Strange Wonder: The Closure of Metaphysics and the Opening of Awe
Strange Wonder: The Closure of Metaphysics and the Opening of Awe

Strange Wonder: The Closure of Metaphysics and the Opening of Awe

by Mary-Jane Rubenstein

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231146333
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 11/23/2010
Series: Insurrections: Critical Studies in Religion, Politics, and Culture Series
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Mary-Jane Rubenstein (PhD, Philosophy of Religion, Columbia) is Professor and Chair of Religion at Wesleyan University. She is the author of Worlds Without End: The Many Lives of the Multiverse (Columbia, 2014) and Strange Wonder: The Closure of Metaphysics and the Opening of Awe (Columbia, 2009) and the coeditor (with Catherine Keller) of Entangled Worlds: Science, Religion, Materiality (Fordham, 2017).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction: Wonder and the Births of Philosophy 1

Socrates' Small Difficulty 1

The Wound of Wonder 7

The Death and Resurrection of Thaumazein 12

The Thales Dilemma 19

1 Repetition: Martin Heidegger 25

Metaphysics' Small Difficulty 25

Wonder and the "First Beginning" 28

Wonder and the "Other Beginning" 33

Theaetetus Redux: the Ghost of the Pseudês Doxa 40

Once Again to the Cave 47

Rethinking Thaumazein 56

2 Openness: Emmanuel Levinas 61

Passivity and Responsibility 61

The Ethics of the Cave 64

Infinity and Astonishment 66

Opening Out: From Existent to Existence 71

Closing Down: From Existence to Existent 73

Locking Up: Totality and Infinity 77

The Phantom of the Autrement 86

Awakening 92

3 Relation: Jean-Luc Nancy 99

The Problem of Mitsein 99

Mitsein as Essential Inessentiality 107

The Myth of Essentialism 111

Unworking 115

Interruption 119

Il n'y a qu'il y a 121

Repetition 126

4 Decision: Jacques Derrida 133

Thaumazein, the Irresponsible, and the Undecidable 133

Hospitality 139

Undecidability Revisited 145

Much Madness is Divinest Sense (or, Who Comes After the Decision?) 147

How to Avoid the Subject (or, "That's Not My Hedgehog!") 154

Undecidability, Take Three: "Think Here of Kierkegaard!" 161

Mysterium Tremendum 175

Postlude: Possibility 185

The Opening of Closure 185

Il n'ya qu'es spukt 190

Nearer Than Hands and Feet 193

Notes 197

Bibliography 235

Index 251

What People are Saying About This

C.J.C. Pickstock

Astonishingly, there exists no real substantive treatment of the theme of wonder in Western philosophy. This book at last provides one, arguing that the entire history of philosophy and theology in the West is involved in an undermining of its essential starting-point. Strange Wonder is beautifully written and the discussions are subtle and deft. It far and away excels other recent treatments of ethical decision making in the wake of Jacques Derrida and Martin Heidegger, and, as mentioned, negotiates a topic so far untouched, and with philosophical elegance.

C. J. C. Pickstock

Astonishingly, there exists no real substantive treatment of the theme of wonder in Western philosophy. This book at last provides one, arguing that the entire history of philosophy and theology in the West is involved in an undermining of its essential starting-point. Strange Wonder is beautifully written and the discussions are subtle and deft. It far and away excels other recent treatments of ethical decision making in the wake of Jacques Derrida and Martin Heidegger, and, as mentioned, negotiates a topic so far untouched, and with philosophical elegance.

Denys Turner

Strange Wonder is a very fine combination of lucid exposition of extremely intractable material, meticulous scholarship, and a genuinely original contribution to burning issues in contemporary philosophy, theology, and philosophical theology.

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