The Weakness of God

The Weakness of God

A Theology of the Event
John D. Caputo
Distribution: World
Publication date: 04/27/2006
Format: Paperback 1 index
ISBN: 978-0-253-21828-5
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2007 AAR Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion,Constructive-Reflective Studies

Applying an ever more radical hermeneutics (including Husserlian and Heideggerian phenomenology, Derridian deconstruction, and feminism), John D. Caputo breaks down the name of God in this irrepressible book. Instead of looking at God as merely a name, Caputo views it as an event, or what the name conjures or promises in the future. For Caputo, the event exposes God as weak, unstable, and barely functional. While this view of God flies in the face of most religions and philosophies, it also puts up a serious challenge to fundamental tenets of theology and ontology. Along the way, Caputo’s readings of the New Testament, especially of Paul’s view of the Kingdom of God, help to support the "weak force" theory. This penetrating work cuts to the core of issues and questions—What is the nature of God? What is the nature of being? What is the relationship between God and being? What is the meaning of forgiveness, faith, piety, or transcendence?—that define the terrain of contemporary philosophy of religion.

Author Bio

John D. Caputo is the Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion and Humanities and Professor of Philosophy at Syracuse University. He is author of More Radical Hermeneutics (IUP, 2000) and The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida (IUP, 1997).


“Caputo comes out of the closet as a theologian in this work. . . .”
 — Catherine Keller, Drew University

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Table of Contents

Introduction: A Theology of the Event

Part One. The Weakness of God
1. God without Sovereignty
2. St. Paul on the Logos of the Cross
3. The Beautiful Risk of Creation: On Genesis ad literam (Almost)
4. Omnipotence, Unconditionality, and the Weak Force of God

Hermeneutical Interlude: Two Keys to the Kingdom
5. The Poetics of the Impossible
6. Hyper-Realism and the Hermeneutics of the Call

Part Two. The Kingdom of God: Sketches of a Sacred Anarchy
7. Metanoetics: The Seventh Day, or Making All Things New
8. Quotidianism: Everyday, or Keeping Time Holy
9. Back to the Future: Peter Damian on the Remission of Sin and Changing the Past
10. Forgiven Time: The Pharisee and the Tax Collector
11. "Lazarus, Come Out": Rebirth and Resurrection
12. The Event of Hospitality: On Being Inside/Outside the Kingdom of God

Appendix to Part Two: Newly Discovered Fragments on the Kingdom of God from "The Gospel of Miriam"
A Concluding Prayer