Superseding Liberalism: Mouffe v. Communitarians (3-Audio)

This video covers chapter 2 of Chantal Mouffe’s The Return of the Political, where we learn how Mouffe agrees with Communitarians on some things, but ultimately wants to move beyond them and keep what is valuable about liberalism. Is Mouffe’s “thin community” good enough? Not sure, but we’ll see as we move through the rest of her argument. Some major Communitarians, Charles Taylor, Alasdaire MacIntyre, and Michael Sandel, are discussed in relation to Mouffe’s views. … More Superseding Liberalism: Mouffe v. Communitarians (3-Audio)

Superseding Liberalism: Mouffe v. Communitarians (3-Video)

This video covers chapter 2 of Chantal Mouffe’s The Return of the Political, where we learn how Mouffe agrees with Communitarians on some things, but ultimately wants to move beyond them and keep what is valuable about liberalism. Is Mouffe’s “thin community” good enough? Not sure, but we’ll see as we move through the rest of her argument. Some major Communitarians, Charles Taylor, Alasdaire MacIntyre, and Michael Sandel, are discussed in relation to Mouffe’s views. … More Superseding Liberalism: Mouffe v. Communitarians (3-Video)

Chantal Mouffe, Carl Schmitt, and the Critique of Enlightenment Liberalism (Video-2)

In this second in a series on Chantal Mouffe’s ideas in The Return of the Political, I discuss her use of Carl Schmitt’s critique of liberalism and relate her ideas to authors she draws from, such as Leo Strauss, Isaiah Berlin, Michael Oakeshott, Charles Taylor, Michael Walzer and Hans Georg Gadamer. I try to get an initial handle on her preferred “agonistic pluralism” as an answer to the question–can we respect particular values and traditions enough to compete with them rather than seeking to destroy them? I relate her line of argument to my understanding of Carl Jung’s theory of political ideology as “ideological possession” — the projection of the shadow. … More Chantal Mouffe, Carl Schmitt, and the Critique of Enlightenment Liberalism (Video-2)

Chantal Mouffe, Carl Schmitt, and the Critique of Enlightenment Liberalism (2-Audio)

In this second in a series on Chantal Mouffe’s ideas in The Return of the Political, I discuss her use of Carl Schmitt’s critique of liberalism and relate her ideas to authors she draws from, such as Leo Strauss, Isaiah Berlin, Michael Oakeshott, Charles Taylor, Michael Walzer and Hans Georg Gadamer. I try to get an initial handle on her preferred “agonistic pluralism” as an answer to the question–can we respect particular values and traditions enough to compete with them rather than seeking to destroy them? I relate her line of argument to my understanding of Carl Jung’s theory of political ideology as “ideological possession” — the projection of the shadow. … More Chantal Mouffe, Carl Schmitt, and the Critique of Enlightenment Liberalism (2-Audio)

Numbed and Satiated: Brueggemann on Egypt and America

In this second part of a discussion of Walter Brueggemann’s The Prophetic Imagination, I discuss how left and right-wing churches alike are likely to be sucked into “royal consciousness,” and that is equivalent to the sin of idolatry. Brueggemann’s alternative, inspired by the story of Moses and the escape from the Egyptians, is to claim a foothold in the freedom on God, literally an other-worldly vantage point from which to gain perspective on the world and strength to oppose the Pharoahs of the world. Brueggemann thus begins his provocative critique of the contemporary Christian church within the framework of a studied reading of Old Testament scripture. He argues that then, and now, the satiation and subsequent numbness of the haves in society makes way for treating the lower ranks as things to be used, bought and sold. Community is broken by this disregard for others within it … More Numbed and Satiated: Brueggemann on Egypt and America

Rethinking the Christian Contribution: Walter Brueggemann’s Imagination (Audio)

I introduce some of theologian Walter Brueggemann’s themes in his classic “The Prophetic Imagination,” discussing some of the ways we can avail ourselves of a common narrative to try to gain some freedom against oppression, whether of the old-style Pharoah or the new version of less visible but very powerful economic and political forces that keep people working for an agenda they wouldn’t naturally choose. Through Brueggemann’s eyes, we are living in the imagination of “Royal consciousness” but we could be living in the imagination of God. What does this mean, not just for Christians, but generally for people who are trying to find some way to push back and gain some freedom? … More Rethinking the Christian Contribution: Walter Brueggemann’s Imagination (Audio)

St. Benedicts Needed? MacIntyre and the New Dark Ages (After Virtue, Conclusions, Audio)

In this conclusion to the series on Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue I think about the significance of MacIntyr’e’s views on modern liberalism/capitalism (neoliberalism) and his ideas for the elements of stronger community. MacIntyre argues that we have entered a new Dark Ages without recognizing it, and that we need new, and probably very different, St. Benedicts to create ways of life to rebuild and preserve community in difficult times. The new Dark Age, as MacIntyre sees it, is a product of the amoral hyper-bureaucratization, technical rationality and fragmented responsibility characteristic of our times. After Virtue does not have all the answers about how to get past these problems, but his views on the elements involved in stronger community are definitely a start. … More St. Benedicts Needed? MacIntyre and the New Dark Ages (After Virtue, Conclusions, Audio)

St. Benedicts Needed? MacIntyre and the New Dark Ages (After Virtue, Conclusions)

In this conclusion to the series on Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue I think about the significance of MacIntyr’e’s views on modern liberalism/capitalism (neoliberalism) and his ideas for the elements of stronger community. MacIntyre argues that we have entered a new Dark Ages without recognizing it, and that we need new, and probably very different, St. Benedicts to create ways of life to rebuild and preserve community in difficult times. The new Dark Age, as MacIntyre sees it, is a product of the amoral hyper-bureaucratization, technical rationality and fragmented responsibility characteristic of our times. After Virtue does not have all the answers about how to get past these problems, but his views on the elements involved in stronger community are definitely a start. … More St. Benedicts Needed? MacIntyre and the New Dark Ages (After Virtue, Conclusions)

Can We Escape Our Past? Self & Responsibility (After Virtue 9 Audio)

In chapters 13-15 of Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue, we get to contemplate the idea that we are much more affected by our personal story and and our history than we want to admit. Are we capable of making ourselves into just anything we want to be, regardless of the cards we were dealt? Are we free of responsibility for what we’ve done in our personal past or what our ancestors have done? MacIntyre’s answer is that the existential self, capable of being radically chosen at any given point, is a fantasy which, rather than freeing us, can leave us aimless and depressed. What, then, is the benefit of seeing ourselves as MacIntyre wants us to–benefited but also burdened by the context into which we are born? And how do the virtues fit into all of this? … More Can We Escape Our Past? Self & Responsibility (After Virtue 9 Audio)

Can We Escape Our Past? Self & Responsibility (After Virtue 9)

In chapters 13-15 of Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue, we get to contemplate the idea that we are much more affected by our personal story and and our history than we want to admit. Are we capable of making ourselves into just anything we want to be, regardless of the cards we were dealt? Are we free of responsibility for what we’ve done in our personal past or what our ancestors have done? MacIntyre’s answer is that the existential self, capable of being radically chosen at any given point, is a fantasy which, rather than freeing us, can leave us aimless and depressed. What, then, is the benefit of seeing ourselves as MacIntyre wants us to–benefited but also burdened by the context into which we are born? And how do the virtues fit into all of this? … More Can We Escape Our Past? Self & Responsibility (After Virtue 9)