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Nots [Paperback]

Mark C. Taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Aug. 15 1993 Religion and Postmodernism
Nots is a virtuoso exploration of negation and negativity in theology, philosophy, art, architecture, postmodern culture, and medicine. In nine essays that range from nihility in Buddhism to the embodiment of negativity in disease, Mark C. Taylor looks at the surprising ways in which contrasting concepts of negativity intersect.

In the first section of this book, Taylor discusses the question of the "not" in the religious thought of Anselm, Hegel, Derrida, and Nishitani. In the second part, he analyzes artistic efforts "to figure not" in the work of artists Arakawa and Madeline Gins, architect Daniel Libeskind, pop artist David Sallee, and pop icon Madonna. The final section consists of a deeply personal and scientifically informed chapter that discusses the workings of negativity in immunology and illness.

Taylor's essays work toward a sense of the not as unnameable as it is irrepressible—an "unthinkable third" that falls between being and nonbeing. Bringing together concerns that span Taylor's early investigations of Hegel and Kierkegaard and recent studies of art and architecture, Nots is an important contribution by one of the most original and distinctive voices now writing on the American scene.

Religion and Postmodernism series

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From Library Journal

Taylor has written an intellectually sophisticated meditation on the unfamiliarity of the familiar word not , as the boundary of the known and the unknown. In language that is baffling yet revealing, Taylor (humanities, Williams Coll.) provides a tour de force journey through, among others, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Derrida, Western negative theology, and Buddhist negation as developed in Nishitani. After exploring thought, art, and icon from Arakawa to Madonna, he considers bodily negativity through immunology and disease. An original and important work; recommended for most libraries.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Mark C. Taylor is professor of religion and chair of the Department of Religion at Columbia University. His most recent book is After God, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Reading nothingness March 20 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
As always reading Mark Taylor is difficult and rewarding. While this book is not so philosophically involved as some of his others, it presents new problems. Focusing on art, architecture, science, and pop culture, Taylor develops his ideas of a religion of negativity. If read too fast his thoughts here may seem superficial and redundant. Read closely and slowly, however, they reward. Taylor is the most interesting theologian writing today, and his books continue to affirm the relevance of a postmodernism that is no longer so popular. This is an important book, for sholars in all fields.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reading nothingness March 20 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As always reading Mark Taylor is difficult and rewarding. While this book is not so philosophically involved as some of his others, it presents new problems. Focusing on art, architecture, science, and pop culture, Taylor develops his ideas of a religion of negativity. If read too fast his thoughts here may seem superficial and redundant. Read closely and slowly, however, they reward. Taylor is the most interesting theologian writing today, and his books continue to affirm the relevance of a postmodernism that is no longer so popular. This is an important book, for sholars in all fields.
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