The Puppet and the Dwarf
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From Short Circuits

The Puppet and the Dwarf

The Perverse Core of Christianity

By Slavoj Žižek

One of our most daring intellectuals offers a Lacanian interpretation of religion, finding that early Christianity was the first revolutionary collective.

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Summary

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.

Paperback

$23.95 T ISBN: 9780262740258 196 pp. | 8 in x 5.375 in

Reviews

  • 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...

    Library Journal

Endorsements

  • With this book Žižek consolidates his reputation as the foremost intellectual gadfly of the postmodern cosmopolis. For anyone interested in the contemporary vogue of the 'theological turn' or theories of 'religion without God,' The Puppet and the Dwarf is indispensable reading...If Socrates underwent a ten-year analysis with Jacques Lacan, the result would be Slavoj Žižek.

    Richard Wolin

    Distinguished Professor of History and Comparative Literature, the Graduate Center, City University of New York