Uncommon Friendships

An Amicable History of Modern Religious Thought

William Young

Uncommon Friendships explores the overlooked dynamic of inter-religious friendships, considering their significance for contemporary religious thought. Young explores the relationships between three pairs of important religious thinkers—Franz Rosenzweig and Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, Emmanuel Levinas and Maurice Blanchot, and Julia Kristeva and Catherine Clément. He shows how that sustained engagement and disagreement became central to their religious and philosophical development, helping them to respond effectively and creatively to problems facing their communities and societies. Examining their work, Young shows how such friendships can help us rethink religion, aesthetics, education, and politics—as well as friendship itself.

“I know of nothing quite like [this book]. It is rigorous scholarship that has the sharp edge of cultural criticism and yet the inspiring effect of a philosophic and spiritual poem.”
—Peter Ochs, University of Virginia

“An elegantly written and intellectually engaging study… Young’s lucid descriptions of the long-term intellectual engagements… highlight[s] the embodied, creative, and often unsettling affects of friendship upon the evolution of an intellectual work.”
—Randi Rashkover,George Mason University

Wipf and Stock, 2010. Paperback, 330 pages.