The Reject: Community, Politics, and Religion after the Subject

The Reject: Community, Politics, and Religion after the Subject

The Reject: Community, Politics, and Religion after the Subject

The Reject: Community, Politics, and Religion after the Subject

Synopsis

This book proposes a theory of the reject, a more adequate figure than the subject for thinking friendship, love, community, democracy, the postsecular, and the posthuman.
Through close readings of Nancy, Deleuze, Derrida, Cixous, Clement, Bataille, Balibar, Ranciere, and Badiou, Goh shows how the reject has always been nascent in contemporary French thought. The recent turn to animals and bare life, as well as the rise of the Occupy movement, he argues, presents a special urgency to think the reject today.
Thinking the reject most importantly helps to advance our commitment to affirm others without acculturating their differences. But the reject also offers, Goh proposes, a response finally commensurate with the radical horizon of Nancy's question of who comes after the subject.

Excerpt

This book is for everyone. As a book on the reject, it speaks for everyone. After all, each of us, at some point of our lives, has been a reject in one way or another. In the context of our academic lives, we have had our journal submissions, job applications, fellowship applications, grant applications, and book proposals rejected. Outside that professional life, we have experienced no less being rejects in our everyday lives, for example, being rejected in love. In both our professional and everyday lives, then, we have indeed been rejects in the face of certain communities, organizations, institutions, working groups, and social circles. We must, however, keep in mind that we have not been mere passive rejects. We have also, in our turns, actively exercised the force of rejection against others: we ourselves have rejected submissions in our reviews; we have considered a job applicant not to be a “good fit” for the department when we sit on search committees; we have rejected the amorous advances of others, disdained a gesture of friendship from another, excluded certain people from our circles, and so on. Some of us have even turned the force of rejection on ourselves. We do that when we turn back on a belief or philosophy that we have been holding on so firmly or practicing so rigorously for so long in our lives. We do that when we disdain our previous lifestyles and embrace a different one, such as it is manifested, for example, in the moment of epiphany when a meat-eater declares that he or she has decided to become a vegan. We do that too when we undergo religious conversions, rejecting one religious faith for another, or when we seek to be so-called atheists and attempt to free ourselves entirely from religion. In more despairing situations, some have even rejected an entire existence in the form of suicide. In any case, whether we . . .

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