You can now order my first book God Is Unconscious: Psychoanalysis & Theology at Amazon. For those interested in reviewing the book, we will have details soon.
A theory of the unconscious is such an odd thing to write about, first because the unconscious itself is not something that exists at all but rather insists. It's a fiction with a potential, not a hidden tier of synaptic connection in the way that most people talk about “subconscious” motives. It’s a method of speaking indirectly to schematize behavioral repetition and patterns of thought, a way of showing every attempt at meaning or tribalism becomes infused with a false consciousness retroactively justified with limitless creativity all for the purpose of propping up a semblance of security.
Second, as the subtitle suggests, I am crossing not one but two theories of fictions, and instead of privileging one over the other I let them expose one another with the hope of producing more than the sum of their parts. And third, almost by definition, you can’t write about psychoanalysis without saying more than you mean to say about yourself. That’s unusual for an academic work, and it scares me a little, but it makes the project all the more personal to me. I researched this book during a very challenging time, and it's to those friends who were there while I researched, processed, outlined, wrote, edited, and rewrote this project that I owe this book’s completion.
So to just a few of you:
To Kester, you took an interest in my work early on and were the first to tell me over and over “write that book!” Back when it was merely an embryonic idea in my first year of doctoral work, I couldn’t imagine anyone would care what I had to say. You convinced me it was time to store the material in a book and launch it out into the world. You hosted me in London and talked through so many of the early ideas over late nights on your patio. You care so deeply about your friends, and you have a natural curiosity that I hope I can always emulate.
To Clayton, you went out on a limb and vouched for me back when you barely knew me. You’ve been a perfect academic mentor, always happy to be a sounding-board, and you’ve given feedback on talks and the early manuscript. Beyond your scholarship which clearly influences mine, I’ve seen how much your students genuinely love you, and that’s the kind of professor I hope to be. You have a reputation in our circles for enthusiastically supporting everyone you can, and I can vouch for that.
To Pete, in addition to writing the forward, you’ve been a constant source of encouragement with talking about how you conduct your work. It’s odd to think I started reading you within a week or so of beginning to read philosophy so long ago in my undergrad days, and it was your first book that put me on the path of seeing some nascent potential in applying philosophy to my interests in religion. I suppose I’m saying that this is your fault! We really only happened to become friends around the time I started writing this, and you’ve been there for me to the final product.
To Jack, I don’t know if you’ll even see this, but I have a lot of respect for you and couldn't tell you how much it’s meant to me to talk through my ideas with such a great mind. I’ll never forget talking late into the evenings at the bar in Cheltenham, and even though we have different opinions on psychoanalysis, you have been nothing but gracious and encouraging wherever we have had time to catch up. I started my reading in this field of radical theology with your books in my first year of seminary, and what I have produced four years later is indebted to your work.
To a great group of friends in Los Angeles and back home—Steven & Kelli, Keegan, Shane, Luanne, Billie & Rob, several Nates, Tim, Zach, Lucas, Sean, Barry, Tripp, and Bo—you all were there for me during the period where I was processing the material that is now in book form. You all are among the very few who know me well enough to see exactly where my work—ostensibly about psychoanalysis and theology—is often enough just my attempt to process who I am.
To the Wipf & Stock crew, you all put up with the revisions and questions that only a brand new author can panic about. And thanks to Dave, who said “hey, I know this publisher I can introduce you to.” And to Jesse, I never imagined I would see so many people online, who know nothing about me or my work, becoming interested based purely on such a great first stab at a design. You all are great at what you do.
And finally Deven, you’ve been there through wins and setbacks throughout the whole time we’ve been together. You edited the manuscript and offered so much feedback to the point that you probably deserved your name on the cover given the amount of re-writing we did together. As a fellow educator who cares deeply about making the world a better place and who works so hard to make it so, you are the first to remind me that nothing we do matters if it doesn’t translate to enrich the common good. You have supported me and believed in me all the way to the finish, and I couldn’t ask for a better partner.
There are probably another fifty or so who have helped with questions, promoted my work online, responded to my talks, and encouraged me to run with this odd line of scholarship simply by helping me believe this material matters to people. You all are the best.