A Reinterpretation of Rousseau: A Religious System

Hardcover | September 15, 2007

byJeremiah AlbergForeword byRene Girard

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In this radical reinterpretation of Rousseau, Jeremiah Alberg reveals the neglected theological dimension of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's philosophy. Alberg shows how only Christianity can bring the coherence of Rousseau's system to light, arguing that the philosopher's system of thought is founded on theological scandal and on his inability to accept forgiveness through Christianity. This book explores Rousseau's major works in a novel way, advancing his system of thought as an alternative to Christianity.

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In this radical reinterpretation of Rousseau, Jeremiah Alberg reveals the neglected theological dimension of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's philosophy. Alberg shows how only Christianity can bring the coherence of Rousseau's system to light, arguing that the philosopher's system of thought is founded on theological scandal and on his inabilit...

Jeremiah Alberg is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Philosophy Program, University of West Georgia. He has taught philosophy in Japan and the United States.

other books by Jeremiah Alberg

Beneath the Veil of the Strange Verses: Reading Scandalous Texts
Beneath the Veil of the Strange Verses: Reading Scandal...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:252 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.62 inPublished:September 15, 2007Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230600557

ISBN - 13:9780230600553

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"It is in fact a lavishly researched and tautly reasoned achievement, won in fertile and respectful conversation, as his ample footnotes exhibit, with the enormous host of ROUSSEAU scholars. More precisely, it completes the work of Jean STAROBINSKI, in whose groundbreaking Jean-Jacques Rousseau: La Transparence et l'obstacle (Paris: Gallimard, 1957) the word “scandal” appears on the third page as a synonym for ROUSSEAU’S quarrel with society and culture as a whole. ALBERG uncovers every facet, every bounce and rebound of this obstacle in ROUSSEAU’S work."--The Bulletin of the Colloquium on Violence & Religion "An important contribution to the understanding of a profound and influential thinker."—Christopher Kelly, Professor, Department of Political Science, Boston College “No one expects a merciful inquisition. Jeremiah Alberg, in a book which those who are not Rousseau scholars will find difficult at first, but which eventually yields great insight, takes Rousseau at his word but refuses to be scandalized by him.  He shines a gentle light on the admittedly scandalizing and scandalized nature of Rousseau's own thinking, and reveals quite how central to the whole of Rousseau's project and rationality is a scandalized pattern of desire, one where a person is simultaneously attracted to and repelled by the same object, and so is locked into a double-bind of the sort made luminous in the thought of René Girard. Alberg's central insight is that Rousseau is simultaneously dependent on, and yet rejecting of, the Christian doctrine of original sin, a doctrine which he (as well as his contemporaries) regarded as a form of primordial accusation, rather than what it is: a perspective on who we are, which could have only come into being through an even more primordial forgiveness. And this insight shows a way of being both much more severe with Rousseau, and much kinder to him than I, and I suspect he, could have imagined.”--James Alison, Catholic priest and theologian