After nearly 14 months of writing, Ideology and Christian Freedom: A Theo-political reading of Shusaku Endo's Silence has finally been released!
To those who pre-ordered the book, thank you so much! I've got the author copies coming in the mail soon for me to sign, package, and ship to you.
For those who didn't pre-order the book, you can purchase the book today in paperback form at Amazon ($12.99) or as an eBook at my online store ($7). I also have plans to offer an eBook+audiobook bundle. However, I haven't finished the audiobook yet, so that will be forthcoming in the next few months.
This book takes the novel Silence by the Japanese-Catholic writer Endo Shusaku as a jumping off point to argue for an inherent incompatibility between the Christian message of freedom and nationalistic projects. Through historical, philosophical, and theological explorations, the book attempts to build a renewed theory and practice of liberation for our time, especially in light of the message of freedom of God-in-Christ.
The book critiques supposed liberation both Right and Left, including looking at the ideology and cynical subjectivity which underlies increasingly popular practices such as Stoicism and Buddhism. We also dive into the history of Japanese Buddhism and its complicity with the state, especially under the emerging Tokugawa Shogunate. Ultimately, the goal is to ask what sort of ideology and social violence is needed to achieve the imaginary "nation," and what the message and practice of the Spirit community has to say about such an endeavor.
I've posted the book's introduction as a free download over at my Academia.edu page, so you can check that out to evaluate whether what I'm doing in the book is something you're interested in investigating further. Feel free to check that out, and then use the links below if you're interested in buying the book!
Samsara Diagnostics is still trying to get back to regular programming, so thank you for your patience, friends. The book took a lot out of me, and I've got a couple conference presentations coming up which are dividing my attention. Not to mention that I've also got two podcast episode recordings for Samsara Audio coming up this month (I'm super excited about these guests!).
I do plan to get a post out this month though, and it's on a topic I've been thinking about a lot (and which I also address in my book) – to what extent is salvation collective first and foremost? How does personal salvation become a trap when elevated to ultimacy, and to what extent is the personal experience of salvation grounded in and ancillary to collective liberation?