Archive for April, 2010

Barth on Judas

04/26/2010

“He is not opposed to the surrender of Mary’s costly ointment. But he wants something for it – namely 300 denarii – not for himself, as he explains but to give to the poor. He is not willing that the complete devotion, which by her deed Mary had in a sense given the apostles as a pattern for their own life, should be an absolute offering to Jesus…It is to be for the benefit of the poor, of those who are injured or needy, to help improve their lot and that of others, and in that way it will be a meaningful devotion. This view, this attitude of Judas, is what makes him unclean. It finds relatively innocuous expression. It is not really evil. To correct it would be comparatively easy. But it was because of it that Judas “handed over” Jesus. If a man does not devote himself prodigally to Jesus, if he considers something too good to be offered to Him, if he thinks another purpose more important than the glorifying of His condescension, of His death, that man is as such unclean and opposes his election. He makes himself impossible as an apostle. He must and will hand Jesus over – hand Him over to men, to be crucified. He has virtually done so already in and with this attitude towards Jesus. Already, by this attitude, he has acted as one of the men at whose hands Jesus can only be slain” (CD, II/2, 462).

I’ve always found this passage in John to be particularly interesting, mostly because it differs from the Synoptics in singling out Judas as being the only apostle who was against Mary’s extravagant present.

John 12:5-6, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.”

Barth does not take that bait, but rather criticizes Judas for prioritizing something over his obedience to Jesus, namely giving money to the poor. This passage has always confused me. I mean it seems in this passage Judas is truer to the Kingdom than Jesus is. Wasn’t this the same teacher who instructed his disciples to sell all that they have and give their money to the poor? Does Barth go too far here? Doesn’t Jesus tell his disciples in Matthew 25 that their devotion to him will only be measured by their treatment of the least of these? However, we must remember that in Matthew 26:11, Jesus tells his disciples this, “The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.” This is another passage that I’ve always struggled with. Is Jesus challenging his disciples here? Is he saying until you truly take up your cross and truly die, the poor will still be among you?

“But it is a part of the New Testament Gospel of Jesus Christ that before His death Jesus had an apostle beside Him as a witness to the divine rejection of men which He bore and bore away, just as after His resurrection He had an apostle beside Him as a witness to the divine election for men which was bestowed upon Him and which he Himself fulfilled. The fact that Judas had the former function, as Paul subsequently had the latter, is something which remains to Judas, whatever else may be involved in his determination…Between them both, between Judas and Paul, stands Jesus Christ – as, according to Lk. 233, He hung on the cross between the two malefactors who were crucified with Him; and the rejection of Judas is the rejection which Jesus Christ has borne, just as the election of Paul is in the first His election. Apart from Him Judas would not be Judas, just as apart from Him, Paul would not be Paul” (CD II/2, 480).

Interesting passage. I’ll be posting more on Barth’s doctrine of election later on this week.

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Atheism in Christianity

04/26/2010

Check out this panel discussion on Ernst Bloch’s work Atheism in Christianity here

Barth on Schleiermacher

04/25/2010

“It is because he misunderstands the nature of claim and obedience in this respect that the teaching of Schleiermacher is so profoundly unsatisfactory. As he sees it, all religion, including the Christian, is to be brought under the common denominator of the concept of the “felling of absolute dependence”. It may even be questioned whether all non-Christian religion can actually be brought under this denominator. But if so, it is only explains why at this point religion is exposed, as it is, to a denial of its authority and relevance from the standpoint of human dignity and human rights. Indeed, it shows us why, in so far as it rests on this basis and is a modification of the feeling of absolute dependence, all religion is necessarily denied and opposed and rejected from this standpoint. To the extent that it rests on this basis, it is an outrage to the essence of man. It is intolerable, not only from the standpoint of humanism, but even according to Christian insight. It has necessarily to be repelled, for it opens the door to the establishment of every possible kind of caprice and tyranny and therefore to the profoundest disobedience to God. If the Christian faith, too, is only a special determination of the feeling of absolute dependence, this simply proves, not only that it is as the mercy of a deeply founded scepticism of man in relation to all religion, but that this scepticism is basically justified even in relation to itself: that is a protest has necessarily to be made against it, too, in the name of humanity. It is curious enough that the humanism of Schleiermacher ultimately culminates in this human view of the relationship of man to God, it being necessary in the last resort to protest against his doctrine of religion in the name of humanity itself. But so it is” (CD, II/2, 553).

