From: "Chetan Vemuri" <aryavartacnsrn@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 9 Nov 2008 14:45:09 -0600
I would love to check out that book and chapter.
But surely Foucault shared Nietzsche's suspicion of the oppressive nature of
organized religious morality in Europe?
On Sun, Nov 9, 2008 at 12:53 PM, Yoshie Furuhashi <
> Check out a chapter titled "Michel Foucault and Zen: A Stay in a Zen
> Temple (1978)" in Religion and Culture, ed. Jeremy R. Carrette. In
> this book, there are also passing mentions of Hinduism with regard to
> the West's Orientalist interest in Eastern cultures and the
> similarities between Christian monasticism and other monasticisms
> including the Hindu variety. I can't recall Foucault ever said
> anything about the caste system, though. Generally speaking, I don't
> think Foucault deeply investigated religion as a relation of power
> (and its relation to political economy) except in the case of
> On Sun, Nov 9, 2008 at 1:08 PM, Chetan Vemuri <aryavartacnsrn@xxxxxxxxx>
> > Foucault was interested in Zen Buddhism?
> > wow
> > I wonder what he would have to say about my ancestral faith, Hinduism,
> > the usual caste system bullshit.
> > On Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 11:24 AM, Yoshie Furuhashi <
> > critical.montages@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> >> On Tue, Nov 4, 2008 at 8:36 PM, Chetan Vemuri <aryavartacnsrn@xxxxxxxxx
> >> wrote:
> >> > so how would one characterize Foucault's overall attitudes to
> >> > religion?
> >> > Would they be Nietzschean/Dawkinsian? Or supportive in a social sense?
> >> In much of his best known work, Foucault developed Max Weber's
> >> insights in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. What
> >> interested him is how "the soul" has become "the prison of the body,"*
> >> making the body obedient to factory discipline,** through such modern
> >> secular institutions as criminal justice, psychiatry, and medicine.
> >> At the same time, Foucault did not think that Marxism put up profound
> >> resistance to the relations of power that create such discipline,
> >> because of its philosophical shortcomings (such as productivism and
> >> progressivism, though these have been questioned by a significant
> >> minority of Marxist philosophers) as well as experiences of state
> >> socialism. Rather, he went in search of a political
> >> spirituality/social movement that potentially could do what Marxism
> >> couldn't (hence his interest in Islam and the Iranian revolution),
> >> while exploring approaches to life that differed from and could help
> >> us question our modern one (hence his interest in Zen, ancient Greek
> >> ethics, and so on).
> >> In other words, it may be said that Foucault fought religion
> >> (capitalist modernity shaped through the Reformation) by religion
> >> (whose etymology means to to "tie again," suggestive of binding
> >> ourselves to one another in friendship as a way of life).
> >> * Through this inversion, Foucault was doing the same thing to
> >> Christianity's understanding of itself as what Marx had done to
> >> Hegelian philosophy's: turning it right side up.
> >> ** Tomás Sánchez-Criado observed in another thread that "many Latin
> >> American colleagues [have been] complaining of the scarce utility most
> >> of the writings by Foucault." That is probably because the kind of
> >> existence/experience whose genealogy Foucault critically examined is
> >> that of highly developed capitalist society under a highly developed
> >> bureaucratic state, where a majority of working people are urbanized,
> >> proletarianized, and socially atomized. For a long time, these
> >> material conditions for discipline and governmentality did not exist
> >> outside the "West" (even today a majority of the population in many
> >> nations in the global South are farmers and agricultural workers).
> >> Even in Third-World nations where the development of capitalism has
> >> given rise to a largely urbanized and proletarianized population, a
> >> majority of them are often stuck in the informal sector, unsubjected
> >> to factory discipline and very much neglected by the state (see Mike
> >> Davis, "Planet of Slums," New Left Review 26, March-April 2004: "If
> >> God died in the cities of the industrial revolution, he has risen
> >> again in the postindustrial cities of the developing world").
> >> Yoshie
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> > Chetan Vemuri
> > West Des Moines, IA
> > aryavartacnsrn@xxxxxxxxx
> > (515)-418-2771
> > "You say you want a Revolution! Well you know, we all want to change the
> > world"
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