Series: The Church and Postmodern Culture
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Baker Academic; 38961st edition (November 1, 2007)
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 9.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #319,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #176 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Churches & Church Leadership > Ecclesiology #606 in Books > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Philosophy #637 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Philosophy > Movements
I take the publication of this book as an announcement of sorts. It tells us that what could be loosely called post structural Christianity is going public. There have been a number of other books that deal with Derrida's work in the Christian context but What Would Jesus Deconstruct? is the first book I know of that attempts to outline the profound sympathy between Derrida's later work and Christianity in a readable, non-academic way. That alone makes this an important book.The wonderful thing for me about this text is that Caputo did a great job selecting the ideas and themes from Derrida that can be used as a lens through which to read scripture and address Christian faith. These ideas open up a variety of potentials, and energies that just don't have the same resonance when examined without the tools that post structuralism generally, and Derrida specifically provide us. Some of these themes include the journey, the unavoidable nature of impasses; the idea that the moment when we are faced with the impossible is the exact moment when real potentials are opened. He also addresses Derrida's unique understanding of justice, the economy of the gift and hospitality, to name a few.What makes Caputo's summary of Derrida useful is that it directs our attention to the structure of how themes such as love, or loving God, or one's neighbor (as only one of many potential examples) are articulated in scripture but also the significant pragmatic and philosophical challenges posed by such themes, their aporias, and the difficulties we face when we are willing to take this kind of challenge seriously. This is important work and frankly it strikes me that Christianity in America today is often dead set against doing this kind of work.
I just finished reading John Caputo's What Would Jesus Deconstruct?. Below is the posted book review that I put up on my Facebook account. My opening comments are referring to this review:"Caputo's other books have been light in a dark place, and this series of books looks promising. But this particular volume strikes me as poorly written and poorly reasoned, surprising for Caputo. He rails against an undefined "religious Right" in a way that Brian McLaren, in the preface, describes as "hospitable" but which I can only describe as straw-man hostility. He takes Derrida to have something to say about religion, which is fair enough and true, I think. But he never here makes the case for why we should listen to Derrida, or why Deconstruction is a desirable Biblical hermeneutic. In the end, he has very little to offer other than his opinion. I say this as one who usually finds his opinions interesting and his philosophy worth reading. This time, however, I think Caputo writes sloppily. He either does a disservice to the views he espouses, or else exposes them as largely empty of _theological_ content. When he talks about the key themes in Derrida's work, he's lucid; when he talks about what they mean for us, his wordplay seems to mask a lack of argument. This is unfortunate."The review above is superb and right on target. I read this work because I do believe that deconstruction can be appropriated in useful ways by Christians. When Caputo is explaining what deconstruction is and it's concerns, the work is insightful and helpful. The 2nd half of the work is nearly useless (at least to me).
What Would Jesus Deconstruct?: The Good News of Postmodernism for the Church (The Church and Postmodern Culture) Kurt Vonnegut's Crusade; Or, How a Postmodern Harlequin Preached a New Kind of Humanism (Suny Series in Postmodern Culture) The Solidarity of Others in a Divided World: A Postmodern Theology after Postmodernism I've Got Some Good News and Some Bad News: YOU'RE OLD: Tales of a Geriatrician, What to expect in your 60's, 70's, 80's, and Beyond The End of Modernity: Nihilism and Hermeneutics in Postmodern Culture (Parallax: Re-visions of Culture and Society) Saving Jesus from the Church: How to Stop Worshiping Christ and Start Following Jesus No News Is Bad News: Canada's Media Collapse - and What Comes Next Churches That Make a Difference: Reaching Your Community with Good News and Good Works Losing the News: The Future of the News that Feeds Democracy (Institutions of American Democracy) What Would Jesus Craft?: 30 Simple Projects for Making a Blessed Home Vida y misterio de Jesus de Nazaret / Life and Mystery of Jesus of Nazareth (Nueva Alianza/ New Alliance) (Spanish Edition) The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus' Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted Jesus' Words Only or Was Paul the Apostle Jesus Condemns in Revelation 2:2 Jesus, Solo Jesus: Incomparable y Glorioso Dios (Spanish Edition) Locos Por Jesus, Vol. II: Historias de Revolucionarios Que Cambiaron su Mundo = Jesus Freaks, Vol. II (Spanish Edition) What Jesus Said: Words of Jesus Christ from the Urantia Papers From Jesus to Christ: The Origins of the New Testament Images of Jesus Good Gut: The Next Thing You Should Do If You Want to Heal Your Gut and Improve Your Intestinal Health (good gut guide, gut health, good gut diet) Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America The Social Media Gospel: Sharing the Good News in New Ways