Sunday, May 10, 2009

Alain Badiou on Youtube

A BBC HARDtalk interview in three parts (1, 2, 3)

Some of you may know that Badiou (how is that correctly pronounced, by the way?) has written a book relating to the Apostle Paul (Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism). Not far into that one yet, but it is odd to read my man Paul in the hands of this famous French atheist 'screaming leftie' philosopher. When I last read around the world of 'modern continental philosophy', Derrida, Luce Irigaray and such like were all the rage. Having only recently picked up works by Badiou (and Slavoj Žižek), I realise I have a lot to learn!

Actually, as I’ve mentioned the compulsively nose-wiping Žižek (one Youtube comment runs: “Check out his sexy deep-v. He can wipe his nose all over me”!), do check out this series of 2007 videos entitled “Slavoj Zizek. Materialism and Theology”. Clearly a brilliant mind flavoured with humour and deep insight, I look forward to engaging with his work in more depth. For those less interested in grappling with his dialectical materialism, do at least listen to enjoy the way he pronounces “mysticism” – something like mish-ti-shish-em! Well, Anja and I thought it was funny.


At 5/10/2009 4:33 PM, Anonymous dan said...

Yes, Badiou, Žižek , Agamben, Lyotard, and Taubes (to name a few!) have all engaged Paul directly -- and others have tried to engage Paul through the works of some other continental philosophers (for example, Jennings', Reading Derrida/Thinking Paul).

Personally, I find it all quite fascinating. I just finished reading Badiou on Paul in April and, although I disagree with him on this or that point about Paul, I find that he accurately describes my own journey of faith.

At 5/10/2009 4:39 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

You are amazingly well read, Dan, you put me to shame.

I like the sound of the Jennings' book. Have you read it?

At 5/10/2009 7:36 PM, Anonymous Patrik said...

Thanks for tha Badiou link.

Before delwing too deep into Zizek, read my review of his and Milbanks new book.

At 5/11/2009 9:19 AM, Anonymous dan said...

I'm only now reading the Jennings book but it is promising. Jennings focuses upon the theme of justice as it appears in both Paul's Epistle to the Romans and in Derrida's writings. Thus, when reflecting on things like justice (dik- root words), law, and grace/gift, Jennings extends the reading from a strictly theological or religious focus upon 'personal righteousness' or the 'Jewish Law' in order to engage Paul as one might engage any other public philosopher.

I am actually quite partial to this approach to Paul and the Law. So, while I think that Paul actually most often does have the Jewish Law in the foreground, I think that what he writes also has significant implications for any other system of Law -- even if our contentedly middle-class readings of Paul have consistently neglected this!

Oh, and as for being well-read... well... having a kid significantly changes that. I'm now lucky if I make it through 4 books in a month (but I don't regret it!).

At 5/12/2009 11:30 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi Patrik, thanks for the links. I read your review, plus the older post you linked to. Very helpful, thanks.

This approach to Paul will be new ground for me, I must admit. I look forward to it. I started Badiou's book while tired in bed, but probably I need a fresh mind for that!

At 5/13/2009 11:05 AM, Anonymous MrsOlivia said...


Your amusement at Žižek's pronounciation took me back to my University days and my lessons with Prof. Markus Vinzent. He is a typically bespecticaled middle aged theologian, blessed with a very thick german accent and his talks generally required some kind of translation...especially the word sword which came out as sverd - made us giggle lots and sort of detracted from any useful learning.


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