Blog post

The Faith of the Faithless: How to Re-think the Role of Religion in the "Post-Secular" 21st Century

Michael Bacal 1 February 2012

The remarkable resurgence of interest in religion has become one of the defining issues of our time. Whether approached from a "post-secular" perspective, or fanatically affirmed/denied by fundamentalists of both religious and atheistic persuasions, we are living in a moment where religion and a wider constellation of its concerns have an inescapable hold over us.

Simon Critchley's new book The Faith of the Faithless attempts to philosophically re-frame the nature of the current debates over the role of religion in the 21st century. In the book, out today, Critchley proposes a new perspective on belief---one that attempts to avoid the obstacles that have increasingly hobbled serious reflection and constructive dialogue about religion in our world.

Together with the book's release, Critchley will be speaking at the New York Public Library tomorrow night with Mark Mazower, where he hosts the next installment of his ongoing conversation series "On Truth (and Lies)." The topic of the conversation is "The Historian's Truth." Next Tuesday, February 7th at 7pm, Critchley will appear at BAM with the ever profound and provocative brother Cornel West, where the two will discuss the concept of religion and faith in secular society.

By rejecting the problematic and simplistic binary of religion versus atheism that has predominantly structured how we approach faith, Critchley puts forward a wider host of ethical, political and philosophical questions that rigorously re-conceptualize both the underlying foundations, and terrain of, political theology.

As a self-professed "catechism of the citizen," The Faith of the Faithless is a timely reminder of the inextricable link between politics, religion and culture, and a welcome rejoinder for us to re-investigate the relation between social transformation, belief, spirituality, and morality in our everyday experience.

Simon Critchley will continue to appear publicly to promote The Faith of the Faithless. Stay tuned to for details.