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The Profanation of Revelation: On Language and Immanence in the Work of Giorgio Agamben
Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities
  • Colby Dickinson, Loyola University Chicago
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This essay seeks to articulate the many implications which Giorgio Agamben’s work holds for theology. It aims therefore to examine his (re)conceptualizations of language, in light of particular historical glosses on the ‘name of God’ and the nature of the ‘mystical’, as well as to highlight the political task of profanation, one of his most central concepts, in relation to the logos said to embody humanity’s ‘religious’ quest to find its Voice. As such, we see how he challenges those standard (ontotheological) notions of transcendence which have been consistently aligned with various historical forms of sovereignty. In addition, I intend to present his redefinition of revelation as solely the unveiling of the ‘name of God’ as the fact of our linguistic being, a movement from the transcendent divine realm to the merely human world before us. By proceeding in this manner, this essay tries to close in on one of the largest theological implications contained within Agamben’s work: the establishment of an ontology that could only be described as a form of ‘absolute’ immanence, an espousal of some form of pantheism (or perhaps panentheism) yet to be more fully pronounced within his writings.

Author Posting. © Taylor & Francis, 2014. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Taylor & Francis for personal use, not for redistribution.The definitive version was published in Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, Volume 19, Issue 1, 2014.

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Colby Dickinson. "The Profanation of Revelation: On Language and Immanence in the Work of Giorgio Agamben" Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities Vol. 19 Iss. 1 (2014)
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