ICS Calendar Title: The Radical Theopoetics of John D. Caputo

ICS Course Code: ICS 150907/250907 W15

Instructor: Emeritus Professor James Olthuis

Term and Year: Wednesdays, 6:0-9:00 pm, Winter 2015

Last Updated: November 18, 2014

Contents

1. Course Description

2. Reading Schedule

3. Course Requirements

4. Description and Weighting of Elements to be Evaluated

5. Required Readings

6. Some Recommended Readings

1. Course Description

This seminar will trace, explore, and interact with the developing Theopoetics of postmodern philosopher/theologian John D. Caputo. Situated at the interface between deconstruction and the religion, Theopoetics is a radical alternative to both classical theism and classical atheism, insisting that whether or not God shows up depends on us. In the style of Deconstruction,  Theopoetics seeks a way between absolutism and relativism, envisioning Truth, not as a claim we make, but as a claim made on us. For Caputo,  philosophy (as the search for wisdom)  and theology (as the search for God) work  together: The one true philosophy—the love of truth—is the love of God.

2. Reading Schedule

        

Jan. 7:   Introduction.  Deconstruction in a Nutshell 

Jan. 14:  Philosophy and Theology

Jan. 21:  Truth

Jan. 28:  The Weakness of God,  chps. 1,2,3

Feb. 4:    The Weakness of God,  chps. 4,5,6

Feb. 11    The Weakness of God,  chps. 7,8,9

Feb. 18    ------  Spring Reading Week ----

Feb. 25     The Weakness of God,  chps. 10,11,12

March 4    The Insistence of God, chps. 1,2,3

March 11   The Insistence of God,  chps. 4,5,6

March 18   The Insistence of God, chps.  7,8,9

March  25  The Insistence of God,  chps. 10,11,12

April 1        Presentations  

April 8  Presentations,   Loose Ends and the Future!

3. Course Requirements

  1. Critical understanding of the dynamics at work in the interfacing of deconstructive philosophy and radical theology.
  2. Ability to think creatively and constructively about the strengths and weaknesses of Theopoetics.
  3. Knowledge of John D. Caputo’s extrapolation of the thought of Jacques Derrida.

4. Description and Weighting of Elements to be Evaluated

  1. Total reading (1250 pages)
  2. In-seminar leadership: Taking turns leading discussion of assigned materials.
  3. Description of course project: 4,000-6,000 words (MA); 5,000-7,000 words (PhD) on topic of student’s interest within the purview of the course.
  4. Description and weighting of elements to be evaluated:
  1. Class participation:  20%
  2. Seminar presentations: 30%
  3. Research Project/Paper: 50%

5. Required Readings

John D. Caputo, Deconstruction in a Nutshell. New York: Fordham University Press, 1997. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B809.6 .D46 1997]

______, Philosophy and Theology. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2006. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B29 .C2745 2006]

______, The Weakness of God. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT103 .C37 2006]

______. Truth. London: Penguin Books, 2013. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BL51 .C35 2013]

______. The Insistence of God. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BT103 .C3675 2013]

6. Some Recommended Readings

John D. Caputo, Radical Hermeneutics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BD241 .C34 1987]

______, More Radical Hermeneutics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2000. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BD241 .C336 2000]

______, Against Ethics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BJ1012 .C324 1993]

______, Demythologizing Heidegger. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B3279 .H49 C273 1993]

______, The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B809.6 .P37 1997]

Ray Martinez (ed.). The Very Idea of Radical Hermeneutics. New Jersey: Humanities Press, 1997. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: ON ORDER ; Robarts Library: BD241 .V29 1997X]

James H. Olthuis (ed.). Religion with/out Religion. London: Routledge, 2002. [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B2430 .D4]

Students with diverse learning styles and needs are welcome in this course. In particular, if you have a disability/health consideration that may require accommodations, please feel free to approach me and/or Student Services as soon as possible.


Copyright, Institute for Christian Studies. All Rights Reserved.

www.icscanada.edu