The Call to Radical Theology

By Thomas J. J. Altizer
Edited by Lissa McCullough
Introduction by Lissa McCullough
Foreword by David E. Klemm

Subjects: Religion, Theology, Christianity, Continental Philosophy, Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Theology and Continental Thought
Paperback : 9781438444529, 211 pages, January 2013
Hardcover : 9781438444512, 211 pages, November 2012

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Table of contents

Foreword by David E. Klemm
Editor’s Acknowledgments
Introduction by Lissa McCullough
1. Doing Radical Theology
2. Ancient and Modern Apocalypticism
3. Renewing the Kingdom of God
4. Hegel: The Phenomenology of Spirit as Ground of a Uniquely Modern Theology
5. Nietzsche: Nihilism and the Illusion of Ethics
6. Heidegger: Ereignis and the Nothing
7. Marion: Dionysian Theology as a Catholic Nihilism
8. Contemporary French Thinking and the Primordial
9. Modernity and the Origin of Angst
10. Postmodernity and Guilt
11. The Epic Voyage into Apocalypse
12. Adieu: The Call to Radical Theology
Appendix A: The Gospel of Christian Atheism Reexamined
Appendix B: Altizer on Altizer: A Self-Critique
Works Cited

The major death-of-God theologian explores the meaning and purpose of radical theology.


In The Call to Radical Theology, Thomas J. J. Altizer meditates on the nature of radical theology and calls readers to undertake the vocation of radical theology as a way of living a fully examined life. In fourteen essays, he explores how the death of God in modernity and the dissolution of divine authority have freed theology to become a mode of ultimate reflection and creative inquiry no longer bound by church sanction or doctrinal strictures.

Revealing a wealth of vital models for doing radical theological thinking, Altizer discusses the work of philosophers such as Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Marion, Derrida, and Levinas, among others. Resources are also found in the work of imaginative writers, especially Milton, Blake, and Joyce. In the spirit of Joyce's Here Comes Everybody, Altizer is convinced that theology is for everyone and that everyone has the authority to do theology authentically. An introduction by Lissa McCullough and foreword by David E. Klemm help orient the reader to Altizer's distinctive understanding of the role of theology after the death of God.

Thomas J. J. Altizer is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at Stony Brook University, State University of New York. He is the author of many books, including Living the Death of God: A Theological Memoir, also published by SUNY Press. Lissa McCullough is an independent scholar and coeditor (with Brian Schroeder) of Thinking through the Death of God: A Critical Companion to Thomas J. J. Altizer, also published by SUNY Press.