What is the place for religion in our postmodern society, if any? While new atheists spar with fundamentalisms of various stripes over concerns of exclusivity and violence, there has been a quieter proposal for a “pure” postmodern religion offered by figures as diverse as Jacques Derrida and Mark Johnston. These voices suggest a religion purified of particulars (dogma, institutions, authoritative texts), offering us an alternate hope. But is such a proposal “postmodern” enough, or is there better way to understand God in our conflicted time?
James K.A. Smith is Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. He specializes in contemporary continental philosophy, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of social science. He is the author and editor of a number of books, including Jacques Derrida: Live Theory, After Modernity? Secularity, Globalization, and the Re-enchantment of the World, and Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation.
This lecture was filmed at the University of Ottawa, October 2010. The event was organized by The House--for more information about events like this, or for a copy of the dvd, visit our website.