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God in Pain: Inversions of Apocalypse

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  167 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
A brilliant dissection and reconstruction of the three major faith-based systems of belief in the world today, from one of the world's most articulate intellectuals, Slavoj Zizek, in conversation with Croatian philosopher Boris Gunjevic. In six chapters that describe Christianity, Islam, and Judaism in fresh ways using the tools of Hegelian and Lacanian analysis, God in Pa ...more
Published April 17th 2012 by Seven Stories Press (first published January 1st 2008)
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Oct 29, 2013 Jonfaith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theory
For the poor, those with no financial or military means, all they have is their discipline, their capacity to act together. This discipline is already a form of organization. - Zizek

The above citation is quoted in God in Pain: Inversions of Apocalypse. It is quoted from a previous text. It isn't a response or rebuttal. The situation becomes clear, Slavoj Žižek and Boris Gunjevic haven't brought swords, they've come to riff. The text isn't structured as a debate but a call and response of ideas,
David Sarkies
May 14, 2015 David Sarkies rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians
Recommended to David by: Some Guy on Goodreads
Shelves: christian
The Post-modern God
08 October 2013

One day while I was on Goodreads I noticed that one of my Goodread's friends had finished reading this book and the title instantly caught me. Being a Christian a book with the title 'God in Pain' was going to attract my attention, and not only that, but it also introduced me to a new author, Slavoj Zizek, that I had never heard of before. Having had a diet of Chomsky and other authors, and finding that they tend to repeat themselves after a while, I became int
Jonathan Malone
Reading involves a great deal of trust. With the first paragraph the reader is trusting that the author is going to offer a narrative, argument, or grand point to make. In other words the reader is trusting that the author is offering a valid and coherent intervention into an ongoing discourse and that the reader is not wasting his or her time to entertain a series of ramblings. A book of two authors increases that level of trust.

This book required a great deal of trust for a reader such as myse
Jul 16, 2015 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eight relatively focused essays. Of them, I'd say five are disposable, and three are stand-out. Zizek's attempts to nourish the notion of a god in pain in "Only a Suffering God can Save Us" is probably the most well known of his essays on Christianity, but as is a lot of his stuff, it's not so much persuasive as thought-provoking. In "The Animal Gaze of the Other" he really did out do himself. I love Levinas, but Zizek really turns Levinas inside out in an effort to look for the ethical foundati ...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
May 20, 2012 Nathan "N.R." Gaddis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zizek
An interesting collection of theological-political essays, an exchange of pieces between Slavoj Zizek and Boris Gunjevic. It is most certainly an 'exchange' more so than a debate, but the contours of their differences serve a good deal of interest. More importantly is what they have in common -- an interest in marshaling the reserves of potential within the core of Christian thought for a renewed emancipatory politics. This is recommended for both theists and atheists alike. Seasoned readers of ...more
Kate Elliott
In general, Gunjevic is the gun and Zizek is the cannoli. All that said, Gunjevic really brings it in the final chapter. Zizek's chapters are probably the most approachable Zizek I've ever encountered. This book is a worthwhile investment.
Jul 08, 2012 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pomo, religion
Mind = blown. This book contains essays by Zizek, who goes from crazy high philosophy to Johnny Cash lyrics in the space of a page, using theology to enhance the materialist perspective, while Gunjevic uses the materialist perspective to enhance theology. There are so many brilliant insights in this book, many of them Hegelian reversals. Atheists as true Christians and Christians as true atheists... how did he do that? There's some heady stuff in here, to be sure, but it's an intellectual feast ...more
Wilson Garrett
Jun 29, 2013 Wilson Garrett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant, just as I expected from Zizek. Gunjevic also had some great things to say, especially the anticapitalist reading of Augustine's City of God. Though ultimately in the back and forth of dialogue I found myself more compelled by Zizek's theses, such as his comparisons of Christianity to Islam, as well as the theodicy of a suffering God being the only one who can save us. I close very few books excited to re-read them, and this was definitely one of them.
Alex Zakharov
Despite the utter incomprehensibility of both debaters (posing as co-authors) I’m reluctantly awarding a marginal victory to Slovenia in this one. On the other hand the book is a marvelous demonstration of why cultural critics shouldn’t dabble in theology and theologians would be better of resisting the temptation to opine on the secular matters of the cultural domain.

Be that as it may, at least Zizek has enough sense of humor not to take himself too seriously and to maintain his favorite ‘split
Oct 02, 2014 Dionysus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Allow me a moment of Philistinism while I begin my review of this highly theoretical work with a superficial observation: the cover design is very amusing. It purports to give us "95 reasons" why God in Pain: Inversions of Apocalypse is an interesting book, while allowing us to see five of them; each one referencing real arguments from the two authors. The "95 reasons" reference is clearly an allusion to the "95 theses" which Luther nailed to the church door in Wittenberg, marking the beginnings ...more
Jun 17, 2016 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was watching an interview Zizek gave in Croatian a couple weekends ago and a couple of things struck me as interesting.

