Wednesday, May 9, 2012

review of new Meillassoux book and commentary about talk

Adam Kotsko reviews the new Meillassoux book HERE.  HT to Jason/immanent transcendence for grabbing this first. 

The only thing that I would disagree with in the review is that "Meillassoux is an atheist."  That would be true if we were going by conventional definitions.  But in Meillassoux, nothing is conventional.

In the review many of Meillassoux's fans are identified as atheists - and atheists in the conventional sense.  Thus why they would shy from Meillassoux's theism, even if it is strange, weird, or speculative.  But, to keep things on a consistent plane: M is not a theist or atheist in any traditional sense of either term.  His theist followers aren't traditional theists, but his atheist followers are quite conventional atheists (what it usually means to be an atheist culturally, as in God talk is a waste of time).  M is in the former category, not the latter.  This means that there is alot you can do with Meillassoux and theism. With that minor point aside, I am excited to see where this goes.

My impressions of his talk hinted at a forthcoming speculative Christian process-numbering philosophy of sorts, where not only deity (and deity's Incarnation of a divine human) will empty its own reality of power, but that such power will be given up (abjured) in the act of conquering death and granting immortal life to the living and dead; thus an advent and new mass, given through the very release of power and self-sacrifice.  This is at once eucharistic and even more generally sacramental.

Something along the lines of this comment rings true:
[Meillassoux] mentioned, several times, that Mallarme’s goal was to reinvent the mass, once Christianity had passed. Or I suppose to reinvent Christianity? In any case, that seems to be Meillasoux’s aim as well, or his own aim attributed to Mallarme (as you brilliantly draw the Paul to Christ analogy). I suppose what strikes me is how, again and again, the European philosopher, even in his most avant-garde forms, keeps returning to Christianity.