Critical Theory and Early Christianity - Walter Benjamin, Gilles Deleuze, Alain Badiou, and Judith Butler - Matthew G. Whitlock

Critical Theory and Early Christianity - Walter Benjamin, Gilles Deleuze, Alain Badiou, and Judith Butler - Matthew G. Whitlock

12. Recapitulating the Event: Reading Irenaeus with Badiou

Critical Theory and Early Christianity - Walter Benjamin, Gilles Deleuze, Alain Badiou, and Judith Butler - Matthew G. Whitlock

Hollis Phelps [+-]
Mercer University, Macon GA
Hollis Phelps is an assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies in the Department of Liberal Studies at Mercer University, Macon GA (USA). He is the author of Alain Badiou: Between Theology and Anti-Theology and co-editor of Religion and European Philosophy: Key Thinkers from Kant to Zizek, both published by Routledge. His most recent book is Jesus and the Politics of Mammon, published by Cascade Books.

Description

Irenaeus’s recapitulation theory of atonement and his reading of history more generally appears to many contemporary readers as hopelessly naïve, since it relies generally on an allegorical method. Irenaeus situates otherwise discreet events typologically, putting them in an ontological relationship with each other that seemingly flattens any sense of historical contingency and, indeed, history itself. Phelps provides in this chapter a re-reading of this notion of recapitulation, drawing on the work of Alain Badiou. Assuming Badiou’s general ontology, which conceives of being as multiple in excess of any organization of the one, he draws specifically on his notions of evental recurrence and the resurrection of truth procedures to outline a materialist theory of typology on the basis of Irenaeus’s theology. When read through the lens of Badiou’s philosophy, recapitulation can be understood differently than a reduction of history to types. Recapitulation is, rather, a way to grasp being’s excess and map evental trajectories from it, forcing connections between otherwise contingent and distinct events.

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Citation

Phelps, Hollis. 12. Recapitulating the Event: Reading Irenaeus with Badiou. Critical Theory and Early Christianity - Walter Benjamin, Gilles Deleuze, Alain Badiou, and Judith Butler. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Nov 2022. ISBN 9781781794135. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=30156. Date accessed: 30 Sep 2022 doi: 10.1558/equinox.30156. Nov 2022

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