Zero Squared #9: Magic Tricks and the Big Other

Mar 4th, 2015 | By | Category: Articles, Promotions, Zero Squared

rollins2coverPeter Rollins is the guest this week and we discuss his book The Divine Magician: The Disappearance of Religion and the Discovery of Faith which came out from Howard Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, in January of this year (2015). Rob Bell, the author of Velvet Elvis, blurbed the book this way: What Pete does in this book is take you to the edge of a cliff where you can see how high you are and how far you would fall if you lost your footing. And just when most writers would kindly pull you back from the edge, he pushes you off, and you find yourself without any solid footing, disoriented, and in a bit of a panic...until you realize that your fall is in fact, a form of flying. And it's thrilling.

The two new titles from Zero Books this month are Rebel Rebel by Chris O’Leary and No More Heroes by Carl Neville. Chris O’Leary will be on the podcast in two weeks to discuss that Space Oddity who is known as David Bowie and there is also going to be a contest at I'll let you know about that and how you might win a free copy of the book in the weeks to come.

I want to mention the passing of Leonard Nimoy. As some of you might know I've been working on a book about Star Trek and Hegel's approach to the dialectic for a couple of years now, or more accurately I've not been working on it. The original title of that book was “Star Trek is the true religion.” I'm saddened by the passing of Leonard Nimoy. I feel similarly to how I felt when Johnny Carson died, only more so. In a way the death of Leonard Nimoy is like the death of Ronald McDonald. It feels like something that wasn't supposed to happen.

In this episode you’ll be hearing from a youtube magician, a clip from the David Fincher movie The Game, from the Woody Allen movie The Purple Rose of Cairo, from a lecture by the death of God theologian Thomas Altizer, from Late Nite from David Letterman, and from the album Mister Spock's Music from Outer Space, but in just a moment you'll be hearing Peter Rollins and I discuss Magic Tricks and The Big Other.

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4 Comments to “Zero Squared #9: Magic Tricks and the Big Other”

  1. Jake says:

    Rollins’ critique and crafting of a new Christian faith/non-faith is creative and very much needed for what is actually left for the dying structure of what constitutes as Christianity today.

    The reality is that Rollins is in a symbiotic relationship with the Church and is possibly using the church as a defense mechanism to not deal with his own horror and trauma, which he is continually writing for others to face and give up. Without the church he has no stage and without a stage he has no source of income in which to continue to travel and write his books as most of his lectures are out of churches and seminaries.

    He would truly demonstrate the death of his own big Other and relinquish his own defense mechanisms if he allowed his stage/sacred object to be burnt and open up his philosophy to a wider audience other than the Christian community at large.

    He has a lot to offer, I just think he should follow through and embody his own radical writings.

  2. Bruce says:

    Would love to read Pete’s reply to previous comment from Jake. I think it is a great challenge.

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