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Christo-Fiction: The Ruins of Athens and Jerusalem

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    Book Description:

    François Laruelle's lifelong project of "nonphilosophy," or "nonstandard philosophy," thinks past the theoretical limits of Western philosophy to realize new relations between religion, science, politics, and art. InChristo-FictionLaruelle targets the rigid, self-sustaining arguments of metaphysics, rooted in Judaic and Greek thought, and the radical potential of Christ, whose "crossing" disrupts their circular discourse.

    Laruelle's Christ is not the authoritative figure conjured by academic theology, the Apostles, or the Catholic Church. He is the embodiment of generic man, founder of a science of humans, and the herald of a gnostic messianism that calls forth an immanent faith. Explicitly inserting quantum science into religion, Laruelle recasts the temporality of the cross, the entombment, and the resurrection, arguing that it is God who is sacrificed on the cross so equals in faith may be born. Positioning itself against orthodox religion and naive atheism alike,Christo-Fictionis a daring, heretical experiment that ties religion to the human experience and the lived world.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-53896-1
    Subjects: Philosophy, Religion, General Science
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Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter (pp. I-VI)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. VII-VIII)
  3. PREFACE: Christianity Stripped Bare by Christ (pp. IX-XII)
  4. INTRODUCTION: A Gnostic Theology in the Quantum Spirit (pp. XIII-XVIII)

    What are we to do with the twofold tradition, that of christologies and philosophies, that of the “Christian literature” of the Gospels and of the “lives of Jesus”? If a dialectical reconciliation (Hegel) or a thinking conciliation (Heidegger) have already been tried under the theological authority of philosophy, if exegesis and history have only succeeded in interring and dispersing the message in the inert sands of positivity, what has not yet been done is to conjugate science and theology in a completely new way—in a gnostic spirit that, this time, will make use of quantum theory. How can these...

  5. One A GENERIC REPETITION OF GNOSIS: To Desuture Christ from Theology (pp. 1-30)

    Our basic equation is as follows:Christ = science of Christ = gnosis, along with its corollary,gnosis vs. theology and christology. That Christ is simply the name of the science of Christ, that its other name is gnosis, and that “gnostic theology” therefore means that theology is abased (without being completely negated) as object of gnosis—nothing in these radical axioms belongs to any known Christianity. Christ is the name that tears gnosis from christology, leaving the latter to float in its indeterminate theological ground. We place all theology globally under the last instance of Christ.

    Gnosis—that ancient...

  6. Two THE IDEA OF A SCIENCE-IN-CHRIST: Christ, Science, and Their Gnostic Suture (pp. 31-56)

    To “philosophize in Christ” is one of those injunctions of which philosophy boasts so many—but this time a Lutheran (and Pauline) one against Plato and the Greeks. It means recognizing the grandeur of reason, since one must philosophize but at the same time place reason in conflict with faith. This would also be the thesis (like so many we find in Marxism) of a nonphilosophical practice of philosophy (in this case a Christian one). Understood in this way, this maxim is susceptible to innumerable equivocations so long as the rigorous concept of Christ is not itself established independently of...


    Christ is said in many senses, and remains an equivocal name. Rather than adding yet another sense, we seek to give it the function of symbol for a scientific event that opens up a new field of research, and is capable of treating problems of theology—instead of doing the reverse, explaining for example why it bears these multiple significations. Theology has always claimed to be a science, but in a philosophical, Aristotelian sense, not in the experimental sense, which is at once more rigid and more supple, according to the style that modernity has established for it. Now, a...


    We shall call “christic matrix” the quantum-and-generic device that represents in vector form the possible “states” of Christ (called “Christ-in-person” to distinguish him from Jesus) and determines him in terms of a new economy of salvation, delivered from the theo-christo-logical doublet, emancipating in subjects messianity and faith. This matrix is a theoretical apparatus that goes beyond the persona of Jesus and his history, and functions as a theoretical, experimental, and lived vessel. It contains different elements represented vectorielly, among the best known of which are: (1) Materials: the data of his words and acts, with their accents of the Greek...

  9. Five ALGEBRA OF THE MESSIANIC WAVE (pp. 103-116)

    Idempotence (A + A = A) is the “protologic” of superposition and prepares its own superposition either with the microphysical world of waves or with the lived human world. As elementary form of superposition, it is capable of soaking up the lived, of forcing it, finally succeeding in this exploit of fusion—in short, of being not just immanent but immanental, or of being validforthe real of the subject. But how can a mere algebraic property suture itself (and more than this) to transcendence? Various solutions might be envisaged.

    1. A given algebraic property in a science has no...


    Why quantum science? And why fusion rather than suture? The Greek philosophy that served as a milieu for the reception for the christic message, the Logos, is not simply a question of various objects, themes, ideas, or concepts, but is a representational form of thought that applies to almost all of its concepts, including those of theology. The deconstructive scrutiny of representation undertaken by philosophy itself is a necessary but unfinished task, which has still not been posed in the most effective terms. To think an event such as the messianic subject, other means and forces of production are needed....