Against Countertransference

04/24/2010

Transference is perhaps Freud’s most important contribution to psychotherapy technique. Many psychotherapists who do not buy Freudian metapsychology, still believe that it is important to understand the way in which clients often experience the therapist in ways they previously interacted and related to others in their past. Likewise, countertransference can be understood as the way in which the therapist experiences the client based on his previous experience with important objects. However, Lacan defines countertransference as “the sum total of the analyst’s biases, passions, and difficulties” (Ecrits, 183).

This is not a popular opinion in more postmodern, relational dynamic theories. The current mainstay is that psychotherapy is an interaction between two people in which both therapist and client contribute to the transferential matrix. The psychotherapist cannot be this neutral, objective expert who remains disengaged merely offering interpretations of the client’s behavior. Rather, the psychotherapist must fully engage the client in an egalitarian manner admitting her own biases and limitations that invariably affect the psychotherapeutic process. This sounds great, and this more postmodern conceptualization of therapy is certainly sexier than the silent analyst who remains aloof and emotionally distant. However, I think I’m with Lacan in seeing countertransference as a complete waste of time. If the client draws out certain parts of yourself that elicit reactions based on previous experiences, well then that’s your problem, not the client’s. They didn’t pay for you to work on your own object relations, that’s what supervision is for.

Today, I finished Seminar I, and I wanted to relate a humorous story Lacan tells about the analyst Balint.

“Balint does not fall into counter-transference – that is to say, in plain language, he is not an idiot – in the coded language we wallow in, we call the fact of hating someone ambivalence, and the fact of being an idiot counter-transference. Balint is not an idiot, he listen to this bloke, as a man who has already heard a great many things, a great many people, a man of experience. And he doesn’t understand. That happens. There are stories like that, you don’t understand them. When you don’t understand a story, don’t blame yourself immediately, say to yourself – the fact that I don’t understand must mean something. Not only does not Balint not understand, but he considers that he has the right not to understand. He says nothing to this bloke, and asks him to come back. The bloke comes back. He carries on telling his story. And he lays it on a bit thick. And Balint still doesn’t understand…So Balint says to his client. What’s strange is that you are telling me lots of really interesting things, but I must confess that I can’t make head or tail or your story. Then the bloke brightens up, with a big smile on his face. You’re the first honest man I have met, because I’ve told all those things to some of your colleagues, who straightaway saw in them an intimation of an interesting, sophisticated character. I told you all this as a test, to see if you were like all the others, a charlatan and a liar” (Seminar I, 227-8).

I laughed at this piece for a bit. The analyst doesn’t bother getting lost in all the dimensions of transference and countertransference, which of course the mere naming of gets you nowhere. If you tell the client you’re experiencing me in the same way you experienced your mother, the intelligent client will likely say, “yeah, why do you have to be so much like her?” The point of this narrative is that the previous analysts had botched this man’s analysis by trying to make something out of nothing, creation ex nihilo. They probably tried to analyze the client’s story along with their own reactions with reference to analytic jargon. Nobody ever bothered to ask, “does this even make any damn sense?” Ultimately, although countertransference might be a rich source of information for the therapist’s personal knowledge, many of the times it’s really just an excuse for mistaken interventions and interpretations.

Update and Request

04/22/2010

So, I’ve realized more and more that I want to investigate more about theodicy and the problem of evil. I read Moltmann’s The Crucified God a year ago, but I want to read more about the suffering God. I’m wondering if anyone’s read Kitamori’s Theology and the Pain of God or Surin’s Theology and the Problem of Evil? I’m also somewhat disappointed with myself for not having produced much in the last couple of weeks, but I’m not finding the time these days. I hope this summer to delve more into feminist theology and queer theology, theologies that seem to be grossly underrepresented on current theoblogs.

Also, I do plan on posting some of my thoughts on Barth’s CD II/2. I’m still processing Barth’s unique revision of the doctrine of election. His commentary on Judas as the rejected was especially thought provoking. It’s easily been my favorite part of CD thus far.

