Here’s the press description for After God.
In his Critique of Cynical Reason, Peter Sloterdijk pursued an enlightenment of the Enlightenment in both its beginnings and the present. After God is dedicated to the theological enlightenment of theology. It ranges from the period when gods reigned, through the rule of the world-creator god to reveries about the godlike power of artificial intelligence. The path of this self-enlightening theology, which is carried out here by a non-theologian, must begin well before Nietzsche’s declaration of the death of God, and it must move beyond this dictum to explore the present and the future.
Since the early 20th century we have seen how the metaphysical twilight of the gods, which has preoccupied philosophers and theologians, has been accompanied by an earthly twilight of the souls. The emergence of psychoanalysis, and more recently the development of the neuro-cognitive sciences, have secularized the old Indo-European concept of the soul and transferred many accomplishments of the human mind to computerized machines. What remains of the eternal light of the soul after the artificial lights have been turned on? Have the inventors of AI thrust themselves into the position vacated by the death of god? Perhaps the distinction between God and idols will soon re-emerge here for the citizens of modernity, only this time in a technological and political register. For them, theological enlightenment – which is completely different from an instinctive rejection of religion – will be a fateful task.
This new work by one of the most original thinkers today will appeal to students and scholars across the humanities and social sciences, as well as anyone interested in religion, philosophy and critical theory today.
and for Infinite Mobilization:
The core of what we refer to as ‘the project of modernity’ is the idea that human beings have the power to bring the world under their control, and hence it is based on a ‘kinetic utopia’: the movement of the world as a whole reflects the implementation of our plans for it.
But as soon as the kinetic utopia of modernity is exposed, its seemingly stable foundation cracks open and new problems appear: things don’t happen according to plan because as we actualize our plans, we set in motion other things that we didn’t want as unintended side-effects. We watch with mounting unease as the self-perpetuating side-effects of modern progress overshadow our plans, as a foreign movement breaks off from the very core of the modern project supposedly guided by reason and slips away from us, spinning out of control. What looked like a steady march towards freedom turns out to be a slide into an uncontrollable and catastrophic syndrome of perpetual mobilization. And precisely because so much comes about through our actions, these developments turn out to have explosive consequences for our self-understanding, as we begin to realize that, so far from bringing the world under our control, we are instead the agents of our own destruction.
In this brilliant and insightful book Sloterdijk lays out the elements of a new critical theory of modernity understood as a critique of political kinetics, shifting the focus of critical theory from production to mobilization and shedding new light on a world facing the growing risk of humanly induced catastrophe.
My reading guide is here – Where to start with reading Peter Sloterdijk?
It’s out-of-date in terms of recent English translations, and could use some updating. I’ll try to do that soon. Update: I’ve added in the last few English translations here. Let me know if I’ve missed any.
Update 2: Thanks to Kai Frederick Lorentzen for the alert that After God is not a new book in German, but a compilation of texts, with one new chapter. See the German discussion here. And to clear up any confusion, Infinite Mobilization is a translation of the German text Eurotaoismus.