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Religious immanence: A critique of Meillassoux's 'Virtual' god

Religious immanence: A critique of Meillassoux's 'Virtual' god

Urpeth, Jim (2014) Religious immanence: A critique of Meillassoux's 'Virtual' god. Angelaki: Journal of Theoretical Humanities, 19 (1). pp. 47-61. ISSN 0969-725X (Print), 1469-2899 (Online) (doi:

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This paper offers a critical assessment of Meillassoux's attempt to articulate a “philosophical divine” based on, and consistent with, his radical ontology of contingency. The critical claim developed is that Meillassoux's conception of the divine is inconsistent with his wider commitment to immanence and that this is due to his uncritical endorsement of key evaluative and affective features of religions of the transcendent. This affinity is evident in his view that the phenomenon of “unjust death” generates a problem concerning the justification of a world thus characterised and in the solution proposed. The critical question regarding the compatibility of immanence and such a theodicy is explored. Further examples of Meillassoux's unacknowledged allegiance to the sensibility of transcendent religion are identified including his concern for “justice” and “humanity” and persistent avowal of “God”. An alternative conception of a religion of immanence is sketched which emphasises impersonality and a-moralism. This alternative, it is claimed, integrates more consistently than Meillassoux's the evaluative-affective and theoretical domains. On this basis the claim is advanced that Meillassoux misappropriates the considerable resources his ontology contains for the formulation of a religion of immanence.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Published in: Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, Volume 19, Issue 1, 2014. Special Issue: Immanent materialisms speculation and critique.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Immanence; Meillassoux; Nature; Realism; Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Humanities & Social Sciences (HSS)
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Last Modified: 13 Dec 2020 00:52

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