Imagining the World Otherwise: Jean-Luc Nancy and John Caputo on the Poetics of Creation – Literature and Theology – article

Imagining the World Otherwise: Jean-Luc Nancy and John Caputo on the Poetics of Creation

Nikolaas Deketelaere | Literature and Theology

2019-11-19

This article compares Jean-Luc Nancy and John Caputo’s poetics of creation. Against the horizon of the death of God (or ‘de-theologisation’), the issue of the world emerges for both, simultaneously reinforcing the need to think the event of its creation in an elaboration of Christianity’s self-deconstruction. The article argues that, even though they differ in how they articulate their respective understandings of the event and of creation, they nevertheless accomplish a similar result: a thinking of the world in terms of the ‘anarchy of creation’, or the groundlessness associated with the event in which the world exists. Subsequently, it shows how both Nancy and Caputo suggest that the creative event in which both the world and God exist can only be brought to words poetically—in a discourse on the creative forms in which this event takes shape or is made sense of—and follows Caputo in his conclusion that this means that theology must become theopoetics: a consideration of how the creative imagination allows us to do the im-possible, to see that possibility does not coincide with actuality, to imagine the world otherwise, as the kingdom that is coming.

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