Feb 27, 2015
While Amazon is temporarily out of stock of my book, my publisher is temporarily offering a 40% discount if you order directly from the publisher’s website ($11.40 as opposed to Amazon’s $19) using the promo code “DELAY”.
I know this does nothing for my friends outside the US, but Amazon should be supplied in all regional markets in the next week or two!
Of course you can still pre-order on Amazon if you wish.
Peter Rollins discusses my book here.
Feb 23, 2015
I am very pleased to announce that my first book God Is Unconscious: Psychoanalysis & Theology is now available for order! It will be available through Amazon and elsewhere for international orders in the next few weeks, but you can order it now at the publisher's site.
“Slow reading can bear fruits that are inaccessible to those who merely skim an author. DeLay has read Lacan diligently and searchingly, and he has come up with some important insights into the complex relationship of psychoanalysis, religion, and theology. Students of religion will profit from his clear and careful exposition of Lacan’s rich and provocative thought. And students of Lacan will come to understand why only theologians can be truly atheistic: our loyalties for deities come and go, but the true Other is neither in need of defense nor threatened by our disloyalties.” - Ingolf U. Dalferth
“Tad DeLay has bravely explored and mapped the notoriously difficult territory of Lacan that others have only dared to read about second-hand. We should not only salute his courage but be hugely grateful for the gifts he has returned within this rich and important book at the bleeding edge of psychoanalysis and theology.” - Kester Brewin
“God Is Unconscious is a brilliant and accessible overview of Lacan’s thought, demonstrating how it directly applies to religion and politics. DeLay develops an original understanding of perversion and how it applies to contemporary conservative Christianity. Anyone interested in understanding how religion works in social, political, and psychological terms should read this book.” - Clayton Crockett
Feb 16, 2015
“Our faith in others betrays in what respect we would like to have faith in ourselves.” - Nietzsche
“It is when the Word is incarnated that things really start going badly.” - Lacan
“The underside of a signifier’s power to tell us who we are contains an ever-present, if only latent, power to construct the most unforgivable narratives. And so in our twenties or thirties we enter therapy to begin to discern what happened to us in our earlier years. We imagine we begin the process for any number of reasons, but the psychoanalysts raised the idea that all these reasons are derivatives of two—and ultimately only two—reasons we seek this solution. First, we feel separated by a constitutive and fundamental lack in ourselves and suspect we will never be loved, accepted, or known as fully as we wish. Second, our alienation ensures we shall never fully escape our history, and it is profoundly disturbing to realize the best and the worst experiences mold us in ways beyond our control. We are irrevocably the symptom of the experiences shaping our desire, and we cannot regress to a neutral state of non-conditioned naïveté.
Our alienation begins the moment we learn as infants that there rules of the house we are powerless to protest. This trace inscription evolves into an elaborate latticework of self-imposed injunctions that shape our identities. Like the old Stalinist motto—the more you profess your innocence, the more you deserve to be shot—the more we obediently submit to the superego crafted precariously from our parents and friends, our political economies and our books, our demons and our gods, the more we are under its judgment. We live in the aftermath of the signifier’s incarnation, we adopt our psychopathological dispositions, and we anxiously feel the gaze of what became called the ‘big Other.’”
Feb 13, 2015
This is a separate project I've been waiting for, and I am pleased to announce this book's release today. It is truly an honor to share space with John Caputo, Catherine Keller, Brian McLaren, Clayton Crockett, Peter Rollins, Barry Taylor and plenty of other brilliant people. So many in this group have become friends over the last two years, and I am excited to see this out.
Order from Amazon.
Special thanks to Erin and Ryan Schendzielos along with Micah Purnell.
Feb 9, 2015
I'll be posting a few excerpts for these last few weeks leading up to my book's release. This is the first:
“The voice of intellect is a soft one, but it does not rest until it has gained a hearing.” - Freud
“I did not write them in order for people to understand them, I wrote them in order for people to read them. Which is not even remotely the same thing . . . People don’t understand anything, that is perfectly true, for a while, but the writings do something to them.” - Lacan
“Sailing into New York Harbor, Sigmund Freud stood on the deck with Carl Jung and gazed out at the statue illuminating the world. Their arrival was a much-anticipated event for American psychologists so very curious of what this new theory of the psyche could expose. Whether out of hubris or prescience—and are they not often one and the same?—Freud turned to his disciple and whispered, ‘They don’t realize we’re bringing them the plague.’”