Lacan on Real Psychoanalysis

04/15/2010

In Freud’s Paper on Technique Lacan writes:

“Likewise, as for us, we find ourselves at a moment in time when psychoanalysis is really psychoanalysis. The closer we get to psychoanalysis being funny the more it is real psychoanalysis. Later on, it will get run in, it will be done by cutting corners and pulling tricks. No one will understand any longer what’s being done, just as there is no longer any need to understand anything optics to make a microscope. So let us rejoice, we are still doing psychoanalysis” (Seminar I, 77)

The Subject Supposed to be Awkward

04/12/2010

I’ve been thinking more about Lacan and the way we sometimes attribute certain characteristics to different people (with the therapist as the subject supposed to know). In social groups, especially group therapy, it is very common that a scapegoat emerges. Generally, this person sticks out in the group as being different or awkward. Inevitably, the group turns against this one person and alienates the person from the group. I’m going to first discuss the psychoanalytic theory that explains this phenomenon, and then take a case example with the awkward individual.

Melanie Klein is a famous psychoanalyst who led the movement of British object relational theorists. Object relations is a school of psychoanalysis that focuses on way the early-internalized objects (i.e. representations and relationships we have with others) influences our future relationships. It differs from classical psychoanalysis, in which Freud assumed that the libido indiscriminately discharges energy onto arbitrary objects. Freud thought that the libido was ultimately pleasure-seeking, whereas Fairbairn would emphasize that the libido is essentially object-seeking (i.e. relational). Object relational theorists counter Freud’s claim and emphasize the primacy that ought to be given to early relational experiences. Basically, as children we have certain experiences with early caretakers that continue to exert a lasting influence on the way we interact with others. These internalized objects impact the way we relate to others, as we often unconsciously find others who will engage us in a similar way. That is to say people are used to experiencing others in certain ways that are often replicated in future relationships. It is not merely that we find others who will treat us based on our early experiences, but it also that we unconsciously behave in such a manner that elicits responses from others that resemble the way our early objects treated us. It is supposed that people are caught in a cycle of repetitive behaviors. In therapy, one re-enacts certain types relational patterns that are similar to how one engages others outside of therapy. Initially, as in normal relationships, the client projects certain feelings onto the therapist that resemble the way in which they are used to relating to others. Eventually, the therapist is able to hold this projected object for the patient, and in the time the client (by gaining insight into their unconscious views of self and others) can re-integrate this projected object back into the self.

Here, I need to introduce the rather difficult term of projective identification. This is Klein’s definition: “In projective identification, not only does the patient view the therapist in a distorted way that is determined by the patient’s past object relations; in addition, pressure is exerted on the therapist to experience himself in a way that is congruent with the patient’s unconscious fantasy” (McWilliams, Psychoanalytic Diagnosis, 110). Projective identification involves two people. One person splits off some unwanted idea or feeling and projects it onto the other. The person who projects then behaves in such a manner so as to elicit the expected reaction from another. Let me offer an example. A client, who hates himself and cannot believe the therapist actually likes him, will split off the feeling of hating himself onto the therapist by assuming the therapist dislikes him. He will then relate to the therapist in such a way that the therapist, in time, grows to dislike him. For instance, he might continue to deny any empathic gestures made by the therapist and question the therapist’s good intentions. This, in turn, only serves to further frustrate the therapist who eventually does begin harboring dislike for the client. In summary, the client splits off some intolerable feeling onto the other, and then acts in such a way as to confirm his erroneous beliefs that are elicited from the other.

Let’s move onto the subject supposed to be awkward (SSA). I’ve found that in social groups it is common that one person is often scapegoated as the awkward person who is teased by others for being different. For instance, I know in my own experience the SSA can repeat the exact same joke as someone who the group highly values, but the group will react negatively towards the scapegoat and laugh with the more popular member. Any action the SSA performs will always be greeted with suspicion and will inevitably be interpreted as awkward regardless of the actual behavior. While, I won’t deny that certain people are just awkward, I do believe that after awhile the person’s behaviors are unjustly criticized as awkward despite the actual behaviors. They essentially are stereotyped as the awkward individual who will never catch a break from the group. So, what the hell is going on? It is my contention that everyone has fears of being excluded or being thought of as awkward by his/her peers. All of us, at times, commit social faux pas. The group functions better when this constant threat of being ostracized is minimized by incorporating the SSA in the group. So, initially this person will be spotted as the different other who may behave in inappropriate ways. Consequently, the group members detect this weakness and jump at the opportunity to find someone who can hold everyone else’s fears of being awkward. What happens is that every group member projects his/her own fears of awkwardness onto the SSA, and then engages this individual in such a way as to provoke awkward actions. In turn, the SSA holds these projections for the group, and he is experienced by the group as the awkward group member.

