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The Apostasy Of Terry Eagleton

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on Terry Eagleton's argument that what the Left needs is a more sophisticated engagement with some of the arguments that come out of the theological tradition rather than the crude caricatures and swift dismissals. Eagleton is not averse to orthodoxy itself, although not of a liberal or conservative type: 'being "subjected" to an orthodoxy of humane belief and behaviour is rather preferable to being a heterodox thug. For Eagleton, asceticism, in the very traditional Roman-Catholic form of the vows of celibacy, chastity and poverty, is also about the criticism of injustice and self-indulgence, explicitly or implicitly. The culmination of the argument lies in nothing other than Christology, although here Eagleton puts it in terms of the Eucharist. As his own unannounced shuffle from theology to ecclesiology indicates, theology is not as self-generating or autonomous as it would like to think.

Keywords: asceticism; Christology; ecclesiology; Eucharist; orthodoxy; Terry Eagleton



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