Whether you excessively binged on it or doggedly kept your gaze averted, many will be happy to finally see the spectacle that is the World Cup come to an end. The more sceptical and cynical among us would have looked on in disbelief at the images of emotional fanaticism (from tearful Brazilians to elated Germans) that have populated television screens and papers in the last few days: how could people be taken in and actually believe in this illusion? In his On the Pleasure Principle in Culture Robert Pfaller argues for a more complictaed structure of belief that occurs with subjects who engage with sporting events and other cultural phenomena. Below is an excerpt from Pfaller's book which details the relationship between a subject and an illusion (in this case, the illusion that sports results really matter).
One of the signal features of our era is the re-emergence of the 'sacred' in all its different guises, from New Age paganism to the emerging religious sensitivity within cultural and political theory.
Verso has published for many years a range of critical accounts of Christianity and the broader issues of religion, belief and faith. Here, in conjunction with the publication of Pier Paolo Pasolini's St Paul, Verso presents a Radical Christianity reading list.