Augustine and Postmodernism

Augustine and Postmodernism

Confessions and Circumfession
Edited by John D Caputo and Michael J Scanlon
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 03/10/2005
Format: Paperback 3 b&w photos, 1 index
ISBN: 978-0-253-21731-8
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At the heart of the current surge of interest in religion among contemporary Continental philosophers stands Augustine’s Confessions. With Derrida’s Circumfession constantly in the background, this volume takes up the provocative readings of Augustine by Heidegger, Lyotard, Arendt, and Ricoeur. Derrida himself presides over and comments on essays by major Continental philosophers and internationally recognized Augustine scholars. While studies on and about Augustine as a philosopher abound, none approach his work from such a uniquely postmodern point of view, showing both the continuing relevance of Augustine and the religious resonances within postmodernism. Posed at the intersection of philosophy, theology, and religious studies, this book will be of interest to scholars and students of Augustine as well as those interested in the invigorating discussion between philosophy, religion, and postmodernism.

Contributors include Geoffrey Bennington, Philippe Capelle, John D. Caputo, Elizabeth A. Clark, Hent de Vries, Jacques Derrida, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Richard Kearney, Catherine Malabou, James O’Donnell, Michael J. Scanlon, and Mark Vessey.

Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Religion—Merold Westphal, general editor

Author Bio

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

Michael J. Scanlon, O.S.A., is Josephine C. Connelly Chair of Christian Theology at Villanova University. He is co-editor with John Caputo of God, the Gift, and Postmodernism (IUP, 1999) and Questioning God (IUP, 2001).


“Jacques Derrida and an international group of philosophers of religion discuss Augustine in the light of postmodernism. The volume takes up provocative readings of Augustine by Heidegger, Lyotard, Arendt, and Ricoeur. The book shows both the continuing relevance of Augustine and the religious resonances within postmodernism.”

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Postmodern Augustine John D. Caputo and Michael J. Scanlon
Part I. After the Event
1. Composing "Circumfession" Jacques Derrida
2. Confessions and "Circumfession": A Roundtable Discussion with Jacques Derrida Moderated by Richard Kearney
Part II. Confessions and Circumfession
3. Time—for the Truth Geoffrey Bennington
4. Instances: Temporal Modes from Augustine to Derrida and Lyotard Hent de Vries
Response by Jacques Derrida
5. Shedding Tears Beyond Being: Derrida's Confession of Prayer John D. Caputo
6. Heidegger: Reader of Augustine Philippe Capelle
Response by Jacques Derrida
7. The Form of an "I" Catherine Malabou
Response by Jacques Derrida
8. Time, Evil, and Narrative: Ricoeur on Augustine Richard Kearney
9. Arendt's Augustine Michael J. Scanlon
10. Reading like Angels: Derrida and Augustine on the Book (for a History of Literature) Mark Vessey
Response by Jacques Derrida
11. Augustine's Unconfessions James J. O'Donnell
12. On Not Retracting the Unconfessed Elizabeth A. Clark
13. Why Augustine? Why Now? Jean Bethke Elshtain