philip clayton & tripp fuller
FROM THE GREAT CHAIN TO THE MISSING LINK
• Common Ancestry
• Random Variation
• Selective Retention
the mechanism of speciation
• Biblical Authority
• Argument From Design
• Ethics & the War of Nature
Materialism & the
THEOLOGY AFTER DARWIN
Beyond Dawkins’ Atheism and Barth’s Religion
BELIEFS ARE PRODUCTS, NOT CAUSES
• economics is the motor
• ideasonly along for the ride:
• “Religion is the opiate of the
FROM THEISM TO MARXISM ...
• Hegel: The unfolding of Spirit • "God in the ﬁre is nothing else than
produces the world the being of ﬁre which is so striking
to men because of its effects and
• Feuerbach and Marx: the unfolding of qualities; God in man is nothing else
the material world produces (ideas than the being of man" (Feuerbach)
of ) Spirit
• Feuerbach: "The new philosophy is
• Hegel: The unfolding of Spirit the complete and absolute
produces the world dissolution of theology into
anthropology." Marx: "... and then into
• Feuerbach and Marx: the unfolding of economics!"
the material world produces (ideas
of ) Spirit
DEATH TO ALL METANARRATIVES
• All talking is "telling"
• All "telling" is from a place; "situated
knowledge" (Donna Haraway)
• Telling a "metanarrative" (e.g., salvation
history) is only a power play
• Herein lies the (meta-)narrative of
“Simplifying to the extreme, I deﬁne
postmodern as incredulity toward
metanarratives. This incredulity is undoubtedly a
product of progress in the sciences: but that progress in turn
presupposes it.[...] The narrative function is losing its functors,
its great hero, its great dangers, its great voyages, its great
goal. It is being dispersed in clouds of narrative language
elements—narrative, but also denotative, prescriptive,
descriptive, and so on [...] Where, after the
metanarratives, can legitimacy reside?”
"Narratives, as we have seen, determine criteria of competence and/or illustrate
how they are to be applied. They thus deﬁne what has the right to be said and
done in the culture in question, and since they are themselves a part of that
culture, they are legitimated by the simple fact that they do what they do."
"Knowledge is and will be produced in order to be sold, it is and will be
consumed in order to be valorised in a new production: in both cases, the goal is
"A self does not amount to much, but no self is an island; each exists in a fabric
of relations that is now more complex and mobile than ever before. "
"That is what the postmodern world is all about. Many people have lost the
nostalgia for the lost narrative."
POWER/KNOWLEDGE AND REGIMES OF TRUTH
• The "genealogy of
ideas" (Nietzsche), not the history of
Spirit or the unfolding of divine
• The “archeology of knowledge,” not
justiﬁed true belief.
• The politics of concepts (madness,
sexuality), not their morality.
• "Power/knowledge". Societies are
“regimes of truth” embodied in
FOUCAULT of protracted
“truth isn't the reward of free spirits, the child
solitude, nor the privilege of those who have succeeded in
liberating themselves. Truth is a thing of this world: it is
produced only by virtue of multiple forms of constraint. And
it includes regular effects of power. …'Truth' is to be
understood as a system of ordered procedures for the
production, regulation, distribution, circulation and operation
of statements. …'Truth' is linked in a circular
relation with systems of power which produce
and sustain it, and to effects of power which it
induces and which extend it. A 'regime' of
Cultural phenomena like exams involve “the deployment of force and the
establishment of truth” (Discipline and Punish, 184).
“The history which bears and determines us has the form of a war rather
than that of a language: relations of power, not relations of meaning. ”
“As the archaeology of our thought easily shows, man is an invention of
recent date. And one perhaps nearing its end.” (cf. The Order of Things, 309).
“The work of an intellectual is not to mould the political will of others; it
is ... to shake up habitual ways of working and thinking, to dissipate
conventional familiarities, to re-evaluate rules and institutions and to
participate in the formation of a political will”
Foucault, Feminism, and the
The proximity of the Other, the proximity of the neighbor, is in being
an ineluctable moment of the revelation of an absolute presence (that
is, disengaged from every relation), which expresses itself. . . . God rises
to his supreme and ultimate presence as correlative to the justice
rendered unto men. . . . The work of justice – the uprightness of the
face to face – is necessary in order that the breach that leads to God
be produced. . . .
The establishing of this primacy of the ethical, that is, of the relationship
of man to man – signiﬁcation, teaching and justice – a primacy of an
irreducible structure upon which all the other structures rest (and in
particular all those which, in an original way, seem to put us in contact
with an impersonal sublime, aesthetic or ontological), is one of the
objectives of the present work. - Totality and Inﬁnity
Ethics is not the corollary of the vision of God, it is
that very vision at least for a “religion” of adults.
Religion is where relationship subsists between the same and the
other, despite the impossibility of the Whole – the idea of Inﬁnity
– is the ultimate structure.
Everything that cannot be brought back to an [ethical] inter-
human relation represents not the superior form but the forever
primitive form of religion.
The Bible is a book that leads us not toward the
mystery of God, but toward the human tasks of
man. Monotheism is a humanism. Only simpletons
made it into a theological arithmetic.
To know God is to know what must be done.