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Thursday, 5 March 2015
Volf on Foucault

Exclusion and Embrace: Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness and Reconciliation,
Miroslav Volf, Abingdon Press, 1996, page 61-62

Drawing together aspects of Neitzsche and Foucault, Volf claims that:

Much of Michel Foucault's work consists in an attempt to explicate the exclusionary shadow that stubbornly trails modernity's history of inclusion.

Pointing out that many of the state institutions that we would normally think of as agents of inclusion - educational institutions, the media, sciences - actually exercise their power of normalisation through exclusion, Volf cites Foulcault again:

The modern self, claims Foucault, summarising his own work, is indirectly constituted through the exclusion of the other. It was, of course, no different with the pre-modern self; it too was constituted by a seris of exclusions.

Since the 4th century at least, the church and the synagogue - to name but two institutions - have defined themselves by who/what they are not more than who/what they are.

Posted By Jonathan, 9:00am Comment Comments: 0