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Metaphysics
The Creation of Hierarchy
PAPERBACK; Published: 5/10/2012
ISBN: 978-0-8028-6451-2
557 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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Series: Interventions (INTS)

"This book does nothing less than to set new standards in combining philosophical with political theology. Pabst's argument about rationality has the potential to change debates in philosophy, politics, and religion." (from the foreword by John Milbank)

This comprehensive and detailed study of individuation reveals the theological nature of metaphysics. Adrian Pabst argues that ancient and modern conceptions of "being" - or individual substance - fail to account for the ontological relations that bind beings to each other and to God, their source. On the basis of a genealogical account of rival theories of creation and individuation from Plato to `postmodernism,' Pabst proposes that the Christian Neo-Platonic fusion of biblical revelation with Greco-Roman philosophy fulfills and surpasses all other ontologies and conceptions of individuality.
REVIEWS
John Milbank (from foreword)
-- University of Nottingham
"This book does nothing less than to set new standards in combining philosophical with political theology. Pabst's argument about relationality has the potential to change debates in theology, philosophy, and politics."
Graham Ward
-- University of Manchester
"I have waited for Adrian Pabst's Metaphysics for a long time, and, my goodness, it does not disappoint. The range of its material and the breadth of its historical scope are breathtaking, and Pabst's analysis is as sharp as frost and just as penetrating. At the moment political theology is fashionable, but this book does not just examine something fashionable; I predict it will become a classic and lead the current trend in a new direction. It needs to be read by theologians, but I want it to be read also by political scientists because for many of them the necessary metaphysical foundations of the political will be profoundly unsettling; so too will its theological gravitas. At the book's theological core is a vision of relationality that is -- and can only be -- a vision of God. If we need anything today that can transform our political landscapes, it is that vision."
Catherine Pickstock
-- Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge
"In this marvelous book Adrian Pabst gives perhaps the fullest account to date of why Christianity is closely allied to Platonism and why this alliance came unnaturally unstuck, with disastrous consequences for the realm of practice as well as the realm of thought. . . . This is a significant work."
William Desmond
-- Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Villanova University
"This erudite and lucid work presents an engaging, ambitious, and persuasive defense of the priority of relation over substance. It offers rich resources for those concerned with the contested place of metaphysics and its contemporary renewal, for those interested in the fertile space between metaphysics and theology, and for those engaged with the no less urgent problems of political theology."
Janet Soskice
-- University of Cambridge
"This bold new study argues for the pivotal importance of the Christian doctrine of creatio ex nihilo and the theology of participation in the development of western metaphysics and political thought, and explores their subsequent degeneration and decline when, in modernity, these teachings were forgotten or discarded. A clarion call to recover the economy of love, grounded in the gift, and a welcome new voice in political philosophy."
Oliva Blanchette
-- Boston College
"Metaphysics challenges both metaphysicians and theologians to find a more effective way of working together in a revivification of some Trinitarian religious life in the world, under what it calls a new imperative of relationality, to counteract the absolutization of individuality. . . . This is a book that should interest not only metaphysicians and theologians but also all those who find themselves cut off from any need to transcend their human condition as isolated individuals caught in a struggle for survival."
Wayne Hudson
-- Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, University of Tasmania
"An extraordinary survey of Western metaphysical doctrine from a political-theological perspective. Pabst . . . takes the current debate about theology and metaphysics to a new level, while exploring how conceptions of relationality and individuation impact on how we conceive the political. No scholar or student of theology, philosophy or politics could fail to benefit from reading this book. It is a brilliant contribution."

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