After The Fragile Absolute(2000) and On Belief (2001), Slavoj Žižek’s third intervention in Christian belief is The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity (2003). The title involves a reversal of Walter Benjamin’s first thesis on the philosophy of history. Referring to the story of an allegedly automatic chess machine (actually operated by a hidden dwarf pulling the strings), Benjamin wrote: “The puppet called ‘historical materialism’ is to win all the time. It can easily be a match for anyone if it enlists the services of theology, which today, as we know, is wizened and has to keep out of sight” (p. 253).

Today, our postmodern fear of directly assuming b…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Wood, Kelsey. "The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 March 2013
[, accessed 02 July 2015.]