File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0106, message 48

Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 22:56:21 EDT
Subject: Re: Tantalizing times - arguing for atheism....

In a message dated 6/12/01 9:49:03 AM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

<< I believe that what you are describing is the result of the crisis of the
 grand-narrative, the great story of the dominant religions, which is so much
 a part of the Lyotard lists discourse. The supposed crisis in religion is in
 fact the 'death', or perhaps more accurately the proliferation of many
 micro-discourses, from dominant theisms to multiple trivial local ones. >>

Steve, you make a good point but why isn't there more written about religion 
by postmodern philosophers?  Admittedly, most of my reading in postmodernism 
is from secondary sources but I don't recall having read any specific 
criticisms of religion anywhere. Granted that Lyotard's identification of the 
postmodern incredulity toward metanarratives in the PC implies that god is 
dead but have any contemporary PM philosophers elaborated on the demise of 

I have read papers from theologians and right wing religious nuts criticizing 
PM, and I have even read a couple of Christian papers praising postmodernism 
for its critique of rationality but I just haven't seen any interesting 
writings from the postmodernists specifically addressing religion.

I have sometimes wondered how Lyotard justified his position that societies 
are moving away from totalizing concepts given the popularity of 
fundamentalism and the fact that a very high percentage of people in the West 
declare themselves Christians at least in surveys. Even if there are as you 
say, a proliferation of micro discourses wouldn't they still be based on 
universalizing principles?



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