job of making me think I should. My favorite continues to be Marion, with Ricoeur and Levinas right behind (though, of course, they aren’t contemporary). Chretien and Courtine are in there as well. Another person I like, who has little if anything translated, is Francois-David Sebbah. And, of course, you are acquainted with Marlene Zarader. Michel Henry, who recently passed away, seems to be influencing a lot of people.

  7. Jim F. said

    “I don’t think I get it” means “I don’t think I get Badiou overall.” I thought I understood the book on Paul reasonably well, and I highly recommend it. (It is available in English.)

  8. Joe Spencer said

    I didn’t mention Ricoeur because I was being strict about contemporaneity, but I’ll echo Jim on that: at times I’m convinced that Ricoeur is simply the most important philosopher we’ve seen in a long time.

    I’ll be interested to hear your review of Nancy’s book, Douglas. Though it is hardly post-structuralist, I do recommend Michel Henry’s I Am the Truth as a rather interesting contemporary French take on Christianity (I don’t know how legitimate it is to say “contemporary” there: Henry’s work is at once radically contemporary and yet somehow evidently passe…).

    Jim, I’d be really interested to see your take on Badiou’s Ethics, in which he levels a pretty serious critique against Levinas. (You need only read chapter 2 to find the critique: it is pretty self-contained.) It seems cogent to me (I’ll be writing up a bit on it on lds-herm later today if I have time), but I’d be interested to hear from someone far more “committed” to Levinas than I am on it (I’ve yet, of course, to read the paper you posted awhile ago, though it seems to be far broader an approach, not dealing with the specific critique of Ethics).

    But I really do think there is something really important happening in Badiou’s work. And I think it is remarkable in more way than one: what it does to philosophy (and here I suppose Being and Event—and, I would assume, its just-published-but-not-yet-translated follow-up Logiques du Monde—is the key text) is undeniably important, but I think it is immensely helpful for thinking the place and structure of LDS theology. I don’t mean that in a mingling philosophy and scripture sort of way, but in precisely the opposite way: I think Badiou’s work provides us with some significant ways of ridding our scriptural hermeneutics of a number of implicitly philosophical projects. I’ve got, as you all might be able to guess, a great deal more to say about all of that. But I’ll probably limit further discussion to the lds-herm list. :)

  9. douglashunter said

    Joe, even thought the writers are on strike, I am so busy that all year I been buying books that never get read. :-( So i doubt that I’ll ever have a review. Reality hurts.

  10. d said

    Nancy’s Dis-Enclosure has been available in French for some time. It is a book of essays and not a thematic work. Still good. He is working on a thematic book on what remains of the Christian tradition (faith, hope and love). If you need something to tide you over until Nancy’s Dis-Enclosure is released you might consider picking up “The Creation of the World or Globalization”–a short, important work that touches on the core challenge of our time: the taking-place of world-forming vs. the hegemony of globalization. Cheers.

  11. Alex said

    Hi there, I am writing my dissertation on post-secularism and Nancy is at the core of my thesis. Happy to discuss this anytime. Cheers, Alex

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: