Review: ‘A Philosophy of Christian Materialism’

Readers of this month’s edition of the journal Modern Theology can look at my extended review of this excellent book:

A Philosophy of Christian Materialism: Entangled Fidelities and the Public Good, Christopher R. Baker, Thomas A. James and John Reader

Do drop me an Email if you need a copy.

This book will be a vital resource for those considering theology in light of the various Continental philosophies of materialism and the Real, including the work of Badiou, Meillassoux, Deleuze and Latour, as well as Harman and the programme of speculative realism. For the book listing see here. For a sample of the book itself see here.

Here’s my first paragraph as a sample:

This co-authored book engages with and appropriates a new strand of thought within contemporary Continental philosophy, namely, the re-emergence of the Real as an ontological and material category. Its provocative ambition is to recalibrate, or perhaps even reformulate, Christian systematic theology in the wake of this philosophical development, so as to equip it to engage ‘in new and hyper-connective ways with the public sphere’ (p.2). The programme that ensues is called ‘relational Christian realism’ (henceforth ‘RCR’). Thus, whilst the book will certainly be of interest to sociologists analysing in an empirical mode the ways in which religion is embedded in human relationality, it ultimately requests (and deserves) to be considered as a programme located within and measured according to the categories of Christian systematic theology.


One thought on “Review: ‘A Philosophy of Christian Materialism’

  1. Is the book relevant to the common folk? Does it follow [REL]?

    I saw that the writers are UK and USA theologians. Yet it is about the consequences of continental philosophy. Continental European theologians have not much to offer along this line? How come none is a co-author (is theology so free from material constraints that the lives of the theologians do not affect their word?)

    Or even broader: Do we (I mean we semi-moderns ) have once more to pass through (anglosaxon) moderns, this time in order to have an up-to-date (and “civilized” perhaps and “conversant with the sciences”) access to Christianity?

    The picture that comes to my mind is the Imam calling the faithfull to prayer. Only that the construction of the tower is now using financial, military, cultural soft power to rise above.

    I wonder how theologians in England see themselves. Perhaps as God’s gift to Christianity all over the world? (somebody must have written about power relations within networks of Christian Theology in the Earth)


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