I was tempted to ask "Why didn't Badiou include religion among his conditions?," but we will never know the answer to that. So instead I will ask if there are instances in Badiou's work, or in the work of other scholars, in which religion is explicitly situated among, across or outside the "conditions"/"truth procedures" which Badiou designates as independent of philosophy.

The "conditions" Badiou names are art, love, politics, and science.

  • Does religion fall under one of these headings?
  • Is there an argument to be made for adding "religion" to the list as a unique condition?
  • Or was religion deliberately excluded from this list?
  • 2
    Someone suggested to me once that religion be included under love... Apr 3, 2015 at 12:14

1 Answer 1


It seems that Badiou regarded religion as dogma and, as such, antithetical to philosophy. He took religion to be antithetical to "events", in his terminology, that is to truth. Therefore he found no place for religion among the four conditions of philosophy.

Here is a relevant excerpt from a review of an interview with Badiou. It relates Badiou's disregard of religion to Heidegger's critical term onto-theology. That is, to one form of the confusion of being with Being.

Mr. Badiou also took considerable interest in a question about why religion was excluded from the areas that he identifies as sites for the work of philosophy. He said that the question of why he had limited such areas to four came up often, and “my answer is that I don’t find another.” He said he had concluded that religion was “a fable about an event, and not an event.”

Badiou basically takes the Heideggerian critique of onto-theology as given. That is, he expects that his audience will agree with him that theologians are just bad metaphysicians, trapped by dogma. On this view, the work of the scholastics is entirely predicated on a simple mistake: all God-fearing thinkers will ultimately assume that Being is a being.

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