•  205
    Foucault’s participation in the 1954 carnival of the mad at an asylum in Switzerland marked the beginning of his critical reflections on the origins of psychology. The event revealed a paradox at the heart of psychology to Foucault, for here was an asylum known for its progressive method and groundbreaking scientific research that was somehow still exhibiting traces of a medieval conception of madness. Using the cultural expression of this carnival as a starting place, this paper goes beyond car…Read more
  •  175
    Madness can be understood as something sealed off from the intelligible human world, a way of being that has been detached and isolated from the essential elements of normative society. It can represent all that is contrary to what is rational, what is normal and even, what is human. By following this line of thinking, madness cannot be penetrated by the outside nor does it have an established internal structure, and yet it can be used to construct and form its opposite—the rational, normal huma…Read more
  •  108
    Situating Melancholy in Kierkegaard's "The Concept of Anxiety"
    Philosophy and Theology 26 (1): 39-64. 2014.
    In this article, I draw on Kierkegaard’s often over-looked work, The Concept of Anxiety, to gain deeper insight into the tenor of melancholy. We discover that Kierkegaard labels anxiety, due to its connection to hereditary sin, as the source for melancholy. Thus, contrary to the usual interpretation of Kierkegaard, I argue that melancholy is more than an individual’s struggle with existence, but is intimately tied to the historical environment, because it is steeped in an ever-increasing, ever-d…Read more
  •  108
    The Weight of Bodily Presence in Art and Liturgy
    Religions 3 (164): 1-14. 2021.
    This essay addresses the question of virtual church, particularly on whether or not liturgy can be done virtually. We will approach our subject from a somewhat unusual perspective by looking to types of aesthetic experiences which we have been doing “virtually” for a long time. By exploring how we experience art in virtual and physical contexts, we gain insight into the corresponding experiences in liturgical practices. Drawing on Mikel Dufrenne, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Gabriel Marcel, I first…Read more
  •  4
    Madness in Experience and History brings together experience and history to show their impact on madness or mental illness. Drawing on the writings of two 20th century French philosophers, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Michel Foucault, the author pairs a phenomenological approach with an archaeological approach to present a new perspective on mental illness as an experience that arises out of common behavioral patterns and shared historical structures. Many today feel frustrated with the medical mo…Read more