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Dr Marika Rose, BA, MA, PhD

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Research Fellow
(CODEC) in the Department of Theology and Religion

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My research focuses on discussions within continental philosophy about the relationship between Christian apophatic thought (particularly that of Dionysius the Areopagite) and contemporary philosophies of difference, otherness and incompletion. The debate so far has focused primarily on the relationship of Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Marion to apophatic theology, and my work aims to draw this area of thought into conversation with the work of Slavoj Žižek, whose work is in many ways a response to the strands of thought which Derrida and Marion represent and a critique of the political implications of their reading of apophatic theology. My thesis will focus on Žižek's Lacanian distinction between desire and drive, arguing that it draws together the central elements of the debate about the relationship between apophatic theology and contemporary philosophy. My thesis will suggest that this distinction offers a fruitful way of rereading the apophatic thought of Dionysius, and that Dionysius' account of Christian community offers a vision of collective desiring and critical faithfulness to a tradition which goes some way towards moving beyond the impasse of postmodern philosophy


'Angels and Embodiment in Thomas Aquinas', Catholic Theology Postgraduate Research Day, University of Nottingham, November 2010.

'Slavoj Žižek and apophatic theology', Perspectives from where we stand: Theology and Religion Postgraduate Research Day, Durham University, March 2011.

 'Jesus and Genitals: Judith Butler, Gender, and the Jesus-of-Discourse' with Michael Thate, Demystifying Public Engagement: Gender & Sexuality Studies Beyond the Academy, Newcastle University, May 2011.

Response to panel papers on Foucault and Patristics, International Patristics Conference, Oxford University, August 2011.


Review of John Milbank and Slavoj Žižek, The Monstrosity of Christ: Paradox or Dialectic (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2009), 'International Journal of Žižek Studies' 4.4 (2010).

 Review of Matthew Sharpe and Geoff Boucher, Žižek and Politics: A Critical Introduction (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2010), 'Political Theology' 13.2 (2012).

Research Interests

  • Angels and cyborgs
  • Continental philosophy of religion
  • Feminist theology
  • Technology and the transformation of work
  • Theology and sexuality
  • Zizek and apophatic theology


Conference Paper

Journal Article