I was very excited about this volume, since it seems to take the Radical Orthodoxy in the direction I find most interesting, and because it has such a impressive list of writers from outside of Theology, many of which I regard highly (Zizek, Toni Negri, Simon Critchley to a degree). And there is much of interest here (and a lot of filler, that has to be said), but still one comes away from it with some sense of disappontment. None of the writers from outside theology engage with the RO perspective, nor, with the exception of Zizek, with theology properly. Thus the title is kind of misleading.
In this volume the bad i mostly boring so I won't waste time on that. The writers that stand out for me in this volume is Zizek, Daniel M. Bell, Catherine Picstock (much better here than in "Radical Orthodoxy"), Graham Ward and John Millbank. In other words, the core of the RO-Movement all give good contributions here.
Zizek reads Chesterton like no other, and comes out with very interesting things about paganism and Christianity. Only Christianity gives us possibility to enjoy this world, because unlike for pagans, Christians do not belive that "tomorrow we will die". Funny as hell also, although I still do not understand why he insists on describing Christianity as perverse.
Bell reads Deleuze, and more interestingly, Anselm. To read Anselm away from the ususal economic framwork is fruitful, and of the many criticisms of Capitalism that are found in this book, Bell's is the one I feel most likely to return to.
Ward does Marx. His argument, that is repeated in many of the other essays, is that capitalism and marxism share too much in terms of basic premises, and that Christianity offers a radically different view of man and the world, one that is based on gift instead of contract, on love instead of fear and so on.
Millbank discusses the Christian claim to universality based on Badiou and Zizek. I think a lot of this is solid stuff. I have been hesitant to think much about the idea of universal truth and Milbank does have some interesting points. But there is an obvious problem, that is not so much visible here as in this interview.
(The ‘other religions’ thing doesn’t matter. The world as a whole is rapidly Christianizing and even in Islamic countries Muslims are finding their own intriguing Islamic way to Christ in ever increasing numbers; this is readily verifiable).What on earth can he possibly mean? Is this Milbank's suggestion for how Christianity is to deal with "other religions". It seems absurdly naive, to the point of delusional. If this is what his notion Christian universalism is like, I think we'd better pass on it.
Can anybody possibly shed som light on what he could be referring to?