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Crossover QueriesDwelling with Negatives, Embodying Philosophy's Others$
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Edith Wyschogrod

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780823226061

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823226061.001.0001

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Recontextualizing the Ontological Argument

Recontextualizing the Ontological Argument

A Lacanian Analysis

(p.76) 5 Recontextualizing the Ontological Argument
Crossover Queries

Edith Wyschogrod

Fordham University Press

This chapter applies Jacques Lacan's techniques to one of Western theology's most frequently and strenuously examined texts, Anselm of Canterbury's ontological argument. By remapping the proof, the chapter hopes, with Lacanian audacity, to bring forth unforeseen significations and a new approach to the psychoanalytic interpretation of religious texts. The chapter interprets the argument as Anselm's expression of the Christian's love of God and shows how these ends have been achieved to Anselm's satisfaction. A Lacanian analysis unfolds in accordance with its own lines of force, which Jacques Lacan thinks of as truth, the truth of the patient's desire. The patient cannot grasp the meaning of the symbols in which his desire has become alienated. Interpretation consists in restoring to each significant language fragment the chain of meanings from which it has slipped, so that step by step, through the course of the analysis, a complex but coherent associative fabric of unconscious thoughts is woven together.

Keywords:   Anselm of Canterbury, ontological argument, Christian, God, Jacques Lacan, truth

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