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On Becoming GodLate Medieval Mysticism and the Modern Western Self$
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Ben Morgan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823239924

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823239924.001.0001

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Empty Epiphanies in Modernist and Postmodernist Theory

Empty Epiphanies in Modernist and Postmodernist Theory

(p.24) 2 Empty Epiphanies in Modernist and Postmodernist Theory
On Becoming God

John D. Caputo

Fordham University Press

The chapter argues that the structure evident in recent discussions of mysticism can also be found in modernist and postmodernist critical theory. It draws attention to a structure to be found repeatedly in the arguments of Jean-François Lyotard, Slavoj Žižek, Jacques Derrida and Theodor W. Adorno: namely, the self-consciously paradoxical position which makes any alternative to the modern forms of identity that they criticize structurally unavailable. The chapter suggest a change of perspective, following up aspects of Derrida's and Adorno's arguments which they did not pursue further. The new perspective asks what type of identity or way of life underpins the conviction that alternatives are structurally unavailable. This opens the way for an historical approach to forms of identity.

Keywords:   Jean-François Lyotard, Slavoj Žižek, Jacques Derrida, Theodor W. Adorno, Critical Theory, Models of Personal Identity, Modernist Theory, Postmodernist Theory

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