Theology for Atheists

NathanNathan Schneider in the Guardian:

James Wood, a writer who himself has lived between the tugs of belief and unbelief, made an eloquent call in the New Yorker last August for “a theologically engaged atheism”. Concluding a review of Terry Eagleton's recent attack on Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, he imagines something “only a semitone from faith [which] could give a brother's account of belief, rather than treat it as some unwanted impoverished relative.”

At the American Academy of Religion meeting in Montreal last year, he may have gotten his wish, or something resembling it. Following an apocalyptic sermon from “death of God” theologian Thomas J.J. Altizer, to the podium came the ruffled Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, a self-described atheist and “materialist through and through”, before an audience of religion scholars, theologians, and costumed adherents. He spoke of truths Christianity alone possesses and how Christ's death reveals that “the only universality is the universality of struggle.” Atheism, he explained, is true Christianity, and one can only be a real atheist by passing through Christianity. “In this sense, I am unconditionally a Christian”, said Žižek.