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© 2020

The Fetish of Theology

The Challenge of the Fetish-Object to Modernity

Book
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Part of the Radical Theologies and Philosophies book series (RADT)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Colby Dickinson
    Pages 1-40
  3. Colby Dickinson
    Pages 41-85
  4. Colby Dickinson
    Pages 87-106
  5. Colby Dickinson
    Pages 253-266
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 267-288

About this book

Introduction

“Ably traversing broad philosophical and theological territory—from Freud to Lukács, Agamben to Althaus-Reid—Colby Dickinson shows the centrality of the fetish and the unavoidability of fetishism to the fashioning of the human and the social. Dickinson’s book provides a fresh perspective on questions of violence. Consider it required reading.”
Kent L. Brintnall, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA

“Dickinson unmasks the ‘fetish’ of theology, and reveals the proximity of the fetish to the sacramental-object. He indicates the political tensions and fetishes inherent within theology’s own claims to locate an infinite divinity within material reality. This opens new pathways for the thinking of political-theological horizons within western thought.”

Anné Verhoef, Professor of Philosophy, North West University, South Africa

 

By delving into the history of the fetish-object among both modern and contemporary commentators, this book highlights the fetish-object’s role as a philosophical and religious concept of the highest significance. Historically, fetishes are implicated in specific struggles for sovereign (political) and/or religious (hierarchical) power, with their interwoven symbols defined as the primary location for transcendence in our world. This book defines the political consequences of fetish-objects within a western cultural, and primarily theological context through a comparative approach of various literatures on fetish-objects—anthropological to the psychological, Marxist to the theological. It reconceives of fetishes as a form of resistance to oppressive structures, something which motivated Christians themselves historically, and shaped our western understanding of the sacraments far more than has been acknowledged. Taking up this conversation likewise holds forth the possibility of reconceptualizing how fetish-objects and sacramental presences both speak profoundly to our late-modern selves.

Keywords

Marxism Marx Lukács Lacan Ricoeur

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Theology & ReligionLoyola University ChicagoChicagoUSA

About the authors

Colby Dickinson is an Associate Professor of Theology at Loyola University, Chicago. 


Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The Fetish of Theology
  • Book Subtitle The Challenge of the Fetish-Object to Modernity
  • Authors Colby Dickinson
  • Series Title Radical Theologies and Philosophies
  • Series Abbreviated Title Radical Theologies
  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-40775-9
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy Philosophy and Religion (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-40774-2
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-40777-3
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-40775-9
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XV, 288
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Liberation Theology
    Social Philosophy
  • Buy this book on publisher's site

Reviews

“Ably traversing broad philosophical and theological territory—from Freud to Lukács, Agamben to Althaus-Reid—Colby Dickinson shows the centrality of the fetish and the unavoidability of fetishism to the fashioning of the human and the social. Dickinson’s book provides a fresh perspective on questions of violence. Consider it required reading.”
Kent L. Brintnall, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA

 

“Dickinson unmasks the “fetish” of theology, and reveals the proximity of the fetish to the sacramental-object. He indicates the political tensions and fetishes inherent within theology’s own claims to locate an infinite divinity within material reality. This opens new pathways for the thinking of political-theological horizons within western thought.”
Anné Verhoef, Professor of Philosophy, North West University, South Africa

 

 

“Dickinson’s path-breaking research on the fetish not only brings together an enormous wealth of original sources but also sheds new light on some of the most crucial debates in continental philosophy and theology today. His suggestion that the dichotomy between the fetish and the sacrament, and even between the profane and the divine, needs to be surpassed is brilliantly argued for. With this new book, Dickinson once again proves to be one of the most prominent voices in those domains where continental philosophy and theology meet.”
Stéphane Symons, Associate Professor, Institute of Philosophy, KU Leuven, Belgium