The Devil Reads Derrida - and Other Essays on the University, the Church, Politics, and the Arts

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More About This Textbook


"We hear a lot these days about the quest for alternative sources of energy. Has anyone considered Jamie Smith? This whirling dervish of public philosophy generates enough intellectual energy to supply a middle-size city all by himself." — John Wilson
editor of Books & Culture
"By now, Jamie Smith is not just a leading 'philosophical' or 'postmodern' or 'Reformed' theologian: he is simply a leading theologian. This volume shows that he has not only ascended to that height but also descended to a depth that terrifies most academics — journalism. He offers a theology as everyday as the neighborhood, the movies, partisan politics, the university, and the street corner — and with a twinkle in his eye he shows us Jesus' lordship in each place. I hope others will not just read Jamie's book, but will go and do likewise." — Jason Byassee
Center for Theology, Writing & Media, Duke Divinity School
A notable young voice in the academy, James K. A. Smith has consistently spoken to the church as the most important "public" for his intellectual work. Bringing together essays both thoughtful and entertaining, The Devil Reads Derrida displays some of Smith's most significant forays into the public arena.
In this engaging work Smith grapples with the Wild at Heart phenomenon and the challenges of secularization, deals with sex and consumerism, and comments on creative works from American Beauty and Harry Potter to A History of Violence and the poetry of Franz Wright. No matter what.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802864079
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 6/4/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,209,542
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: The Church, Christian Scholars, and Little Miss Sunshine xi

Faith on the Ground: On Discipleship 1

1 Working at Rest 3

2 The Secret Lives of Saints: Reflections on Doubt 10

3 Are Men Really Wild at Heart? (with Mark Mulder) 15

4 Pope John Paul II: A Protestant's Appreciation 24

5 Teaching a Calvinist to Dance: On Being Reformed and Pentecostal 26

6 The Architecture of Altruism: On Loving Our Neighbor(hood)s 32

Schools of Faith: On the University 37

7 Are Students "Consumers"? 39

8 Why Christianity Is Sexier than Liberal Democracy 46

9 Between the University and the Church: The Precarious (and Promising)Site of Campus Ministry 50

10 Schools of Thought; or, Why the State Shouldn't Fund MBAs 55

11 A Commencement, a Wedding, and an Alternative Politics 58

12 Lost in Translation? On the Secularization of the Fall 62

Faith in America: On Politics and the Church 69

13 Christian Worship as Public Disturbance 71

14 How to Get Your Hands Dirty 78

15 God, the Future, and the Politics of Freedom: Reflections on "Open Theism" 80

16 It Only Hurts When I Laugh: Why Harper's Won't Change America 90

17 The Economics of the Emerging Church 93

18 The Pendulum of Evangelicals and Politics: On Greg Boyd's Myth of a Christian Nation 97

19 The God of Americanism: On Mitt Romney's "Faith in America" 102

20 Constantinianism of the Left? On Jim Wallis and Barack Obama 105

21 Leftish Constantinianism Revisted: An Interview 110

22 The Last Prophet of Leviathan: On Mark Lilla's The Stillborn God 113

Picturing Faith: Criticism 119

23 Absence as a Window: On thePoetry of Franz Wright 121

24 Dumbing Down Discernment? 128

25 The Devil Reads Derrida: Fashion, French Philosophy, and Postmodernism 134

26 Our History of Violence 137

27 Harry Potter and the Prophet of Doom 140

28 Passing on The Passion 145

29 Faith in the Flesh in American Beauty: Christian Reflections on Film 148

A Prayer 158

Index of Names 160

Index of Subjects 162

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