Course Information

Is the Kingdom of God some “pie-in-the-sky-by-and-by” alternative reality? Or, does Jesus actually expect his disciples to live out that kingdom historically in the social and political contexts of common human existence? This course examines the above two questions by responding to the first question with a tentative “No” that is amended by a definite “Yes” to the second. Using John D. Caputo’s What Would Jesus Deconstruct? as a guide, this course seeks to understand how to interpret the religious and ethical implications of the Kingdom of God for living in a post-secular and, according to some, a post-Christian world. In order to do so, the course will confront problematic orthodoxies regarding the definition of God’s power, the proper understanding of divine sovereignty, the meaning of discipleship, the alliance between violence and redemption, and the predetermination of the messianic. It will attempt to replace the various orthodox positions with heterodoxies that remain, ironically, far more faithful to biblical teachings. In doing so, the course offers not only an investigation into the theological implications of deconstruction but a literal exercise in the deconstruction of Christianity itself.

How Courses Work

All of our courses are offered via online live attendance (using free webinar software, for which we provide a link). Each course is six weeks long, meeting online once a week on the same day at the same time. The weekly sessions run 90 minutes: 45 minutes for presentation and 45 minutes for Q&R. A maximum of 15 students will be randomly selected to participate in the Q&R sessions (system-generated). If a student misses a course session, the talk/lecture will still be available online for 60 days, but the live chat room interaction will not be available.

Live Class Dates

The course begins June 27, 2017 and runs weekly at 7PM EST (No Class July 4). The live class dates are as follows:
  • Jun 27 – Session 1
  • Jul 11 – Session 2 (Note Dating)
  • Jul 18 – Session 3
  • Jul 25 – Session 4
  • Aug 1 – Session 5
  • Aug 8 – Session 6

Full course details, including session titles and attachments, are available upon registration.

Required Texts

What Would Jesus Deconstruct? The Good News of Postmodernism for the Church
John D. Caputo (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007).

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The Existence of Evil and the Insistence of God: Caputo’s Poetics of the Event as a Discourse on Divine Intervention
B. Keith Putt
Janus Head 14:1 (2015): 25-44.

‘The Fiction of an Absolute’: Theopoetically Refiguring a Sacred Hauntology
B. Keith Putt
Analecta Hermeneutica 4 (2012).

About The Instructor

B. Keith Putt (Ph.D. Rice University) is Professor of Philosophy at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. His primary expertise lies in the areas of Continental philosophy, Continental philosophy of religion, and Continental theology, specifically with reference to the radical hermeneutics and radical theology of John D. Caputo. Indeed, he is the editor of The Essential Caputo: Selected Writings, a “Caputo reader” forthcoming from Indiana University Press. Among his other recent publications are “Blurring the Edges: Ricœur and  Rothko on Metaphorically Figuring the Non-Figural,” “The Existence of Evil and the Insistence of God: Caputo’s Poetics of the Event as a Discourse on Divine Intervention,” “Traduire C’est Trahir—Peut-être: Ricoeur and Derrida on the (In)Fidelity of Translation,” and “Friends and Strangers/Poets and Rabbis: Negotiating a ‘Capuphalian’ Philosophy of Religion.”

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