The Monstrosity of Christ: Paradox or Dialectic?

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $8.76
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 41%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (15) from $8.76   
  • New (12) from $8.76   
  • Used (3) from $10.84   


"What matters is not so much that Žižek is endorsing a demythologized,disenchanted Christianity without transcendence, as that he is offering in the end (despite what he sometimes claims) a heterodox version of Christian belief."—John Milbank"To put it even more bluntly, my claim is that it is Milbank who is effectively guilty of heterodoxy, ultimately of a regression to paganism: in my atheism, I am more Christian than Milbank."—SlavojŽižekIn this corner, philosopher Slavoj Žižek, a militant atheist who represents the critical-materialist stance against religion's illusions; in the other corner, "RadicalOrthodox" theologian John Milbank, an influential and provocative thinker who argues that theology is the only foundation upon which knowledge, politics, and ethics can stand. In TheMonstrosity of Christ, Žižek and Milbank go head to head for three rounds, employing an impressive arsenal of moves to advance their positions and press their respective advantages. By the closing bell, they have not only proven themselves worthy adversaries, they have shown that faith and reason are not simply and intractably opposed. Žižek has long been interested in the emancipatory potential offered by Christian theology. And Milbank, seeing global capitalism as the new century's greatest ethical challenge, has pushed his own ontology in more political and materialist directions. Their debate in The Monstrosity of Christ concerns the future of religion,secularity, and political hope in light of a monsterful event—God becoming human. For the first time since Žižek's turn toward theology, we have a true debate between an atheist and a theologian about the very meaning of theology, Christ, the Church, the Holy Ghost, Universality, and the foundations of logic. The result goes far beyond the popularized atheist/theist point/counterpoint of recent books by Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and others.

Žižek begins, and Milbank answers, countering dialectics with "paradox." The debate centers on the nature of and relation between paradox and parallax, between analogy and dialectics, between transcendent glory and liberation. Slavoj Žižek is a philosopher and cultural critic. He has published over thirty books, including Looking Awry, The Puppet and theDwarf, and The Parallax View (these three published by the MIT Press). John Milbank is an influential Christian theologian and the author of Theology and Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason and other books. Creston Davis, who conceived of this encounter, studied under both Žižek and Milbank.

Read More Show Less

What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"In this dazzling dialogue, Zizek and Milbank change words and cross swords,until the point where both recognize that Christ and Hegel, in their monstrosity, look very much alike. A phenomenal achievement!"—Catherine Malabou, Maître de Conferences, PhilosophyDepartment, Université Paris-X Nanterre
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262516204
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 2/25/2011
  • Series: Short Circuits
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 688,374
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Slavoj Žižek is a philosopher and cultural critic. He is the author of more than thirty books, including Looking Awry: An Introduction to Jacques Lacan through PopularCulture, The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity,The Parallax View, and (with John Milbank) The Monstrosity of Christ: Paradox or Dialect, these four published by the MIT Press.

John Milbank is an influential Christian theologian and the author of Theology andSocial Theory: Beyond Secular Reason and other books.

Creston Davis, who conceived of the encounter between Slavoj Žižek and John Milbank,studied under both men.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Monstrosity of Christ: Discourse or Deception?

    I'm thoroughly disappointed by the maze of evasive verbiage in this book. Neither Zizek not Milbank produced anything radical here!

    Don't get deceived by Milbank anyway. Does his kind of #radical-orthodoxy helps at all in struggles against capitalist nihilism [or it's derivatives such as postmodernism]? Well - perhaps this is somewhat better in contrast with the far more deceptive #post-liberal-theology!

    Anyway coming back to the very question - why this book at all? Perhaps because we believe that there is a need for resurrecting the #real and the #absolute from the mutilated and rotten body of postmodernism? A need that has been never so urgent as now, when an atmosphere of intellectual subterfuges is widespread (though I also agree that there were some useful contributions among the less pretentious participants).

    Well - to me Zizek appears so dull - specially with his patchy knowledge about "Orthodoxy" and many other things - to make any positive impact. No positive comments for Milbank and his anti-materialist dilettantism anyway :-)

    If the world was given to us as something "enigmatic and unintelligible", then what is the task of thought? Making it more enigmatic and more unintelligible - what this book does or the reverse? Well - the reverse is done in the sciences, and in serious commentary on human affairs. I don't know of any relevant contributions of theology (whether pro/anti-materialist) other than constructing vague ideas with vague images.

    The book is much exaggerated, and you shouldn't take it seriously. There is no point taking Hegel or Eckhart that seriously as well.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)