    The invention named “Christ” was not the foundation of a new religion to rival others; it was, rather, a form of corruption that came to augment and complicate the imaginary grounds of the “three monotheisms.” It was to determine, at last, the conditions of a somewhat rigorous cognizance of religions. Judaism and Greek thought utterly lacked the means to establish such a rigorous science of religions—an excess of monotheism and an excess of polytheism being their transcendent principles. These are religions that we shall call substantial, which are endowed, by way of religious content of multiple (possibly quite ancient)...

  12. Eight THE GENERIC SCIENCE OF THE WORLD (pp. 161-168)

    The importance of Christianity and Judaism in the creation of sciences is a theory and a problem for historians, even if in reality their impact was only ever indirect. But we take up this problem in another way, in relation to the creation of a science of monotheisms and their theology. This genesis that we seek is obviously distinct from Plato’s mathematico-philosophical creation, which takes place within it, or is an internal but particular realization of it. In any case, each attempt at a science is a rupture of myth, Plato with mathematics as science of the heavens, Galileo with...

  13. Nine INDISCERNIBLE MESSIANITY (pp. 169-178)

    To extract the christic kernel from its outer layers, which have been validated as Christian? Certainly the Church has seen other heresies, heresies great and small—philosophy, too. Among contemporary philosophical heresies, it was Derridean deconstruction that tried to think in terms of dissemination or Judaic punctuality; the Deleuzian construction, on the contrary, in terms of oscillatory fluency. But both remain caught within the philosophical horizon, within the conceptual and semantic atomism of the presupposed-and-defeated All. They remained within this framework without giving themselves a new paradigm of thought. In each case there are torsions, deviations, leftings, and rightings (gauchissements...


    The “foundation” of the Christ-science cannot be the same foundation that religions, in all their transcendence, imagine for faith: illumination, revelation, vision, or “inspiration,” wind, breath, or light. Everything that is of the order of light, of the quasi-instantaneous flash, or of the spark is indeed a theoretical argument, but a corpuscular one that blinds itself: the theoretical as self-blinding. When light is made streaming and flowing, as with the mystics, the problem better reveals its true nature, its “wavelike” phenomenal content, even if this is often covered over, flattened, by the officialization of beliefs, images, and dogmas. The metaphor...

  15. Eleven THE SCIENCE OF THE CROSS (pp. 189-202)

    Many mysteries are condensed in the Cross, but some of them—those concerning its representation—are easily dissipated. The first is the mystery of its matrixial ontological structure. Its symbolic status also owes something to the way it is used and to its technical construction, in the crossing of the wooden pieces. Now, philosophers and theologians are known for thinking in two very different ways: on the one handecstatically or pictoriallyaccording to representation. But also, according to the objection made to them by certain mystics or, for example, by Nietzsche, forobliquelyturning their gaze. Ecstatic and oblique—...

  16. Twelve THE SCIENCE OF THE RESURRECTION (pp. 203-232)

    Supposing that a “science of the resurrection” (Porphyry) is possible, how is it to be imagined and formalized? The Resurrection is the retroactively foundational myth of Christianity. Our project is to draw from it the possibility of a rigorous fiction, a christo-fiction. It is a condensate of Judaic preconceptions and Greek images, which Christianity has brought to an unequaled amplitude. Some of its interpretations are remarkable. Its interpretation can be an act that is variously empirico-imaginary, metaphorical, or mythological (this is the lowest degree of interpretation). Or else a spiritual act, an idealist and mystical interpretation between re-creation and renaissance....

  17. Thirteen MESSIANITY AND FIDELITY: The Faithful of-the-Last-Instance (pp. 233-248)

    Christ is not a term in the conceptual architecture of a theology, but the name of a constant, the name of the messianic element of human life: the element of the immanence of the lived that finds its form in the algebraic imaginary of science, not in the imaginary of religions. It is the superposition, placing-in-stance, or first ultimation whose conditions and theoretical effects we have already posited (the suspended sacrifice of God, immanent or vectoriell fulfillment, the mediate-without-mediation). The christic constant has an effect of preemption over belief, and transforms it into a faithful lived. Thus is constituted a...

  18. Fourteen FAITH HARASSED BY BELIEF (pp. 249-258)

    What, then, distinguishes the individual subject determined in-the-last-instance as faithful from the old subject of philosophical belief from which he is extracted, as its clone; what distinguishes the kernel of the faithful lived from its metaphysical placenta?

    1. Its deindividualization or generic nonegoism, which it owes to messianity. A subjective lived necessarily human in origin but become an objective procedure is not denied or reduced to an object, it has just lost its egological form, its form as transcendental consciousness. Science here is the science of living beings or of believers, but the science of living beings is not itself living—...

  19. NOTES (pp. 259-260)
  20. INDEX (pp. 261-274)
  21. Back Matter (pp. 275-276)