I am currently working on a book provisionally entitled The Human Remains: French Philosophy in the Image of God. The first part of the book looks at the ways in which the imago dei motif is explicitly taken up in contemporary French thought. The second, longer part takes debates from the philosophical reception of the imago dei motif and uses them to provide a fresh comparative reading of contemporary French philosophical anthropology in its humanist, post-humanist, neuroscientific and ecological guises. Chapters discuss Catherine Malabou, Paul Ricoeur and Jean-Pierre Changeux, Alain Badiou and Jacques Rancière, Jean-Luc Nancy, Jean-Luc Marion and Michel Serres. The book’s thesis is that the human persists in contemporary thought, however radically altered its trace might be from traditional philosophical understandings. In order to argue that point it shows how reading contemporary thought through the lens of the imago dei motif helps us see how very different accounts of the human can be made to talk to and critique one another.
My research is in the field of modern and contemporary French thought, in particular the relation of that thought to theological questions and to atheism.
I have published on Jean-Luc Nancy, Paul Ricœur, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Alain Badiou, Quentin Meillassoux and Jacques Rancière, and in addition I have a particular interest in the thought of Bruno Latour and Michel Serres.
Thematically, my research has focused primarily on atheism and religion, with links to the themes of equality and the figure of the human being.
I welcome inquiries from postgraduate students for supervision in any of the above areas.
- I am delighted to announce that the paperback edition of French Philosophy Today is now (finally!) available for pre-order on Amazon. The U.S. site has it at $39.95 and most European sites set the price at around €25. Curiously, amazon.co.uk has the paperback at £150, which I assume is a mistake soon to be corrected. Here is ... Read more
- This is the final post summarizing some conclusions from Difficult Atheism, before this series launches out into new territory. In previous posts I have introduced the series, discussed a schema for distinguishing between different atheisms, sketched Alain Badiou’s interruption of the mytheme by the matheme and Jean-Luc Nancy’s “Christmas Projection”, and reflected upon Nancy’s own idea that ... Read more
- What is a theological concept? Part 4: Jean-Luc Nancy’s “something in Christianity deeper than Christianity”In the previous post I explored Nancy’s reading of Badiou’s interruption of the mytheme by the matheme as a theological moment in Badiou’s thought. But what about Nancy himself? Does his own atheism—for atheist he indeed professes to be, providing that atheism is understood in a way that avoids the Christmas projection—avoid theological concepts? In ... Read more
- What is a theological concept? Part 3: Alain Badiou’s interruption of the mytheme by the matheme and Jean-Luc Nancy’s “Christmas Projection”In this third post in the “what is a theological concept?” series I focus for the first time on a specific philosophical moment: Alain Badiou’s account of the interruption of the mytheme by the matheme. I am particularly interested in Jean-Luc Nancy’s reading of this Badiouian move, for Nancy sees in the interruption of the ... Read more
- In Difficult Atheism I offered a schema for understanding varieties of contemporary French philosophical atheism. In this post I want briefly to summarise that schema (adding some diagrams not included in Difficult Atheism), before going on to develop it further in the future. If you want to explore these ideas in greater length, please refer ... Read more
- How art can create a new future: Stephen Zepke’s Sublime Art forthcoming in the Crosscurrents seriesI am delighted to report that Stephen Zepke’s Sublime Art is nearing publication, with the cover now being proofed. How art can create a new future Sublime art exceeds the present. It is an undetermined expression that in coming into being creates new universals, new modes of life and new coefficients of freedom. Stephen Zepke tracks this movement from ... Read more
- My project to write a critical introduction to the thought of Michel Serres continues to advance, and one small piece of the extensive Serresian jig-saw puzzle is of course the distinctive way in which he approaches ecological questions. A couple of years ago I was delighted to be approached by Daniel Finch-Race and Stephanie Posthumus to ... Read more
- In this new series of posts I want to ask a question that is simple enough to pose: “what is a theological concept?” The question comes out of lines of inquiry I opened up in Difficult Atheism but wasn’t able to bring to a conclusion, as well as from reflections I have been pursuing since ... Read more
- In a previous post I introduced the very idea of Diagramming Derrida before explaining his notion of différance diagrammatically. In this post I set out to tackle the idea of “messianicity without messianism” and, more generally, Derrida’s characteristic motif of “x without x”, for example “religion without religion” or “God without God”. Messianism as Derrida understands it can be ... Read more
- Here is news of an exceptional event in Melbourne, with Marcel Gauchet on democracy, crisis, and–no doubt–Trump: 27 th January 2017, Time: 6.30 pm. RMIT University, City Campus School of Business and Law lecture theatre Building 13 Level 3 Room 9 Address: 379-405 Russell St, Melbourne. Map Event blurb: This event is part of the French Festival of Ideas (La Nuit des Idées), ... Read more