I know this sounds rather theoretical, but I suspect if you think about your group of friends you can quickly spot the person who everyone makes fun of because of their social awkwardness. The SSA is structurally necessary for any group to function effectively by decreasing the group member’s fear of group exclusion. In fact, I would argue that the group tends to come together stronger and quicker if someone in the group can be sacrificed as the SSA. Everyone can then be in solidarity with each other against the individual who is far enough away so as to not infect the members with his awkwardness, but close enough to hold everyone’s social fears and anxieties. If this individual is too close then the group members become overwhelmed by his social inepititude, but if he is too far away then it weakens the ties holding the group together and runs the risk of having another group member fulfil the position of the SSA.

Lacan on the Cartesian God

04/11/2010

“But it is because he has done something quite different, which concerns the field, which he does not name, in which all this knowledge wanders about – all this knowledge which he had said should be placed in a radical suspension. He puts the field of this knowledge at the level of this vaster subject, the subject who is supposed to know, God. You know that Descartes could not help reintroducing the presence of God, But in what a strange way!” (Seminar XI, 224)

“It is here that the question of the eternal verities arises. In order to assure himself that he is not confronted by a deceiving God, he has to pass through the medium of a God – indeed, in his register it is a question not so much of a perfect, as of an infinite being. Does Descartes, then remain caught, as everyone up to him did, on the need to guarantee all scientific research on the fact that actual science exists somewhere, in an existing being, called God? – that is to say, on the fact that God is supposed to know?” (Seminar XI, 224-5).

Lacan goes on to explain that Descartes is able to eject his subject supposed to know because of his voluntarism. That is to say, 2 + 2 = 4 because God desires it so. This leads to the advent of modern science in which “God has nothing to do. For the characteristics of our science, and its difference with the ancient sciences, is that nobody even dares, without incurring ridicule, to wonder whether God knows anything about it, whether God leafs through modern treatises on mathematics to keep up to date” (Seminar XI, 226).

Elsewhere I’ve mused about the relationship that Lacan discusses between transference in psychotherapy and the subject supposed to know. I imagine most of my readers are aware that in the Meditations Descartes assumes his perceptions and conclusions are correct because God is an all knowing, infinite being who would not deceive him. I think one can also catch glimpses of the Cartesian God when people insist that although right now things might not make sense, ultimately God is using everything for his higher purpose. As opposed to merely embracing the contingency of life, they posit some belief in this sovereign God who ultimately has a plan underlying history. But isn’t this Cartesian God as the subject supposed to know the God that Jesus is divested of while suffering on the cross as Zizek argues? Another example where the Cartesian God rears his ugly head is when someone question the goodness of God, and the other counters the point by saying that whatever God does is good because by definition He is goodness. This is obviously the irrational, terrifying God of Job who emerges from the tornado to brag about His power. He is beyond reproach. It also opens itself up to all sorts of abuses (re: the pope’s current fiasco/infallibility claims).

Summary of Reinhard’s There is Something of One (God): Lacan and Political Theology

04/04/2010

[This was such an excellent essay that i wanted to write a summary. It appeared in the latest of Political Theology, and I’d also recommend Malabou and Crockett’s essay on plasticity and theology]

The choice between the One and the multiple is one that has divided philosophers for centuries. Badiou’s ontology certainly endorses multiplicity, as ‘the one is not’. The decision that the ‘one is not’ grounds his theory of the event in which something absolutely new and revolutionary irrupts. If “being were fundamentally unified, then events would only be modifications of what is” (44) nothing new could ever occur. However, in both Lacan and Badiou “there is something of one, some “Oneness” even if only secondary, the operation of counting at the root of symbolization” (44). In Lacan’s system, the One is simply the signifier of the symbolic that anchors the discursive system, but it not an ontology but an act. Reinhard wants to understand the political and ultimately religious implications the One has on Lacan’s analytic discourse, which will be “an essential conjunction of political and religious understandings of sovereignty, subjectivity, and collectivity” (45).

