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The Newest Foucault book around February 16, 2009

Posted by Andy in Foucault, Idea History, philosophy, theology.
1 comment so far

OK, so the French Amazon has just sent me a couple wonders. Foucault’s last ever lectures are the most important ones. These are referred to by Agamben in his Time that Remains (p60) for their rundown of the various types of truth-telling, and by Bernauer in Michel Foucault and Theology, where he claims that Foucault is basically for mysticism and against asceticism. Having recently re-read Security, Territory, and Population, this seems wildly unlikely, so I’m really looking forward to getting to the end of these lectures where he’s meant to make that claim. I note in passing that Foucault seems to have been reading the sayings of the desert fathers in his final months. Crazy. Finally we now have something more than McGushin’s frankly self-indulgent comments to go by as regards the final lectures on parrhesia and asceticism.

The two other books are perhaps of secondary interest, and I’m not gonna read them quite so immediately as the above. They are Veyne’s two books on Foucault and Christianisation in the fourth century respectively. Definitely must-reads for anyone looking into Foucault’s relationship to Theology.

I may post some conclusions after reading these lectures, although I’m doing final changes to my PhD and teaching relation and epistemology (two different classes) at a sixth form college at the same time, so don’t hold your breath!

Thanks to Jeremy for updates on the lectures (although he seems blissfully unaware of the Veyne book). I get so lazy when other people are that vigilant! Sorry for the long silence. I have viva’d and started teaching practice since last time.