The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity
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.
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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