Friday, 29 March 2013

Atheist Temporality


Patrick O'Connor recently gave a presentation on some of his current work at the Power, Time and Agency conference at the University of Manchester, 17-18 January 2013.

His presentation involved a position paper on a wider research project on the notion of atheist temporality. Rejecting the progressive notions of linear temporality, and the historical destiny of scientific materialism, it was argued that we need a revised understanding of temporal and social agency. This involves a retrieval and engagement with of some of the key insights of Nietzsche, Derrida, Heidegger and Bergson. Beginning with taxonomy of the various types of atheism that he was deviating from, it was argued that that the condition of identities, ethical agency, and human liberation and political subjectivity relies on a discursive notion of temporality. Such a discursive notion of temporality depends on re-casting our understanding of chronological time towards ecstatic time, everyday temporality towards authentic and engaged temporality, mechanistic temporality towards embodied temporality, a discourse on life towards a discourse on shared mortality and finitude, and the ethical and political in terms of common temporalities and generic solidarity. The paper provided an existential atheistic account of atheist temporality with a view to combatting ethical and political sectionalisation and marginalization.

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