Suspicion and Faith: The Religious Uses of Modern Atheism / Edition 1

Suspicion and Faith: The Religious Uses of Modern Atheism / Edition 1

by Merold Westphal
     
 

ISBN-10: 0823218767

ISBN-13: 9780823218769

Pub. Date: 09/01/1998

Publisher: Fordham University Press

Marx, Nietzche, and Freud are among the most influential of modern atheists. The distinctive feature of their challenge to theistic and specifically Christian belief is expressed by Paul Ricoeur when he calls them the masters of suspicion.While skepticism directs its critique to the truth or evidential basis of belief, suspicion asks two different, intimately

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Overview

Marx, Nietzche, and Freud are among the most influential of modern atheists. The distinctive feature of their challenge to theistic and specifically Christian belief is expressed by Paul Ricoeur when he calls them the masters of suspicion.While skepticism directs its critique to the truth or evidential basis of belief, suspicion asks two different, intimately intertwined questions: what are the motives that lead to this belief? and what function does it play, what work does it do for the individuals and communities that adopt it. What suspicion suspects is that the survival value of religious beliefs depends on satisfying desires and interests that the believing soul and the believing community are not eager to acknowledge because they violate the values they profess, as when, for example, talk about justice is a mask for deep-seated resentment and the desire for revenge. For this reason, the hermeneutics of suspicion is a theory, or group of theories, of self-deception: ideology critique in Marx, genealogy in Nietzsche, and psychoanalysis in Freud.Suspicion and Faith argues that the appropriate religious response (the religious uses of modern atheism) to these critiques is not to try to refute or deflect them, but rather to acknowledge their force in a process of self-examination—and this for two reasons. First, while these critiques are not, as Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud tend to suppose.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780823218769
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
Publication date:
09/01/1998
Edition description:
2
Pages:
296
Sales rank:
1,112,532
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
IThe Hermeneutics of Suspicion
1Atheism for Lent3
2On Learning When Not to Refute Atheism10
3Help from Gilbert and Sullivan18
4Religious Fictions Too?25
IIFreud and the Psychoanalysis of the Believing Soul
5Freud's Pessimism33
6Freud's Scientism38
7Freud's Suspicion I: Dreams and Wish Fulfillment43
8Freud's Suspicion II: Doctrines and Wish Fulfillment50
9On Remembering When Not to Refute Atheism55
10Freud's Suspicion III: Doctrines and Distortion61
11The Paranoid Dr. Schreber as Victim65
12The Paranoid Dr. Schreber as Redeemer71
13The Atheist Dr. Freud as Theologian of Original Sin77
14Ceremonial as Defense83
15Ceremonial as Compromise89
16They Know Not What They Do96
17Of Savages and Salieri103
18Of Obedience and Sacrifice110
19Willful Renunciation and the One-Way Covenant115
IIIMarx and the Critique of Religion as Ideology
20Feuerbach's Bourgeois Atheism123
21Feuerbach's Radical Atheism130
22Marx's Radical Atheism134
23Religion and the Christian State141
24Religion and the Secular State147
25Marxian Materialism154
26Religion as Ideology159
27Religion as Critique166
28Techniques of Neutralization172
29More Techniques of Neutralization180
30One Last Technique of Neutralization186
31Mixing Religion and Politics193
32Who Is the God of the Bible? Ask Pharaoh!199
33Third Commandment Idolatry205
34A "Marxist" Sermon Against the Baalization of Yahweh210
IVNietzsche and the Critique of Religion as Resentment
35Squintingly Yours, Friedrich Nietzsche219
36Distinctively Yours, Friedrich Nietzsche225
37The Big Lie232
38Jews and Priests238
39Glittering Vices246
40Justice and the Fascists252
41Pity and the Pharisees259
42Jesus and the Pharisees I: The Sinners265
43Jesus and the Pharisees II: The Sabbath275
44In Conclusion: The Dangers of Suspicion283
Index291

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