by Katharine Sarah Moody
from Modern Believing Vol 57:4 - October 2016
This article traces the themes of identity suspension and identification with the societal symptom as they emerge in Peter Rollins’s Pyrotheology and, especially, in his concept of Suspended Space. These ideas coalesce in the figure of the converted Saul and in Pauline understandings of Christ’s death on the Cross as both a loss of identity and an identification with the excluded and scapegoated other. I introduce readers to the background to these understandings of identity and identification-with by outlining elements of the ‘turn to Paul’ in Slavoj Žižek’s psychoanalytic political philosophy. I ask whether Rollins uncritically accepts Žižek’s portrayal of and polemic against identity politics, unwittingly repeats standard interpretations of Paul as effacing difference and, ultimately, propounds a politics of the same that struggles to truly listen to the differences haunting Pyrotheology.
DIFFERENCE, IDENTIFICATION, IDENTITY, IDENTITY POLITICS, JACQUES LACAN, PETER ROLLINS, PYROTHEOLOGY, SAINT PAUL, SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK, SUSPENDED SPACE, SYMPTOM, UNIVERSALITY