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Respecting the ineradicable: religion's realism

Baum, Devorah (2012) Respecting the ineradicable: religion's realism Textual Practice, 26, (3), pp. 519-540. (doi:10.1080/0950236X.2012.669399).

Record type: Article


This article examines interdisciplinary phenomena relating to the so-called ‘return of religion’ alongside a contemporaneous and possibly reactive trend, the ‘return of realism’, as reflected in the recent stir caused by publishing sensations such as Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, John Gray's Black Mass, and James Wood's How Fiction Works. The article goes on to argue, with reference to Kant, Nietzsche, Freud, and Derrida, that our critical moment is marked by the necessity of acknowledging the limited power of thought or intellection to change or correct certain structures of belief, here named ineradicable. It will then be suggested that, similar to religion, realism possesses an ineradicable element of faith that can be detected in the persistence of religious ideas about endings within contemporary culture. While claiming that it is ultimately impossible to have any real knowledge of death, the article considers the significance of death's recurrent appearance as a source (or fantasy) of secular wisdom, functioning in various discourses as a ‘God term’.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 24 May 2012
Published date: 2012
Additional Information: As we find ourselves coming to terms with what has, under the rubric of post-modernity, occasionally been described as “a crisis in the humanities,” this article argues that our critical moment has been marked by the necessity of acknowledging the limited power of thought or intellection to change or correct beliefs that have been revealed as ineradicable. With reference to a wide range of interdisiplinary thinkers and writers I examine the so-called "return of religion" alongside the equally pervasive return of realist ways of thinking, drawing out the similarities and differences between these approaches.
Keywords: religion, realism, ineradicable, return, apocalypticism, derrida, freud, john gray, james wood, kant, nietzsche
Organisations: English


Local EPrints ID: 148093
ISSN: 0950-236X
PURE UUID: 14486a6b-4371-41d5-8f4f-b53df9b271e4

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Date deposited: 27 Apr 2010 13:17
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 19:32

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