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The Devil Reads Derrida - and Other Essays on the University, the Church, Politics, and the Arts

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  109 ratings  ·  16 reviews
We hear a lot these days about the quest for alternative sources of energy. Has anyone considered Jamie Smith? This whirling dervish of public philosophy generates enough intellectual energy to supply a middle-size city all by himself. - John Wilson (editor of Books & Culture)

By now, Jamie Smith is not just a leading philosophical or postmodern or Reformed theologian: he i
Paperback, 185 pages
Published June 4th 2009 by Eerdmans (first published April 15th 2009)
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John Roberson
Feb 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic collection of popular essays. Smith accessibly engages real-world stuff like Wild At Heart and The Devil Wears Prada to bring us a theological vision of culture and humanity. While he stands at the intersection of some recent trends -- Pentecostal vigor, Neo-Calvinist culture, Anabaptist politics, Liturgical worship, Postmodern philosophy -- he's after culture that will last.
Радостин Марчев
Давам пълна петица на книгата не понеже е по-добра от Discipleship in the Present Tense: Reflections on Faith and Culture, а понеже (поне в някои отношения) е по-малко "американска" от нея. Иначе и двете са чудесни.
Ако трябва да опиша с едно изречение The devil reads Derrida - книга напълно лишена от клишета. Джеймс Смит пише провокативно, не се страхува (всъщност ми се струва, че изпитва удоволствие) да сложи пръст върху проблемите и да говори много откровено за тях и в същото време по някакъв
Heath Salzman
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
We are on the middle of a pandemic! So, I thought it would be okay to treat myself to one of Smith’s books this year, and what a treat it was!

These essays offer a condensed version of Smith’s neo-Augustinian/continental project in a way that makes greater sense of his project as a whole. He combines his usual dry wit with his crushing intellect to produce many thought-provoking essays on various occasions.
Nathan Sexten
An incredible collection of essays that every reflective Christian should read and think over. Some challenging stuff, but great reminders of the gospel in all of them.
I was honestly disappointed. I knew Smith was on the more conservative side for me personally, but I was surprised by the lack of intellectually critical content given the subject.
Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'm enjoying Smith's writing these days, and this short collection of popular essays lets Smith follow his own advice to academics: Write for the common man.

I know my Reformed friends tend to look askance at the Dutch / Kuyperian tradition, and it's got its flaws, but I really appreciate Smith's perspective on everything from politics to poetry. He writes with a crisp clarity, and he asks good questions. It's refreshing to read a Christian who not only isn't terrified by postmodernism, he actua
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Smith is a caliber of Calivist, public intellectual that we could use more of. Unlike many in the neo-puritan movement Smith is loathe to waste his days in internal ecclesial wrangling (see Bell, Rob) and is quick to point out shoddy eeevangelical cultural analysis (see his essay in this book on John Eldredge and his later review of McCracken's Hipster Christianity. Smith is constantly identifying concepts and physical practices that can help the church maintain fidelity to Jesus in contemporary ...more
Catherine Gillespie
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
In a series of smart and readable essays, Smith takes on cultural blindspots that afflict Christians and non-Christians alike. He challenges our cultural mindset on things like partisan politics (of either party), patriotism, movies, pop literature (Christian and secular), poverty, neighborhoods, consumerism and ambition, and many others.

{Read my full review here}
Sep 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love Smith's writings. I've followed his blog posts and essays for some time, but this is the first collection of his shorter writings that I have read.

This book is a collection of Smith's articles, blog posts, and other writings organized along themes. They vary in length and depth, making the book wonderful for someone like myself, who struggles to find long periods of time for lengthy reads.

I can't wait to follow it up with Smith's Discipleship in the Present Tense.
Sep 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent selection of Jamie's journalism. The Christian would do well to get acquainted with his work through this archival publication. Doing so could inspire much more scholarship. It has for me. For the non Christian it will do well to shine a light on a real biblical perspective of faith and culture. Maybe even give eyes to see and ears to ear. Shalom.
Peter Owens
Jul 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
A great selection of short essays. Thought provoking and good for munching on, like the baby carrots of books.
Dec 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ay2012-2013
Jamie Smith demonstrates that Christian scholarship does not take place in a cloister, separate from the world, but in engaging with culture and taking it by its horns.
Nov 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Craig Thompson
Not like reading. About half the book is fascinating, the rest dull. I especially liked the chapter about Reformation and Pentecostal (the brand of Christian I am).
Jonathan Hiskes
Jan 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
I especially like his call for Christian scholars and writers to do their work in public, not in the arcane cloisters of academia.
Nov 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2010
Any such collection will have highs and lows. There are some great essays in here. Especially good are the ones on education, American Beauty, and The Passion.

Worth a look.
Rob Franks
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Jan 07, 2012
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