Colby Dickinson is Associate Professor in the Department of Theology at Loyola University Chicago. His work focuses on the relationship of contemporary continental thought and systematic theology, mainly focusing on the works of Walter Benjamin, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben and Paul Ricoeur. He is the author or editor of numerous books: Theology as Autobiography: The Centrality of Confession, Relationship and Prayer to the Life of Faith; The Challenge of God: Continental Philosophy and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition; Theology and Contemporary Continental Philosophy: The Centrality of a Negative Dialectics; Continental Philosophy and Theology; Words Fail: Theology, Poetry, and the Challenge of Representation; Walter Benjamin and Theology, edited with Stéphane Symons; Agamben’s Coming Philosophy: Finding a New Use for Theology, with Adam Kotsko; Between the Canon and the Messiah: The Structure of Faith in Contemporary Continental Thought; The Postmodern Saints of France: Refiguring ‘The Holy’ in Contemporary French Philosophy; and Agamben and Theology.
Recognizing the influence of "Christian colonialist attitudes" on scholarly discourses about the value of sacred objects means understanding how we are all implicated by our field's ongoing use of the term "fetish." Echoing the lessons from Breann Fallon's interview with Prof. J. Lorand Matory, respondent Colby Dickinson calls us to account for the ways in which "we are all hypocritical in our assigning of values to certain things and downplaying the value in other things." This includes, he writes, the theories of fetishism by Marx and Freud to which our field seems inescapably connected.