The work of Paul Tillich and Slavoj Zizek criss-cross in a number of fascinating ways. While Tillich rightly passes as a theist, and Zizek rightly passes as an atheist, there is an atheistic dimension in the work of the former and a theistic dimension in the work of the latter. In addition to this, Tillich’s theological vocation is profoundly philosophical, while Zizek’s philosophical project has a deeply theological core. Both draw from similar intellectual sources (German Idealism, Psychoanalysis, Marxism), both wrestle with the nature of desire (Ultimate Concern, Drive) and both offer a reading of true religion as the revelation of a type of quantum indeterminacy at the heart of reality.
In this seminar, I will draw out the ways in which Tillich and Zizek orbit around a similar constellation of questions. Once we have seen how their work is complimentary in many ways, I’ll turn my attention to their differences regarding the ultimate aim of religion and the nature of salvation, or the cure.
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