John D. Caputo
The Weakness of God: A Theology of the Event
“Applying an ever more radical hermeneutics (including Husserlian and Heideggerian phenomenology, Derridian deconstruction, and feminism), John D. Caputo breaks down the name of God in this irrepressible book. Instead of looking at God as merely a name, Caputo views it as an event, or what the name conjures or promises in the future. For Caputo, the event exposes God as weak, unstable, and barely functional. While this view of God flies in the face of most religions and philosophies, it also puts up a serious challenge to fundamental tenets of theology and ontology. Along the way, Caputo’s readings of the New Testament, especially of Paul’s view of the Kingdom of God, help to support the “weak force” theory. This penetrating work cuts to the core of issues and questions―What is the nature of God? What is the nature of being? What is the relationship between God and being? What is the meaning of forgiveness, faith, piety, or transcendence?―that define the terrain of contemporary philosophy of religion.”
“I am wounded by theology, unhinged and uprooted by the blow it has delivered to my heart. Theology is my weakness, the way one has a weakness for sex or money, what I secretly desire, or maybe not so secretly, even as it desires everything of me. Still, with all due deference, like Johannes Climacus speaking of being a Christian, I would say that on my best days I am working at becoming theological.” – Caputo.
“The desire for God—that is the root of the trouble I have bought for myself. I have taken God, the name of God, what is happening in the name of God, as my subject matter. With or without religion,3 with or without what ordinarily passes for theology, the name of God is too important to leave in the hands of the special interest groups. That is why I freely own up here to a certain theological gesture, to a theological desire and a “desiring theology,” as Charles Winquist would have put it,4 which is undeniably a desire for God, for something astir in the name of God, a desire for something I know not what, for which I pray night and day. I am praying for an event.”
“the truth of the event does not belong to the order of identificatory knowledge, as if our life’s charge were to track down and learn the secret name of some fugitive spirit.”