The Puppet and the Dwarf (Paperback)
The Perverse Core of Christianity (Short Circuits)
Mit Press, 9780262740258, 196pp.
Publication Date: August 29, 2003
One of our most daring intellectuals offers a Lacanian interpretation of religion, finding that early Christianity was the first revolutionary collective.
Slavoj Zizek has been called "an academic rock star" and "the wild man of theory"; his writing mixes astonishing erudition and references to pop culture in order to dissect current intellectual pieties. In The Puppet and the Dwarf he offers a close reading of today's religious constellation from the viewpoint of Lacanian psychoanalysis. He critically confronts both predominant versions of today's spirituality--New Age gnosticism and deconstructionist-Levinasian Judaism--and then tries to redeem the "materialist" kernel of Christianity. His reading of Christianity is explicitly political, discerning in the Pauline community of believers the first version of a revolutionary collective. Since today even advocates of Enlightenment like Jurgen Habermas acknowledge that a religious vision is needed to ground our ethical and political stance in a "postsecular" age, this book--with a stance that is clearly materialist and at the same time indebted to the core of the Christian legacy--is certain to stir controversy.