Reinhard’s wager is that psychoanalysis can helps us rethink a political theology of the neighbor. Schmitt already understand that theological implications of sovereignty, in which the characteristics of the One God are attributed to the One Sovereign. Ultimately, what unites both figures is “the freedom each has to declare an exception…to the rule of law” (45). Quite readily, one can see the strong parallel that exist between Schmitt’s theory of the exception and the Freud’s description of the primal horde in Totem and Taboo. Recall, that Freud imagined a parricide in which the sons ganged up to murder the father who had originally denied his sons access to all of the females in the tribe. Now, remember that in Lacan’s theory of male sexuation, all men are subjected to castration, but there is also a man who is not castrated. This singular exception is the mythical Father who is not subjected to the law of incest. In fact, man can only accept the law if they can likewise assume that there once was such a subject who was not castrated. “Thus, like Schmitt’s political theology, Lacan and Freud’s account of the Primal Horde produces a model of collectivity in which membership is based on structural similarity and difference vis à vis a topologically ambiguous indeterminately inside and outside the “horde” it constellates” (46). However, Schmitt did not incorporate the idea of jouissance (enjoyment) into his political theology. Using Lacan’s discourse of the master will help illustrate what’s going on here:

S1 (sovereign) →  S2 (symbolic field, e.g. nation)
$ (subject) //        a (plus de jouir, surplus value, objet petit a)

“Lacan identifies the plus de jouir with Marx’s notion of surplus value—and it is indeed its excessive role in the structure of political-economic discourse that makes discursive shift or even revolutionary transformation possible” (47).

Now, let’s move on the female theory of sexuation. According to Lacan, there is no female not subjected to castration, and yet not-all woman is subject to castration. Hence, each woman exists as a singularity, and this set of women is an “open set of women which constitutes an infinity rather than a totality” (48). There is no great Mother that would help close the set of women, and also no universal predicate common to all women. Because of the different ways in which men and women relate to larger groups there exists an incommensurability between man and woman that makes a sexual relationship impossible. Lacan believes that only love can bridge this impasse between man and woman. Reinhard argues that there are two different modes of love that ground political theology. The masculine love is related to the injunction to the love God, which is linked to the Schmitt’s model of the exceptional sovereign. Perhaps, neighbor love, the second greatest commandment, can open up new horizons to think of political theology along the female theory of sexuation. Reinhard writes, “[m]y larger argument is that neighbor-love constitutes the other side of political theology, both decompleting and supplementary to the political theology of the sovereign, and that the link between it and the commandment to love God must be restored in political-theological thinking” (49).

In Seminar XIX, Lacan argues that the One is the condition for the masculine ontology, which reduces the phallus to master signifier S1. “The One “makes being” in the sense of constituting the ontological support or alibi for the wholeness of the community of men” (49). I’m going to bypass the set theory in the paper. Whereas in classical logic, Lacan’s logic of sexuation would have been contradictory, Cantorian logic helps us think the One as real as opposed to a single element of reality (e.g. one cat, etc). Reinhard believes this shift from classical logic to Cantorian logic is also a shift from the masculine to the female logic of sexuation. The feminine logic offers us a new understanding of the One as the “something of One” that begins with the void, the empty set, and in Lacan’s thinking is now located on the side of the woman, in the not-all” (52). This move also challenges philosophies of representation that are contingent on the singularity of the One. Lacan also raises political concerns of the similarity that unites the group of all men, because ultimately the group is unified based on racism. “In order to avoid the violence, the racism and terror that this “fraternity of the body” would unleash, it is not enough to depose the father; the brother too must be “transfigured,” and this requires a radical discursive shift, and a supplementary political theology of the neighbor” (53).

In Seminar XX, Lacan needs monotheism to help flesh out his idea of the impossibility of sexual relationships. This is because the Jewish break with the ancient world was emphasizing the absolute, wholly otherness of God. Although man may be made in God’s image, there is no continuity between man and God.

Lacan writes, “Aristotle’s whole concern was…to conceive of being as that by which beings with less being participate in the highest of beings. And Saint Thomas succeeded in reintroducing that into the Christian tradition…But do people realize that everything in the Jewish tradition goes against that? The dividing line does not run from the most perfect to the least perfect. The least perfect there is quite simply what it is, namely radically imperfect” (Seminar XX, 99).

[I’m reminded of Barth criticism of analgoia entis as being the invention of the antichrist] The love of God commands man to love God above all, and no mystical union can bridge this divide between man and God. In Lacan’s schema, the God of monotheism is the S(barred A) on the woman’s side of sexuation.

