The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity

Slavoj Zizek (Author)


One of our most daring intellectuals offers a Lacanian interpretation of religion, finding that early Christianity was the first revolutionary collective.

Slavoj Zizek has been called an academic rock star and the wild man of theory; his writing mixes astonishing erudition and references to pop culture in order to dissect current intellectual pieties. In The Puppet and the Dwarf he offers a close reading of today's religious constellation from the viewpoint of Lacanian psychoanalysis. He critically confronts both predominant versions of today's spirituality--New Age gnosticism and deconstructionist-Levinasian Judaism--and then tries to redeem the materialist kernel of Christianity. His reading of Christianity is explicitly political, discerning in the Pauline community of believers the first version of a revolutionary collective. Since today even advocates of Enlightenment like Jurgen Habermas acknowledge that a religious vision is needed to ground our ethical and political stance in a postsecular age, this book--with a stance that is clearly materialist and at the same time indebted to the core of the Christian legacy--is certain to stir controversy.

Product Details

Price: $24.95  $22.46
Publisher: MIT Press
Published Date: August 29, 2003
Pages: 196
Dimensions: 5.47 X 0.53 X 8.05 inches | 0.5 pounds
Language: English
Type: Paperback
ISBN: 9780262740258
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Slavoj Zizekis a Hegelian philosopher, a Lacanian psychoanalyst, and a Communist. He is International Director at the Birkbeck Institute for Humanities, University of London, UK, Visiting Professor at the New York University, USA, and Senior Researcher at the Department of Philosophy, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.


A witty, informative trip...both erudite and accessible...

--Rick Mitchell, Leonardo Reviews

His writing is bold, confident and contentious.

--Julian Baggini, The Philosopher's Magazine

The Puppet and the Dwarf is Zizek's most compelling and passionate writing on Christianity to date.

--Erik Davis, Bookforum

Quite possibly the most entertaining philosopher working today. Zizek knows how to think the unthinkable.

--Jori Finkel, Village Voice

Slavoj Zizek may have the strongest 'brand identity'...of any cultural theorist now in the marketplace of ideas.

--Scott McLemee, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Zizek is the first Marxist to write theology in a post-marxist, post-secular age.

--Eugene McCarraher, In These Times

...Zizek mixes Pauline speculations with analyses of everything from G. K. Chesterton to chocolate eggs.

--Terry Eagleton, TLS

Zizekrarely fails to entertain...

--Library Journal