Marika RoseJul 27, 2020
A Theology of Failure
Žižek Against Christian Innocence
Fordham University Press 2019
Christian theology has a long and at times contradictory history, riddled with tensions that make it difficult (if not impossible) to develop a single systematic account of what Christianity is. However, rather than see this as a shortcoming, one can instead try and see this as a productive philosophical and spiritual starting point. This is the animating idea of A Theology of Failure: Žižek Against Christian Innocence (Fordham University Press, 2019), which argues that failure should be welcomed as a core element of Christian identity. To make sense of this, her book works its way through the Neo-Platonic philosophy of the mystical theologian Dionysius the Areopagite, the Radical Orthodoxy movement, postmodern theology, and finally finds its way to the philosophy of Slavoj Žižek, who has put failure at the center of his own theoretical work. The result is a book that takes a number of twists and turns, wrestling with the shortcomings of various thinkers while still maintaining fidelity in spite of, and perhaps at times because of, failure. Marika Rose completed her PhD at Durham University, and is now a senior lecturer in philosophical theology at the University of Winchester and has authored numerous book chapters and articles covering the intersections of philosophy and theology.