“Lacan suggests that the supplementary jouissance of a woman instantiates a supplementary function of the Other: this is something additional to or subtracted from the function of the Father of the Primal Horde, the unbarred Other whose singularity suspended the community of men in his thrall. This is the Other now as decompleted, no longer simply One in quite the same way, and by no means Two—but perhaps something of One, some element of Oneness: not the signifier of primal repression, but the signifier that holds open the lack in the Other, the signifier of the hysteric, pointing out the master’s inability to transgress his own law—pointing not at the obscenity but the impotence of the father” (56)

The God who is unconscious and experienced by the woman’s jouissance of the Other that is lacking can help us rethink this new political theology. Here are the discourses.

Lacan’s political theology of the sovereign (discourse of the master)

Love of God     S1 (primal father) →      S2 (symbolic order)
(knowledge)     $ (subject)                       a (surplus jouissance)

This political theology is grounded on the sovereign master signifier. Also, this sort of political theology prevents any sort of neighbor love because of the “blocked fantasmatic relationship of a subject and an object” (58).

Lacan’s political theology of the neighbor (discourse of the analyst)

love of neighbor (traversed fantasy; I am my neighbor) ←→

a (self) →           $ (neighbor)        love of God (God/knowledge link broken)
S2 (lalangue)      S1 (Yad’lun)

The S1 could also be represented by the lack of the Other [S (barred A)]. In this other schema, the “love of God that functions here as the structure of sovereignty is the result of love of the neighbor, not its guarantor. The fantasy has also been traversed, and in this theology the subject now is the neighbor. Finally, the truth of this discourse is lalanguage, insubordinate signifiers that refuse to be concertized and congealed in the symbolic order.

Also, for more on female sexuality and God in Lacan, I’d refer you to this post, and for more Lacan’s four discourses go here

Milbank on Psychoanalysis

04/03/2010

“Of course Lacanian psychoanalysis, and even psychoanalysis in general, claims to have “shown” that objects of desire are illusory. But in principle, since the desirable is both subjectively judged to be there and withheld from our presence, this could never be shown by any supposedly “critical” discourse. It follows that psychoanalysis is but the confessional box of atheism. And surprisingly, for a radical practice, it has to be paid for—revealing its historical alignment with sophistry rather than philosophy. Moreover, what one pays for is only a raking-over of what one already possesses—one’s own past; for if the orientation of desire is illusory, then salvation can only reside in adjusting one’s attitude to this past which is given and unchangeable. Of course real hope is here precluded. But what comes free, by contrast, is Catholic priestly council which suggests instead that real personal change is possible because one can act out of future aspiration towards goals that are real (“already there,” since underwritten by eternity) and therefore that one can actually remake one’s past by continuing to write the story (in word and action) in which it is situated. Psychoanalysis by contrast must subordinate narrative to fixed, unalterable synchronic paradigms” (Without Heaven There is Only Hell on Earth: 15 Verdicts on Zizek’s Response, 131).

I’m not sure where I want to start attacking this quote. Psychoanalysis is a confessional box for atheism? Really, this sounds like some rehashed Foucaultian critique. One doesn’t have to confess anything. Also, can one really pretend as if psychoanalysis is not radical simply because it charges a fee? As if the Catholic church doesn’t have a price. Not to mention Freud dreamed of socialized medicine. Also, psychoanalysis is not endless masturbation about one’s past. That is patently absurd. Especially if one looks towards more relational models of psychoanalysis, the entire focus is one the here and now transferential matrix between analyst/analysand. Psychoanalysis is not a hopeless enterprise. What could be more hopeful than the promise of an increased self-understanding coupled with an opportunity to fundamentally change one’s relational style? Psychoanalysis allows the unconscious to speak. Milbank claims that psychoanalysis is fixated on predictable narratives. I’m sorry, but again this is just blatantly false. Only reductionist, idiotic Freudians pretend that one can connect everything back to certain developmental stages or sexual instincts. The unconscious does not obey those kind of rules. Milbank would prefer psychoanalysis preach the goodness and eternity of heaven. Is he kidding? If one needs the illusion of heaven to motivate one to change, chances are slim anything will happen. This is without a doubt one of the most uncharitable dismissals of psychoanalysis that I’ve ever read written by a man completely unaware of the nuances of the complex field.

I’m also hoping to report back on Reinhard’s article entitled There is Something of One (God): Lacan and Political Theology.

Here’s a link to the latest issue of PT: http://www.politicaltheology.com/PT/issue/view/739t