A Passion for the Impossible

John D. Caputo in Focus

Edited by Mark Dooley

Subjects: Ancient Greek Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Theology and Continental Thought
Paperback : 9780791456880, 348 pages, May 2003
Hardcover : 9780791456873, 348 pages, May 2003

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Table of contents


Saints and Postmodernism: Introduction

1. God and Anonymity: Prolegomena to an Ankhoral Religion
John D. Caputo

2. The Becoming Possible of the Impossible: An Interview with Jacques Derrida
Mark Dooley

A Game of Jacks: A Response to Derrida
John D. Caputo

3. Reflections on Caputo's Heidegger and Aquinas
W. Norris Clarke, S.J.

Nuptial Realism: A Response to Clarke
John D. Caputo

4. Heidegger's Fall
William J. Richardson, S.J.

The Heart of Concealment: A Response to Richardson
John D. Caputo

5. Khora or God?
Richard Kearney

Abyssus Abyssum Invocat: A Response to Kearney
John D. Caputo

6. A Reading of John D. Caputo's "God and Anonymity"
Lewis Ayres

The Violence of Ontology: A Response to Ayres
John D. Caputo

7. Postmodernism and Ethics: The Case of Caputo
Merold Westphal

"O felix culpa," This Foxy Fellow Felix: A Response to Westphal
John D. Caputo

8. Squaring the Hermeneutic Circle: Caputo as Reader of Foucault
Thomas R. Flynn

Hounding Hermeneutics: A Response to Flynn
John D. Caputo

9. In Praise of Prophesy: Caputo on Rorty
Mark Dooley

Achieving the Impossible—Rorty's Religion: A Response to Dooley
John D. Caputo

10. Faith, Hope, and Love: Radical Hermeneutics as a Pauline Philosophy of Religion
B. Keith Putt

Holding on by Our Teeth: A Response to Putt
John D. Caputo

11. Caputo's Example
Thomas A. Carlson

On Being Left without a Prayer: A Response to Carlson
John D. Caputo

12. The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida: Esoteric Comedy and the Poetics of Obligation
Cleo McNelly Kearns

Not in Tongues, but Tongue in Cheek: A Response to Kearns
John D. Caputo

13. Without Why, Without Whom: Thinking Otherwise with John D. Caputo
Edith Wyschogrod

On Being Attached to Philosophers and Prophets: A Response to Wyschogrod
John D. Caputo



Distinguished philosophers, theologians, and cultural critics provide the first critical consideration of the work of philosopher John D. Caputo. Responses from Caputo are included.


Presenting the first systematic appraisal of the thought of John D. Caputo, one of America's most respected and controversial continental thinkers, this book brings together internationally renowned philosophers, theologians, and cultural critics. One highlight of the work is an interview with Jacques Derrida in which Derrida talks candidly about his reaction to Caputo's writings and spells out the implications for religion and the question of God after deconstruction. Caputo responds to the concerns expressed by his interlocutors in the same humorous, erudite, and challenging spirit for which he is known. The result is a lively and stimulating debate, covering themes in the philosophy of religion, deconstruction, political philosophy, feminism, and hermeneutics, as well as issues surrounding the work of Aquinas, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida, and Rorty.

Mark Dooley is the John Henry Newman Scholar in Theology at University College Dublin. He is the coeditor (with Richard Kearney) of Questioning Ethics: Contemporary Debates in Philosophy and (with John D. Caputo and Michael J. Scanlon) of Questioning God. He is the author of The Politics of Exodus: Søren Kierkegaard's Ethics of Responsibility.