‘Žižek and Theology’ by Adam Kotsko

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Slavoj Žižek has been called an “academic rock star.” As public visibility of the Slovenian philosopher and psychoanalyst increases, so too does the depth of his engagement with Christian theology. Žižek’s recent work includes extended treatments of key Christian thinkers from Paul, Pascal, and Kierkegaard to G. K. Chesterton and C. S. Lewis, while Christology and other theological themes have provided crucial points of reference. Žižek has even said that “to become a true dialectical materialist, one should go through the Christian experience.”

But Žižek’s work on Christianity often overwhelms students of theology. To be sure, Žižek’s style of argumentation is unusual and his concepts are complex. But the more basic problem is that his work on Christianity is a further development of a broader intellectual project established in many volumes produced in the course of the 1990s. This book will bring students of theology up to speed on this broader intellectual project, with an eye toward what brings Žižek to an explicit engagement with Christianity and how both his earlier and more recent works are relevant for theological reflection.