This book probes the ethico-political possibility harbored in the Western philosophical and theological thought for addressing the collective experience of suffering, socio-political trauma, and colonial violence. In order to do so, it builds a constructive and coherent thematization of the somewhat obscurely defined and underexplored mystical figure of the abyss through an unlikely, rarely linked set of discourses. Discourse of race and postcolonial thought in continental philosophy remains widely overlooked and in need of development. At the same time, readers of the mystical abyss in philosophy and theology demonstrate little interest in exploring the ethico-political significance implied in the mystical thought. As a result, the figure of the abyss in these works is often morphed into a privatized, apolitical form of mysticism. The central question that this book raises is, how do we mediate the mystical abyss of theology/philosophy and the abyss of socio-political trauma engulfing the colonial subject? What would theopoetics look like in the context where poetics is the means of resistance and survival? This book seeks to answer these questions by examining the abyss as the dialectical process in which the self's dispossession before the encounter with its own finitude is followed by the rediscovery or reconstruction of the self. It traces the dialectical trajectory of such process in Neoplatonic mysticism, German idealism, and Afro-Caribbean philosophy with the end of politicizing the mystical figure and to further rethink the self, the other, and the cosmopolitan politics through Edouard Glissant's poetics of creolization. The fact that this book is the first attempt to bring Western mysticism, continental philosophy, and Caribbean philosophy into a conversation indicates the double movement implied in the book: exploring the overlooked political possibility lurking in the mystical thought while probing the mystical depth implicated in the political thought.
The Decolonial Abyss by An Yountae was published by Fordham University Press in October 2016. The ISBN for The Decolonial Abyss is 9780823273089.