An Insurrectionist Manifesto: Four New Gospels for a Radical Politics

This morning the newly published book "An Insurrectionist Manifesto: Four New Gospels for a Radical Politics" (Columbia University Press, 2016) dropped through my letterbox. Here's the publisher's blurb and I'm sure that regular readers of this blog will immediately see why I ordered it straightaway:

An Insurrectionist Manifesto contains four insurrectionary gospels based on Martin Heidegger’s philosophical model of the fourfold: earth and sky, gods and mortals. Challenging religious dogma and dominant philosophical theories, they offer a cooperative, world-affirming political theology that promotes new life through not resurrection but insurrection. The insurrection in these gospels unfolds as a series of miraculous yet worldly practices of vital affirmation. Since these routines do not rely on fantasies of escape, they engender intimate transformations of the self along the very coordinates from which they emerge. Enacting a comparative and contagious post secular sensibility, these gospels draw on the work of Slavoj Žižek, Giorgio Agamben, Catherine Malabou, François Laruelle, Peter Sloterdijk, and Gilles Deleuze yet rejuvenate scholarship in continental philosophy, critical race theory, the new materialisms, speculative realism, and non philosophy. They think beyond the sovereign force of the one to initiate a radical politics “after” God.

And here are four reviews of the book to whet your appetite:

“Each gospel-like contribution to The Insurrectionist Manifesto can be read separately, but when they are read in tandem, a particular disturbing power is occasioned. I found myself stimulated and conceptually shaken in equal fashion. The call of these gospels has the potential to disturb the ground of our being. Those who hear it will be positively afflicted by a series of challenges that are exciting and demanding in equal measure.”Mike Grimshaw, University of Canterbury

“Attempts to break the age-old grip of the transcendent on theological thought have multiplied in recent years. In this indispensable provocation to thought, these wonderfully intrepid and scholarly philosophers of religion have pushed the accompanying turn toward immanence in the direction of the political in all its hugely varied insurrectionist forms.”Kenneth Surin, Duke University

“In these unapologetic, interlocking essays, we find a radical theology that finally lives up to its name. Here theology tumbles kenotically, inexorably, into political economy, literature, climate science, postcoloniality, critical race theory, and non equilibrium thermodynamics, forcing us to face the earth, sky, mortals, and gods as they are—and in all that they’re not—and only then as they might yet be.” Mary-Jane Rubenstein, author of Worlds Without End: The Many Lives of the Multiverse

“New concepts are very rare, but when philosophers manage to create them, everything changes. This manifesto thrusts us into an ‘insurrectionist’ theology where Nietzsche’s death of God, Zizek’s ontology of the Real, and Malabou’s plastic materiality come together to overcome those metaphysical frames that still condition our lives. Anyone interested in radical theology, philosophy, and politics in the 21st century must read this book carefully since he might find himself also to be an insurrectionist.” — Santiago Zabala, ICREA Research Professor of Philosophy at Pompeu Fabra University

Just a brief look at it this morning assures me that I'll be returning to many of the ideas it contains when I get back to work in Spetember.


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