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

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

by James K. A. Smith
Pub. Date:
Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company


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

The Devil Reads Derrida brings together essays and articles written for a general audience by a notable young voice in the church and the academy. A specialist in French philosophy and postmodernism, James K. A. Smith has also consistently sought to speak to the church as the most important "public" for his work. 

This book brings together some of Smith's most significant forays into the public arena, focusing especially on discipleship, the university, and politics and the church. It also provides a selection of his criticism, including essays on Harry Potter, A History of Violence, the poetry of Franz Wright, and much more. 

Smith's work as a Christian public intellectual brings theological wisdom into the service of lived discipleship. Whether grappling with the Wild at Heart phenomenon or the challenges of secularization, dealing with sex or consumerism, or commenting on The Devil Wears Prada orAmerican Beauty, Smith tackles each issue with clarity and insight, with scholarly rigor — but always with an eye to Christian discipleship and the life of the church.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802864079
Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Publication date: 06/04/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

James K. A. Smith is professor of philosophy at Calvin College, where he also teaches in the congregational and ministry studies department.

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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