Baudrillard and Theology
Jean Baudrillard was one of the foremost intellectual figures of the late twentieth century and his work is currently reaching a new prominence in the English-speaking world. Known as the “high priest of postmodernity”, Baudrillard never directly addressed theological concerns. However, his provocative analysis of the changing nature of reality, subjectivity and agency is of increasing importance to contemporary theology. Furthermore, his mode of cultural analysis (which he himself describes as “mystical”) provides fruitful possibilities for theological reasoning in the post-idealist world he describes.
James Walters provides the context of Baudrillard's writing and identifies key influences. He then sets out his core ideas, drawing in theological responses and relating them to theological concerns. Finally, he highlights some areas of his work of particular theological interest.
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Overcoming the real
Signs systems and 68
Simulation and the hyperreal
Exchange Economic and symbolic
Life after God
Sacraments and simulacra
Eschatology terrorism and death
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Agony of Power ambivalent Baudrillard argues Baudrillard describes Baudrillard’s writing become body capitalism capitalist ceremony Chapter Chauvet Christ Christian Church commodity concept consumer capitalism Consumer Society contemporary Critique culture desert Douglas Kellner economic Eucharist Evil Exchange and Death exchange-value explored Fatal Strategies fragment function fundamental gender Georges Bataille gift global God’s human hyperreal Ibid ideas Impossible Exchange Jean Baudrillard kairos kind labour language live logic London longer Marcel Mauss Marxist Mauss meaning meaningful metaphysics modern mystical narrative Nietzsche nihilism object ofthe philosophical poetic Political Economy postmodern potlatch primitive societies production questions radical thought rational reality relation religious ritual Roland Barthes Routledge Rowan Williams sacrament seduction seeks semiotic sense sexuality signifier signs simulacra Simulacra and Simulation simulation singularity social symbolic exchange terrorism theme theologians theology theory things traditional Transparency ofEvil understanding University Press use-value violence virtual