• Paul Cefalu


The epigraphs above, taken from the work of three of the most influential contemporary philosophers and cultural critics, share a preoccupation with the void or empty place as a foundational given of any ontology. Throughout each theorist’s work the constitutive void appears under different names and conceptual frameworks. For Žižek, it is often used interchangeably with the Lacanian real as well as the elusive objet a; for Agamben it is intrinsic to the sovereign exception or homo sacer; for Badiou it derives from the principles of naive and axiomatic set theory, in which the null or empty set founds any set theoretic multiple. It is the project of this book to determine to what extent this contemporary preoccupation with ontological voids, empty sets, and anomic spaces can help illuminate the religious aspects of the work of some key seventeenth-century religious writers, including John Donne, Richard Crashaw, John Milton, and Thomas Traherne.


Empty Place Political Theology Negative Theology Ascetic Ideal Homo Sacer 
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© Paul Cefalu 2007

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  • Paul Cefalu

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