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The RejectCommunity, Politics, and Religion after the Subject$
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Irving Goh

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823262687

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823262687.001.0001

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The Reject and The “Postsecular,” or Who’s Afraid of Religion

The Reject and The “Postsecular,” or Who’s Afraid of Religion

(p.97) 3 The Reject and The “Postsecular,” or Who’s Afraid of Religion
The Reject

Irving Goh

Fordham University Press

This chapter moves forward in time to the contemporary “postsecular” condition, which has witnessed the militant rise of local religions in a world that has supposedly become-reason. It brings to attention how Badiou has somewhat intervened in the “postsecular” through his call for the Pauline Subject. Badiou argues that the figure of St. Paul may end all violence issuing from particular “postsecular” differences, since Paul’s universalist perspective is indifferent to differences. However, this chapter shows that Badiou’s Pauline Subject, which militantly declares his faith and demands all to follow him in his trajectory, means that it still stands very much as a symbolic violence against others and their differences. This chapter calls, therefore, for a reject to counter Badiou’s Pauline Subject. This reject can be found in Cixous’s animal-messiahs in her “messianic” fiction of the 1990s such as Messie and “Conversation avec l’âne.” These animal figures lead toward a future free from the dictates of an anthropomorphic and anthropocentric subject, and in ways that go beyond a faith/ knowledge dichotomy. More importantly, they also do so in ways where the articulation of one difference does not come at the expense of another.

Keywords:   Postsecular, Religion, Faith, Alain Badiou, St. Paul, Hélène Cixous, Animals, Messianicity without Messianism, Jacques Derrida, Jean-Luc Nancy

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