The beauty of Žižek’s theological atheism is that it accepts the limits of knowledge (even scientific) regarding material reality, but also views in the legacy of Judeo-Christianity room for an atheism that isn’t just based on simple caricatures. There is substance to the notion of Holy Spirit that is born out of a gap in knowledge and the human referent of divine impotence that binds a community together, precisely the project of Saint Paul. For Žižek this version of atheism is the very supplement necessary to save modern Christianity from doom.
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Slavoj Žižek is a Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic. He is a professor at the European Graduate School, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. In addition to the books quoted in the article, The Tickish Subject, and The Sublime Subject of Ideology, his recent works include First as Tragedy, Than as Farce and In Defense of Lost Causes. His new book, Living in the End Times, will be published by Verso in May 2010.
Terry Eagleton is Professor of Cultural Theory and John Rylands Fellow at the University of Manchester. His books include The Task of the Critic: Terry Eagleton in Dialogue, Walter Benjamin, Literary Theory: An Introduction, The Function of Criticism, Criticism and Ideology, The Illusions of Postmodernism, Figures of Dissent and Ideology: An Introduction.
Alain Badiou teaches philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure and the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris. He has published numerous novels, plays and philosophical works. His four most recent books, The Meaning of Sarkozy, Ethics, Metapolitics and Polemics are available from Verso. His new book, The Communist Hypothesis, will be published by Verso in June.