Terry Eagleton

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Terry Eagleton is a British literary theorist, author, professor, and critic. He is currently teaching English and creative writing at Lancaster and Notre Dame University, and has previously taught at Oxford University.[1]

While writing from a Maxist perspective in his early work, some of Eagleton's more recent books have dealt with theological themes from a Catholic perspective, and he has been a longtime critic of Postmodernism, for example in On Evil (2010) and The Illusions of Postmodernism (2006).

During four days of talks at Yale University's Terry Lectures in April 2008, he spoke satirically of a fictitious person, Ditchkins, which is derived from the merger of the two last names Hitchens and Dawkins (Etymology: Dawkins + Hitchens), routinely drawing the two men as one single, formidable debate opponent who lamentably commits various logical fallacies.[2]

  • "It would, I think, do no harm to Ditchkins comically intemperate politic against religion, indeed it would reinforce it, to approach the subject as the liberal rationalist that he is rather to subject us as he does to the kind of indiscriminate condemnation which is neither liberal nor rational. It would be greatly to the benefit of Ditchkins' moral integrity and intellectual honesty, I think, to intersperse his mildly monomaniac diatribes on the topic—we’re speaking here of monotheism versus monomania, if you like—with the odd glancing allusion, I mean even if he relegated it to some shy footnote nestling beneath his text.[3])
  • "Another familiar mistake by the Ditchkins of this world" [4]
  • "Moral relativism is an attempt to defuse conflict among other things. And so among other things, I think is, multiculturalism. Multiculturalism is extraordinarily coy of calling other people's beliefs errant nonsense, or unmitigated garbage. There are huge amounts of garbage around the place that we need to name for what it is. One of the most admirable aspects of Chris Hitchens's God is Not Great—a superbly stylish and well-argued book—is that Hitchens believes religion is disgusting and has absolutely no qualms about saying so. I mean he may be right or wrong about that, but he's properly unafraid to announce it and to take the consequences of it, including getting snagged off by me, his old comrade. [*Eagleton smiles*]" [5]

Notes

  1. uni bio
  2. "...someone like Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens, a couplet I will henceforth reduce to the solitary signifier Ditchkins..." (April 1, 2008 Christianity Fair and Foul)
  3. April 3, 2008: "The Limits of Liberalism" video, timestamp range 41 minutes 00 seconds to 45 minutes 45 50 seconds.
  4. April 8, 2008: "Faith and Reason"
  5. April 10, 2008: "Culture and Barbarism" video, timestamp range 29 minutes 45 seconds to 30 minutes 49 seconds. "Faith and Fundamentalism: Is Belief in Richard Dawkins Necessary for Salvation?" April 1, 3, 8, 10, 2008
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