The Monstrosity of Christ: Paradox or Dialectic? (Short Circuits)

Slavoj Žižek, John Milbank

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What matters is not so much that Žižek is endorsing a demythologized, disenchanted Christianity without transcendence, as that he is offering in the end (despite what he sometimes claims) a heterodox version of Christian belief.
John Milbank

To put it even more bluntly, my claim is that it is Milbank who is effectively guilty of heterodoxy, ultimately of a regression to paganism: in my atheism, I am more Christian than Milbank.
Slavoj Žižek

In this corner, philosopher Slavoj Žižek, who represents the critical-materialist stance against religion's illusions; in the other corner, "radical orthodox" theologian John Milbank, an influential and provocative thinker who argues that theology is the only foundation upon which knowledge, politics, and ethics can stand. In The Monstrosity of Christ, Žižek and Milbank go head to head for three rounds, employing an impressive arsenal of moves to advance their positions and press their respective advantages. By the closing bell, they have proven themselves worthy adversaries--and have also shown that faith and reason are not simply and intractably opposed.

Žižek has long been interested in the emancipatory potential offered by Christian theology. And Milbank, seeing global capitalism as the new century's greatest ethical challenge, has pushed his own...
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