First, that he was speaking in a very academic and high-level, dare I say it, Serbo-Croatian that I understood more completely than almost any discussion I've ever had with more than a few of my relatives. His reference to pop culture was occasional and sparse. It was here a colorful element of the discussion rather than the meat and bones of it, and seemed in this way more no
Dec 15, 2012 Scott rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about the missing great narrative. Sound familiar? It should be because it is the story of our times.

The book is structured by chapters (which are only seemingly disorganized sunjects) which are divided between Zizek and Gunjevik each having their own chapter one after the other. Zizek begins the book in the first chapter. Then Gunjevik gets the second on and on and on all the way to the end. This creates the feeling of a hopeful synthesis about to emerge.

Gunjevik would have cer
Charles Cole
Incredibly interesting, yet sometimes overly wordy in an abusive way. This book brings forth many interesting concepts that are at least, in my case, helping to think about life, philosophy, and the message of Christ in a different way. Zizek breaks things down into bite-size pieces before coming in with the big reveal. Though an atheist himself, Zizek recognizes the power of the revolutionary message of Christ to produce social change in the world today, while Gunjevic helps to strengthen and s ...more
I bought this for the Zizek stuff and enjoyed it because of the Gunjevic essays. Admittedly, Zizek's chapters weren't too repetitious- perhaps because I haven't read lots of his theological stuff- but the Gunjevic work really introduced me to a whole other way of approaching theology from a much more political angle.
Kelly John Rose
Jul 28, 2015 Kelly John Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant and fresh discussions on god.

Almost every chapter of this book had me reconsidering and thinking deeply about Christ and God in the modern world. A truly great read.
Feb 05, 2016 Graham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Five stars to Zizek's contributions. It would feel like Peter Rollins has spent his entire career aping these essays if his books on the subject hadn't come first. Even so, Zizek says what Rollins says in a far more engaging and streamlined way.
Javier de la Peña Ontanaya
Interesante, aunque sólo recomendado para verdaderos amantes de la filosofía.
Nov 15, 2014 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
If there is one interesting this exchange between Žižek and Gunjević does it recasts the structure of religion as a fundamental way to fracture the ideological constraints of today, sans a guarantee of a beyond by living in serfdom. Especially interesting is that Jesus is recast as a subversive entity in stark contrast to his implementation by the Right Wing as a figurehead of oppression.

Feb 05, 2013 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
some disjointedness here. I did not see how the articles by Gunjevic matched up with those of Zizek. Many of the Zizek essays seemed recycled, but I really liked with Gunjevic did with Zizek, and he helped me to become a better reader of him. G. has an agenda in his reading, to be sure, but it's a plausible one and a helpful Christian response to the rock star of critical theory.

Sep 20, 2013 Caleb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed much of it, some of it was to heavy theoretically for me, while other parts seemed relatively too light. It was almost to mixed in content to be enjoyed, but I am convinced of two things by it: (1) Theology is the new site for revolutionary thought, and (2) I could write in this manner, and in this stream of thought
Žižek Mostly good , at times - utterly brilliant.
Gunjević had interesting ideas at times, clearly clever and well read yet stuck in the idea that the gods are real. His avoidance of nihilism by tadaa God was paradoxically empty at times
Ruth Ellen
Jun 20, 2012 Ruth Ellen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My brain hurt, which I love. I like reading that resists a lazy reader (take note recent reviewer of my 3rd book) and appreciate the challenge. It's cold-water-in-the-face reading. Cheers.
Feb 09, 2013 Sevan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Awesome book. Only read Zizek's part, didn't really care for the other guy or what he had to say but Zizek as always is brilliant...
Kobe Bryant
Jul 11, 2012 Kobe Bryant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Remarkably lucid and very interesting collection of weird thoughts and ideas
Acton Northrop
Oct 30, 2015 Acton Northrop rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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Slavoj Žižek is a Slovene sociologist, philosopher, and cultural critic.

He was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia (then part of SFR Yugoslavia). He received a Doctor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Ljubljana and studied psychoanalysis at the University of Paris VIII with Jacques-Alain Miller and François Regnault. In 1990 he was a candidate with the party Liberal Democracy of Slovenia for P
More about Slavoj Žižek...

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“Someday when we get around to writing a genealogy of our failures, inadequacies, and disappointments, an important place in such a study will be the books we never read, for whatever reason. Aside from the music we never listened to, the movies we never watched, or the old archives and maps we never explored, the books we never read will be one of the indicators of our anachronisms and our flawed humanity.” 4 likes
“[T]aking the Third into account does not bring us into the position of pragmatic consideration, of comparing different Others; the task is rather to learn to distinguish between "false" conflicts and the "true" conflict. For example, today's conflict between Western liberalism and religious fundamentalism is a "false" one, since it is based on the exclusion of the third term which is its "truth": the Leftist emancipatory position.” 3 likes
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