Reimagining The Sacred, edited by Richard Kearney and Jens Zimmermann

Browser review

Philosopher Richard Kearney’s strength is as a narrative maker with an inexhaustible list of references yet there is a feeling when it comes to “hard thought” he is found wanting slightly

Philosopher Richard Kearney’s strength is as a narrative maker with an inexhaustible list of references yet there is a feeling when it comes to “hard thought” he is found wanting slightly

Sat, Dec 30, 2017, 00:00

   
 

Book Title:
Reimagining The Sacred

ISBN-13:
978-0231161039

Author:
Edited by Richard Kearney and Jens Zimmerman

Publisher:
Columbia University Press

Guideline Price:
£24.95

Richard Kearney wants to locate a third way between atheism and belief, a way he calls Anaatheism. He hopes this will open a less polarising dialogue. His aim is to find a way of bringing the sacred back into a world where God has died – God again.

Kearney’s strength is as a narrative maker with an inexhaustible list of references – literary, philosophical, theological etc – yet there is a feeling when it comes to “hard thought” he is found wanting slightly.

For instance, he suggests insecurity before interviewing the highly impressive James Woods, who definitely rattles Kearney’s ideas cage. In his summation, Kearney claims to be a guest at this debate – not a professional theologian.

To his credit, though, he places himself in positions where, again and again, thinkers seriously undermine his position – eg that theologian Bonhoeffer offers much of this thought already.

The book works excellently as Kearney’s ideas goad to get responses, creating a wonderful ideas sampler – whether Simon Critchley on mystics or Julia Kristeva’s brilliant thoughts on contemporary society. This excellent, though sometimes dense, book opens up worlds of thought.