Books

Between a Man and a Woman? Making Sense of Conservative Christian Opposition to Same-Sex Love. (2010, Columbia University Press).

"Making sense of conservative Christian opposition to same-sex love is a project that has more than just academic ramifications. As a scholar of religion, I am interested in examining how religious, national, and sexual concerns intertwine in conservative Christian discourses about homosexuality. Analyzing these interrelations correctly, I believe, will further our understanding of how religious practices shape and are shaped by secular polities, in the United States and beyond. Many times when I report on my work in academic settings or in private, people share with me their personal experiences: A young gay man describes growing up in a conservative Christian household, and an evangelical minister talks about how he loves his lesbian daughter but cannot endorse her “lifestyle.” Stories such as these give a glimpse into the conflict-laden biographies that are entangled in how conservative Christians talk about same-sex love—in the streams of words, narratives, and images that circulate among them and that they use to converse with a wider public." (From the author's note)

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"To understand Christian rhetoric around sexuality, you have to listen through the clanging speeches without falling under their compulsions to repeat. Ludger Viefhues-Bailey can do this and then some. Between a Man and a Woman? is both astute and original as it proposes interreligious comparisons, analyzes implied rhetorical narratives, and traces the conceptual instabilities of gender to deeper Christian paradoxes of grace and incarnation. He gives hope for Christian speech beyond aggrieved repetition." -- Mark D. Jordan, Harvard Divinity School

 

Beyond the Philosopher's Fear A Cavellian Reading of Gender, Origin and Religion in Modern Skepticism Ludger H. Viefhues-Bailey Series: Intersections: Continental and Analytic Philosophy Coming September 2007 from Ashgate Press

From Reviews:

"Ludger Viefhues-Bailey’s Beyond the Philosopher’s Fear is a welcome addition to the growing literature on Stanley Cavell and the first book on Cavell and religion as well as Cavell and gender. Viefhues-Bailey performs the admirable feat of providing both a thorough and lucid introduction to Cavell’s oeuvre from beginning to end, as well as a penetrating critique of gender in Cavell, all in under 200 (dense) pages."

Modern Theology Volume 26 Issue 1, Pages 154 - 157 by Peter Dula.

"Viefhues-Bailey’s book offers a novel look at the connection between skepticism and religion and also an insightful and informed critical reading of Cavell." 

European Journal of Philosophy, forthcoming, by Berislav Marusic.

 

Based on a detailed analysis of gender in Stanley Cavell's treatment of the skeptical problem, this book addresses the relationship between gender and religion in modern skepticism. Engaging in dialogue with Julia Kristeva's philosophy, Viefhues claims that a religious problem underlies Cavell's understanding of the feminine. The feminine which the skeptic fears is construed as a placeholder for the beyond, marking the transcendence of our origins which are elusive yet at the same time part of ourselves. It is argued that a religious question of origins thus lies at the heart of the modern skeptical problem. Advanced praise for Beyond the Philosopher's Fear:

Beyond the Philosopher’s Fear is I believe the first extended study published of my writing that brings to it a systematically religious perspective. I find the result heartening and productive, in two principal ways. First, this perspective allows a continuous stance from which to look back, as from its beyond, on the writing’s claims to the philosophical, to follow its intent to enter and sustain philosophy’s questioning of itself, of ourselves. Second, this perspective, in Ludger Viefhues-Bailey’s scrupulous and ambitious undertaking, allows for the trajectory of half a century of writing to be taken as, let us say, one unfolding project, something always ahead of itself, unfinished, from various beginnings to various ends, perpetually – so far as talent has permitted it to be – tentative, exploratory, meditative. It joins the circle of reflections on these years of work – and extensions along the lines of it, and points of departure from it – for which I feel the clearest gratitude.

- Professor Emeritus Stanley Cavell, Department of Philosophy, Harvard University