Jon Bialecki

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Donald Trump, the Pacific Standard, and me

This is just a quick note that the Pacific Standard has published an article that draws heavily on my work, and particularly on my soon to be released book. As always, there is a considerable gap between academic writing and journalism (temporality, audience, funding structure, etc.), so I wouldn’t want to say that the author’s argument is my argument, or rather, if this was an academic piece that I wrote, it would come wrapped in a protective blanket of qualifiers and counter examples. But I can say that he is fair to the book’s arguments, and I also believe that for many conservative Evangelicals, the unlikeliness of Donald Trump as the “Christian Candidate” makes his surprising election seem all the more like a work of God.

New JRAI Review Article on ‘Is Critique Secular’

This is just a quick post mentioning that I have a new review article out in the JRAI (which you can reach directly or indirectly) on the newest edition of the Asad, Mahmood, and Butler edited volume Is Critique Secular?. It touches on the obvious issues of secularism, modernity, religion, and the anthropology of both the West and of Islam, but it also touches on issues relating to the anthropology of ethics that I’ve discussed before.

The fall and winter bumper crop

Three things by me have come out recently. The first is my Current Anthropology piece, After the Denominozoic: Evolution, Differentiation, Denominationalism; I’m particularly proud of the argument there. The second is an article in Ethnos called Diagramming the Will: Ethics and Prayer, Text, and Politicswhich is about subjectification, ontology (or rather, the effect of ontologies), and how the interaction between those two things can lead to new forms of micro-politics, and perhaps larger shifts in the political imagination.  Though material on Ethnos is occasionally open-access, this is not, but then there is always Academcia.edu. Finally, I have an expanded book review where I discuss two monographs that touch on Deleuze and Theology; in the end I take one of the authors, Daniel Colucciello Barber, and use part of his book’s argument to engage with a bit of the ontological turn, but more importantly to my mind Joel Robbin’s concept of an anthropology of the good. I think that I may have found a way to work through some of the objections that are commonly made to this project, though I guess this is for those who hold those objections to decide.

“New” Publications on Latour, semi-narcissm edition

This post title needs some light explaining – the “New” is in parenthesis, because the title should actually be “untimely,” but that is too precious by half. The publication I’m referring to is an in-press article for the Journal for the Society of the Anthropology of Consciousness, which has recently been turned over to a rather promising editorial team. While my article for it –  “Does God Exist in Methodological Atheism? On Tanya Luhrmann’s When God Talks Back and Bruno Latour” – won’t be out until 2014, the manuscript is temporarily up on academia.edu in the mean time.

This is also only semi-narcisssm because I feel obliged to also point out that Speculative Grace, a book I relied on a lot when writing the piece, is also just now available. Adam Miller was kind enough to share the manuscript with me before it had been published, and it is the most concise and clear eyed treatment of Latour on religion that I have ever come across.