Freeing the Disciplines: Barth and Ranciére on Aesthetics

Michael Jimenez


Various philosophers and historians argue about historical periodization. The idea of describing human history in periods has its roots in the modern age. Modernity itself is one such periodization that we continue to dispute. Supposedly we are now living in a postmodern age or a post-postmodern age, and probably, in a not so distant future, we will be living in some other kind of post-“something” once again. What seems to be clear is that modernity and its concepts are still with us. The way we study human phenomena even today comes principally from the work of the Eighteenth Century. The story goes that the modern period is the time when human beings finally began to break the metaphorical oppressive chains of tradition and its basis in religious superstition; instead of a reliance on theology with its basis in revelation, the modern human being looks towards other disciplines like philosophy, science and political philosophy for guidance. If theology wants a place among the disciplines it must deal with matters of morality and excuse itself of attempting to answer questions that other academic disciplines are better trained to do.

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