The New Materialism has a counter-intuitive relationship with religion. This is due to both the old materialist, overtly critical attitude toward religion, as well as the continuing religious and spiritual concerns with the misplaced materialistic values associated with consumer capitalism. For the former, religion has been seen as the prime instance of false consciousness. For the latter, materialism is seen as necessarily materialistic, and thus, set in opposition to an authentic spirituality. The New Materialism provides an opportunity for rethinking many of the assumptions associated with these related terms. Specifically, the New Materialism offers alternative understandings of matter, materiality, and thus materialism itself. It provides a way of thinking such that the presumed opposition between materialism and religion can be seen instead in terms of a resource for spiritual renewal and political activation. Put alternatively, my thesis will be that the New Materialism is an altar call of sorts, an invitation to a kind of conversation away from the self and toward the earth. It is a materialism predicated on a metaphysics that sees matter in terms of energy transformation. Matter is not inert; instead, it moves. This gives movement to materialism, and is what makes the New Materialism genuinely non-reductive.
KeywordsPolitical Subjectivity False Consciousness Royal Road Late Capitalism Political Theology
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 3.See Dalai Lama, Ethics for the New Millennium (New York: Riverhead Books, 1999), 14.Google Scholar
- 5.See especially, Catherine Malabou, The Heidegger Change: On the Fantastic in Philosophy, trans. Peter Skafish (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2011).Google Scholar
- 6.For instance, see Catherine Malabou, “The Future of Derrida: Time Between Epigenesis and Epigenetics,” in The Future of Continental Philosophy of Religion, ed. Clayton Crockett, B. Keith Putt, and Jeffrey W. Robbins (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2014), 209–218.Google Scholar
- 8.Van Harvey, Feuerbach and the Interpretation of Religion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995).Google Scholar
- 10.James DiCenso, The Other Freud: Religion, Culture and Psychoanalysis (New York: Routledge, 1999).Google Scholar
- 11.For a genealogical analysis of how and why religion scholars have traditionally ignored the body, see Manuel A. Vasquez, More than Belief A Materialist Theory of Religion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), especially 21–58.Google Scholar
- 12.See especially Joerg Rieger, Christand Empire: From Paul to Postcolonial Times (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2007); Joerg Rieger and Puilan Kwok, Occupy Religion: Theology of the Multitude (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2012).Google Scholar
- 14.See Catherine Malabou, What Should We Do with Our Brains (New York: Fordham University Press, 2008), especially 32–54.Google Scholar
- 16.Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1992).Google Scholar
- 17.Franco Berardi, The Soul at Work: From Alienation to Autonomy, trans. Francesca Cadel and Giuseppina Mecchia (New York: Semiotext(s), 2009), 107, 108.Google Scholar