The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity (Short Circuits)
One of our most daring intellectuals offers a Lacanian interpretation of religion, finding that early Christianity was the first revolutionary collective.
Slavoj Žižek 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.
Praise for The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity (Short Circuits)
A witty, informative trip...both erudite and accessible...—Rick Mitchell, Leonardo Reviews—
His writing is bold, confident and contentious.
—Julian Baggini, The Philosopher's Magazine—
The Puppet and the Dwarf is Žižek's most compelling and passionate writing on Christianity to date.
—Erik Davis, Bookforum—
Quite possibly the most entertaining philosopher working today. Žižek knows how to think the unthinkable.
—Jori Finkel, Village Voice—
Slavoj Žižek may have the strongest 'brand identity'...of any cultural theorist now in the marketplace of ideas.
—Scott McLemee, The Chronicle of Higher Education—
Žižek is the first Marxist to write theology in a post-marxist, post-secular age.
—Eugene McCarraher, In These Times—
...Žižek mixes Pauline speculations with analyses of everything from G. K. Chesterton to chocolate eggs.
—Terry Eagleton, TLS—
Žižek rarely fails to entertain...