Radical Atheism and “The Arche-Materiality of Time”
Radical Atheism and “The Arche-Materiality of Time”(Robert King interviewed Martin Hägglund. Dr. King focused his questions on the impact of Radical Atheism and the “archemateriality” of time).
R.K.: Did the reception of Radical Atheism push your research in any surprising directions?
M.H.: The most surprising thing, at least for me, is first of all how much response the book has generated. The reception of Radical Atheism has gone far beyond anything I expected and I am deeply grateful for the ways in which it has challenged me to refine my thinking and develop my arguments. Thanks to careful and demanding respondents, I have not only been given the chance to press home the stakes of my intervention; I have also been pushed to pursue issues that were either underdeveloped or inadequately addressed in my previous work. Beginning with The Challenge of Radical Atheism conference at Cornell and continuing with the colloquium on Ethics, Hospitality and Radical Atheism at Oxford as well as the Derrida and Religion conference at Harvard, I have had the good fortune to engage in direct debate with central interlocutors of the book. These debates have in turn informed the written exchanges about the book, which continue to inspire my current work. Leaving aside the specific polemics about Derrida scholarship, I would emphasize two strands of questioning that have been both the most difficult and the most productive to address. The first strand concerns the status of the structure of the trace in my argument, while the second concerns the conception of desire that informs what I call radical atheism.