A poetic and philosophical negotiation of the alternatives of atheism and religious faith.
In A Man of Little Faith the French poet and philosopher Michel Deguy reflects on the loss of religious faith both personally and culturally. Disenchanted not only with the oversimplifications of radical atheism but also with what he sees as an insipid sacralization of art as the influence of religion has waned, Deguy refuses to focus on loss or impossibility. Instead he actively suspends belief, producing a poetic deconstruction that, though resolutely a-theistic, makes a plea for an earthly piety and for the preservation of the relics of religion for the world to come. Two essays by Jean-Luc Nancy and a recent interview with Deguy are included, which reveal the impact and implications of Deguy's ongoing reflection and its significance within his generation of French thought.
Michel Deguy is Professor Emeritus at the Université Paris 8 and the author of more than forty books. Christopher Elson is Associate Professor of French and Canadian Studies at Dalhousie University, Canada. He is the coeditor (with Michael Bishop) of Contemporary French Poetics and French Prose in 2000.