Graven Ideologies

Graven Ideologies: Nietzsche, Derrida & Marion on Modern Idolatry

Publisher: Intervarsity Press | On the web
Year: 2002
ISBN-10: 0-8308-2679-3

Graven IdeologiesWhat do the philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche, Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Marion have in common with Christianity?

Surprisingly, they are all concerned about idolatry, about the tendency we have to create God in our own image and about what we can do about it. Can we faithfully speak of God at all without interposing ourselves? If so, how?

Bruce Ellis Benson explores this common concern by clearly laying out the thought of each of these postmodern thinkers against the background of modern philosophers such as Descartes, Locke and Hume and in light of the rise of phenomenology as developed by Husserl and Heidegger. All these thinkers he brings into conversation with a full range of biblical teaching.

The result is an illuminating survey of some key postmodern thinkers and profound insight into the nature of conceptual idolatry. Benson also exposes some of the limitations inherent in postmodern attempts to provide a purely philosophical solution to the problem of ideological idolatry. Ultimately, he argues, there is a need for something greater than human philosophy, religion or theology–namely, the biblical revelation of God in Jesus Christ.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: A History of Idolatry
Graven Ideologies
The Danger of Vain Philosophy
Phenomenology and Idolatry
The Idolatry of Adaequatio
The Hammer of the Postmoderns
Jesus the Deconstructor

Freiedrich Nietzsche
1. The Idol of Philosophy
–Lying About “Truth”
–The Idols of Simplicity, Systemism and the True World
–Philosophy’s logos and Christ the Logos
2. “God Had to Die”
–Who Died?
–God’s Death and the Possibility of Life
–Heidegger on Nietzschean Idolatry
3. Jesus and “Morality”
–Nietzsche and Jesus
–Faith as Anti-agon

Jacques Derrida
4. Levinas and Derrida
–A New Derrida?
–The Other as Radical Transcendence
–The Ultimate Other
–Does Levinas Escape Violence?
5. Deconstruction and Justice
–Deconstruction, Undecidability, Différance
–Foundations as Antimorality
–Being Just
6. Faith and Dogma
–Saying God’s Name
–Faith and Its Reasons
–Dogma Against Idolatry

Jean-Luc Marion
7. Husserl and Hiedegger on Otherness
–The Problem of the Transcendental Ego in Husserl
–Hiedegger and the Logos of Phenomenology
8. The Objectifying Idol and the Transcending Icon
–Icons Versus Idols
–How Should We Speak of God?
9. Logos Versus logos
–Getting “Outside of the Text”
–The Call and the Horizon
–Is There Truly a “Thrid Way”?

–The Aporia of Knowing God
–Should Faith Overcome Philosophy?
–Bearing Witness