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The Intimate UniversalThe Hidden Porosity Among Religion, Art, Philosophy, and Politics$
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William Desmond

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231178761

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231178761.001.0001

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Religion and the Intimate Universal

Religion and the Intimate Universal

Neither Cosmopolis nor Ghetto

Chapter:
(p.23) Chapter 1 Religion and the Intimate Universal
Source:
The Intimate Universal
Author(s):

William Desmond

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231178761.003.0002

Considers our being religious as closest to the fecund matrix of significance in relation to what is often called our sense of the “whole,” or our being in the between. The intimate universal is addressed in terms of the contrast of cosmopolis and ghetto as two possibilities reflecting responses to the frequently posed question as to what comes after modernity. Cosmopolis and ghetto might be taken as emblematic of two fundamental orientations to the universal and the intimate, the first suggesting a universality beyond particularity, the second a particularity intractable to subsumption into the universal. Desmond argues against an “either/or” between the universal and the intimate, as seems suggested by this contrast. In connection with a certain understanding of our being religious, the intimate universal can be held to address the rightful claims of singularity and universality.

Keywords:   Cosmopolis, Ghetto, Universal, Particular, political theology, secularization

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