Religion and Culture

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Manchester University Press, 1999 - Religion - 217 pages
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The work of Michel Foucault (1926-84) has affected almost every discipline in the humanities, but few have appreciated how his work engaged with theological and religious themes. This reader brings together a selection of Foucault's essays, lectures and interviews with religion and theology from his earliest studies of madness to the final Confessions of the Flesh - the unpublished fourth volume brings together work by Foucault on avant-garde religious themes, such as the death of God and the religous space of literatures, Foucault's brief encounter with Japanese culture, Zen Buddhism and the political spirituality of Iran. It also includes a collection of studies on Foucault's work on Christianity. These essays and lectures provide a background to Foucault's enigmatic work on Christian confession, Augustine and the early Church fathers which to this day remains unpublished in accordance with an interpretation of Foucault's final request.

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Prologue to a confession of the flesh Jeremy R Carrette
one Religious deviations and medical knowledge 1962
three The debate on the novel 1964
five Philosophy and the death of God 1966
seven On religion 1978
ten Is it useless to revolt? 1979
fragments of an unpublished volume
fourteen Sexuality and solitude 1980
postscript I am not what I am Foucault Christian asceticism and a way out

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About the author (1999)

Michel Foucault was born on October 15, 1926, in Poitiers, France, and was educated at the Sorbonne, in Paris. He taught at colleges all across Europe, including the Universities of Lill, Uppsala, Hamburg, and Warsaw, before returning to France. There he taught at the University of Paris and the College of France, where he served as the chairman of History of Systems of Thought until his death. Regarded as one of the great French thinkers of the twentieth century, Foucault's interest was in the human sciences, areas such as psychiatry, language, literature, and intellectual history. He made significant contributions not just to the fields themselves, but to the way these areas are studied, and is particularly known for his work on the development of twentieth-century attitudes toward knowledge, sexuality, illness, and madness. Foucault's initial study of these subjects used an archaeological method, which involved sifting through seemingly unrelated scholarly minutia of a certain time period in order to reconstruct, analyze, and classify the age according to the types of knowledge that were possible during that time. This approach was used in Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason, for which Foucault received a medal from France's Center of Scientific Research in 1961, The Birth of the Clinic, The Order of Things, and The Archaeology of Knowledge. Foucault also wrote Discipline and Punishment: The Birth of the Prison, a study of the ways that society's views of crime and punishment have developed, and The History of Sexuality, which was intended to be a six-volume series. Before he could begin the final two volumes, however, Foucault died of a neurological disorder in 1984.

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