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By Terry Eagleton

The way to dwell in a supposedly faithless global threatened through spiritual fundamentalism? Terry Eagleton, ambitious philosopher and popular cultural critic, investigates during this thought-provoking publication the contradictions, problems, and importance of the fashionable look for a substitute for God. attractive with a phenomenally wide variety of rules, matters, and thinkers from the Enlightenment to this present day, Eagleton discusses the country of faith ahead of and after 11th of September, the ironies surrounding Western capitalism’s half in spawning not just secularism but in addition fundamentalism, and the unsatisfactory surrogates for the Almighty invented within the post-Enlightenment era.

The writer displays at the designated capacities of faith, the probabilities of tradition and artwork as glossy paths to salvation, the so-called battle on terror’s influence on atheism, and a number of alternative issues of outrage to people who envision a destiny during which simply and compassionate groups thrive. Lucid, fashionable, and enjoyable in his ordinary demeanour, Eagleton offers a super survey of recent concept that still serves as a well timed, urgently wanted intervention into our perilous political current.

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Yet that this is so is not wholly to its advantage. Conviction or experience is likely to be valued in an individualist society which prizes such interiority, but it can scarcely provide the kind of common foundation which religious faith needs if it is to be ideologically effective. It is too close to the vagaries of taste to secure a social consensus. What one would need is an equivalent of Kant’s aesthetic judgements, which are both subjective and universal, a question of personal assent but also of universal agreement.

This most mercurial of phenomena – to find in the immediate presence of the subject to itself, the absolute identity of subject and object, or the fact that subjectivity is a ground beneath which we cannot delve, the axis on which the whole world can be seen to turn. * * * If the subject resists the concept, then it might always lend itself to the image instead. E. 15 Even so, Idealism prepares the way. 16 In his view, art blends the will with spontaneity, the conscious mind with the unconscious.

Indd 26 19/12/13 7:38 PM The Limits of Enlightenment *** True to its Baconian bent, the Enlightenment could lay claim to some formidable practical achievements. Quite apart from its incalculable influence on the course of modern civilisation, it had a hand in a range of political revolutions, played a role in the abolition of serfdom and slavery, helped to unseat colonial powers, and through the political economists of the Scottish Enlightenment left an enduring mark on the British polity. Jeremy Bentham’s Utilitarianism was to become a cornerstone of the ruling ideology of nineteenth-century England.

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