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Lecture - Vincent Lloyd (Villanova University, USA)

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Foucault the Theologian
When May 22, 2018
from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Where FRIAS, Albertstr. 19, Seminar Room
Contact Name
Contact Phone +49 (0)761 203-97362
Attendees Universitätsoffen / Open to university members
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Thirty years ago, the social theorist Gillian Rose and the theologian John Milbank charged that Michel Foucault was engaged in a theological project – but one that does not acknowledge itself as such and is essentially heretical. In the last decade, scholars are paying renewed attention to Foucault's "crypto-normativity," the way his analyses lean on implicit, uninterrogated claims about what ought to be the case. Further, in recent years scholars have increasingly paid attention to what Foucault says explicitly about religion, both Christianity in Europe and Islam in Iran. In this lecture I will consider these three scholarly conversations together. Does it make sense to read Foucault's "crypto-normativity" as growing out of a "crypto-theology"? Do these commitments shape how Foucault thinks about religion? Do the answers to these questions affect the usefulness of Foucault's thought as a tool for the religious studies scholar?
Foucault's work is widely used by religious studies scholars today, but might his work appear less useful for the secular scholar of religion if it brings the baggage of unacknowledged normative or theological commitments?