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Beginning with new publications, Embracing the Void: Rethinking the Origin of the Sacred by Richard Boothby will be published by Northwestern University Press in mid-November. This book draws on Lacan’s concept of das Ding, the unknown dimension of the fellow human being, in sketching the broad outline of a Lacanian theory of religion.  Part One seeks to clarify the notion of the das Ding, linking it with Lacan’s cardinal claim that “human desire is the desire of Other” and with other key Lacanian concepts such as the paternal metaphor, jouissance, anxiety, sublimation, and the function of the signifier in the unconscious.  Part Two concretely unfolds the thesis that the sense of the sacred is centered upon the unknown Thing.  What distinguishes this approach from “negative” theology is its emphasis on the relation to an unknown subject.  As Freud had noted, ancient Greek polytheism personified natural forces. Judaism reduces the throng of deities to a single, deeply enigmatic God who insists on a binding covenant with human beings.  Christianity then “fulfills” the Judaic turn to a single divine Subject by returning the unknown Thing to its primal origin.  Jesus’s exhortation to love not only the neighbor but also the enemy challenges all who hear it to directly embrace the anxiety-producing Other-Thing in the fellow human being.  Part Two concludes with briefer analyses of Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, as well as the religious dimensions of capitalism overseen by the unknown God of money.

The first issue of the new online magazine Cinematheme was released in October. A digital magazine on topics related to cinema from a Lacanian psychoanalytic perspective, it includes an excellent review article on Jamie Ruers and Stefan Marianski’s edited collection Freud/Lynch: Behind the Curtain which has just been released.

Just announced for release early next year is The Ethics of Lacanian Psychoanalysis: A Conversation about Living in Joy by Yehuda Israely and Esther Pelled, published by Routledge. The book combines Lacanian psychoanalysis with Freud, Bion and the Zen masters to question ethics from the standpoint of how someone wants to live, and the questions pertinent to this choice. It is due out in April and available for pre-order now.

Among events, Prof. Dr. Samuel McCormick is running a lecture series on Lacan’s Seminar XIV, The Logic of Fantasy, which takes place through November and December. The next in the series will be held on 16 November via Zoom. Each session is recorded and will be sent to participants afterwards. Full details here. More about Prof. Dr. McCormick’s and previous lecture series here.

The Lacan Circle of Australia will host its International Conference, ‘We’re All Mad Here’, between 25th-27th November 2022. The keynote speaker is Jorge Assef, a psychoanalyst practicing in Córdoba, Argentina, who will give two talks on ‘The Pass and the End of Analysis’ and ‘The Madness of Each One.’ The full programme and a link to join – in-person at the Treacy Centre, close to Melbourne or on Zoom – are here. Submissions for the LCA’s online journal PsychoanalysisLacan Volume 6 are now open, ahead of expected publication in April 2023.

The Lacan Circle of Australia will also hold a Special Event on Sun 4th Dec, with Russell Grigg in conversation with Maro Bellou, on ‘From Kierkegaard to Lacan: Repetition?’ One of what Lacan labelled the fundamental concepts of psychoanalysis, repetition is “a concept to which Lacan always came back”, the organisers wryly note. This event promises to “examine it from the point of view of a fundamental transition, the transition from the symbolic to the real. We will see how repetition in Lacan intersects with the thinking of Kierkegaard, who – and this is no accident – is present at all stages of Lacan’s teachings.”

The Bombay Institute for Critical Analysis and Research (BICAR), in association with Warehouse 421 (Abu Dhabi), has been running a series of public talks under the title ‘Screening/Screaming: {Human) Nature in Crisis’. In October, Ben Ware gave a lecture in the series entitled ‘The Death Drive at the End of the World: From Anti-Natalism to De-Extinction’. The talk is now available to watch on YouTube. Some other lectures in this series might be of interest to Lacanians. In September, Rohit Goel (editor of Lacan Contra FoucaultI) spoke on ‘Anthropocene: A Critique of Political Ecology’; and in December, Frank Ruda will give a talk entitled ‘Un-Nature. De-Natura (Rerum)’. All the lectures in the series are available to watch via YouTube on Warehouse 421’s channel.

The XXIst NLS Congress, ‘Discontent and Anxiety in the Clinic and in Civilisation’, will take place in Paris 20th-21st May 2023. The NLS site contains the Argument for the theme, drawn from Lacan’s comments in 1974 about the ways in which the body contributes to the malaise of civilisation, and how anxiety is a reduction of being to the body. Cartels are being formed to work towards the Congress and declarations to form cartels are now being accepted. A register of cartels is also available through the NLS.

On YouTube, Louis Sass’ lecture on ‘Lacan and Phenomenology’, delivered at the Lacan: Clinic and Culture conference held at Duquesne University on 14th October, is now available on YouTube. Rick Boothby offers a response. Sass’s paper, on which this talk was based, was original published in the journal ‘Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology’ in 2014.

Finally, Parapraxis, a new print magazine devoted to psychoanalysis, aims to “reinvigorate leftist psychoanalytic thought in the academy and the clinic.” Contributors and the editorial board come from a variety of analytic positions, and the magazine “includes reviews, reported pieces, columns on culture and social movements, and thematic clusters of feature essays.” Issue 1, ‘The Family Problem’, is available now. There are also several online articles and commentaries available on the magazine’s site.

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