Feb 5, 2015
My first book will release in March.
From Peter Rollins:
“[The psychoanalyst’s] teachings have not only been productive in generating new concepts and distinctions but have provided ways of challenging the very frame these disciplines used to approach their respective areas of inquiry…With God Is Unconscious, Tad DeLay has boldly entered this fray with an important contribution that offers clear coordinates with which to navigate the landscape of Lacan’s teaching while also preserving his unique voice…DeLay has spent years with Lacan’s teachings. He has sat with them, worked through them, and let them speak into him. The fruit of that labour is an insightful and fertile text that will prove invaluable for those who wish to grapple with Lacan seriously and theologically.”
Special thanks to Jesse Turri for cover design.
Nov 3, 2014
My first peer-reviewed article was just published with IJŽS. I wrote this almost two years ago, but aside from a few changes I’d make after reading the full work of Lacan, I still like what I wrote. Read it here.
“Excess: The Obscene Supplement in Slavoj Žižek’s Religion and Politics”
Slavoj Žižek often refers to an obscene excess-supplement that, depending on the subject’s pathological disposition, serves to either 1) sustain a conscious injunction by disavowing an unconscious “underside” or 2) instruct the subject to transgress the injunction. This supplemental excess is at work in neurotic and perverse belief but functions in significantly different modes depending on whether the supplement affects the ego or superego. This paper surveys and analyzes Žižek’s use of the obscene excess-supplement in his theological and political applications of psychoanalytic theory.
“In various places people are surprised. What's eating them, these students, the little dears, our favorites, the darlings of civilization? What's up with them? Those who are saying this are playing the fool, this is what they are paid to do.” - Lacan
“The ideology of the right-wing intellectual, is precisely to play the role of what he is in fact, namely, a ‘knave.’ In other words, he doesn't retreat from the consequences of what is called realism; that is, when required, he admits he's a crook.” - Lacan
With the election tomorrow, it’s as good a time as any to post this short talk I gave at the LoftLA over the summer on the cynic and the fool. Lacan taught that the progressive politician plays the role of a fool that directly believes in the causes promoted and yet depends on a logic of misdirection with regard to the cause underneath the cause, which is always economic. On the other hand, Lacan noticed that right-wing politicians operate as cynics who will admit in private that they are far too educated to believe in much of the rhetoric they use in campaigns. Groups of skeptics desire a leader that believes directly, and groups of fools desire a leader that will tell their ears what they want to hear.
I wrote more on this in a previous post.
I explore these ideas in my forthcoming book God Is Unconscious: Psychoanalysis and Theology.
Oct 27, 2014
[This 11,000 year old temple in modern day Turkey is among the earliest evidence of deity worship. For the earliest evidence of religious rituals, we have to search tens or even hundreds of thousands of years earlier.]
I think I was most of the way through my master’s in theology before I ever asked myself when exactly (and why) our species became religious.
This is a lecture I gave last week for an Introduction to Religious Studies course. I had not read William James’s Gifford lectures since my undergrad in psychology, but I frame his “healthy mind and sick soul” by exploring the personal and political aspects of rituals. I discuss shamans and religion before homo sapiens, Freud’s illusion and delusion, ISIS and American apocalypticism, and suffering in Job.
I explore these themes further in my forthcoming book God Is Unconscious: Psychoanalysis & Theology.
Aug 18, 2014
Another new book announcement. I am so excited to have been invited to write a chapter for this book featuring John Caputo and including contributions from Catherine Keller, Clayton Crockett, Brian McLaren, Peter Rollins, Barry Taylor, Namsoon Kang, Katherine Sarah Moody, Pádraig Ó Tuama, and a number of other brilliant friends. Thanks to Erin and Ryan for making this happen! I hear we are aiming to release this early winter.