Colby Dickinson at Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews:
Various contemporary continental philosophers have taken an interest in espousing some form of a ‘return to religion’ but one devoid of actual, material religious belief and practice (e.g., John Caputo’s ‘religion without religion’ or Jean-Luc Nancy’s ‘deconstruction of Christianity)’. But actual, empirical religion, post-9/11, has been flourishing in our globalized world, where belief and religion are not devoid of their meaning, permanently cancelled out philosophically, as it were, but are as loaded as ever with the charge of tradition and sense. This is the context wherein Gregg Lambert develops his notion of the ‘return statement’. The latter phrase, appropriated from computer programming, indicates the exit from a particular subroutine, i.e., something like a paradigm shift in philosophical terms. Lambert invokes it in order to indicate contemporary continental philosophy’s desire to leave behind the various embodied religious forms we see before us every day in its own, more abstracted ‘return to religion’ that would serve perhaps to cancel out the religious altogether.
The problem with contemporary philosophical accounts, in Lambert’s analysis, is that they are too beholden to those deconstructive, negative theological accounts of representation that would see a specific ontology crossed-out but not replaced by anything with its own ontological substance. There is therefore a lack of an ontological form that arises in the face of these various philosophical ‘fundamentalisms’ that he is keen to frequently critique.