An Interview with Martin Shuster
Interviewed by J. Aaron Simmons
- As a philosopher, what interests you about religion?
Is ‘everything’ a possible answer? More seriously, likely because I spent significant time around Hent de Vries, I often tend to think of knowledge in terms of archives. And religion is so interesting, at least to me, because its ‘archive’ is actually far deeper, more dense, and significantly older than the archive of philosophy. Furthermore, I think it is no secret that at times (all times?) the two archives comes to be intertwined (one thinks here quite recently of the variety of work from Charles Taylor to Hent de Vries to Carl Schmitt, as well as something like Anscombe’s wonderful essay, “Modern Moral Philosophy”). The issues animating how philosophy (taken here broadly and stressing especially ethics and social/political philosophy) and religion are and ought to be understood in relation to each other are still very much alive, and if we take a global view of them, they play out, often in dangerous and sad ways across the globe. So, what interests me most about religion as a philosopher is how the religious archive both informs and deforms our projects as agents, whether political, social, aesthetic, or ethical.