Thursday, November 22, 2007

Nancy’s essay, “The Judeo-Christian: On Faith,” treats a text neglected by philosophers and theologians alike: the Epistle of James

In Nancy’s reading, then, James gives us a vision of faith without “sacrifice, or tragedy, or resurrection” (86)-a remarkably secular faith for an age in which, by Nancy’s account, the divine appears to be in retreat (85), in which the only possible parousia is death as that which opens up the possibility of existence, in which the only possible immortality is that of death itself (87).
In this regard, too, Nancy is in line with his philosophical peers, who generally attempt to extract a kind of formal structure that is comprehensible apart from traditional religious claims-in this case, a very Heideggerian structure, such as many readers (first of all Heidegger himself) have found in the New Testament throughout the 20th Century. If this is the direction philosophical research into the New Testament and the later Christian tradition must take, then it seems to me that greater attention must be given to the ways in which these formal structures were concretely lived out.
Notwithstanding the argumentative strategy underlying Nancy’s decision to disclaim any historical-critical work in this particular essay, such an investigation must necessarily move beyond conceptual analysis and into historical reconstruction. Nevertheless, it seems to me that a broadly “philosophical” reading of early Christian texts-that is, one that, like Nancy’s, takes the texts seriously as a product of rigorous thought that in turn invites and rewards rigorous thought-is absolutely necessary if those texts, like the Pauline epistles, are to take their place as texts that are of more than “merely historical interest.” The expansion of the task of “philosophical reading” to an apparently disjointed piece of wisdom literature is a promising step in that regard. Posted by Adam Filed in Nancy, New Testament An und für sich
A number of readers have mentioned that stumbling upon G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy was instrumental to their spiritual coonversion...Although the book was published in 1908, what is so immediately striking about it is how fresh and coontemporary it is. Not surprisingly, Dupree is most impressed with Chesterton's pungent and witty eviscerations of his ideological opponents. Many of the names mean nothing to us now, but you can get the gist by simply inserting a contemporary name that will mean nothing in the future, such as "Dennett," "Dawkins," or "Maher." As Dupree put it, the book has surprisingly high insultainment value.
It is perhaps critical to point out that Chesterton came of age at the very peak of 19th century atheistic scientific materialism, before that philosophy had been thoroughly discredited. It was widely believed by most intellectuals at the time that science had discovered not just the secret of reality, but the secret of human happiness and progress.
That didn't really begin to change until after the trauma of World War I, which obliterated the fantasy (except among leftists) of a perfectible mankind grounded in the application of pure reason. The primitive unconscious came roaring back with a vengeance, just as it did after our historical snooze between 1989 and 2001. But instead of learning their lesson and returning to the Christian roots of the West, post-war intellectuals lurched into existentialism, romanticism, Marxism, scientism, paganism, nationalism, deconstructionism, multiculturalism, fascism, new-age "realizationism," and other weird and/or sinister isms and ologies -- anything but Orthodoxy (and by "Orthodox," Chesterton simply means the Apostles' Creed)... Orthoparadoxical Mystic Soul Jazz from One Cosmos by Gagdad Bob


  1. The highly over rated Chesterton was just another godless ego and a product of his time. He wasnt a Spiritual Realizer - a Realised Saint who have always been the True Religious and Spiritual authorities and inspirations.

    He was just another spiritually empty, infinitely godless, self possessed talking head.

    A time in which Western "culture" was already totally embedded in the clock-work paradigm of Newtonian scientism or Weber iron cage.

    An invisible cage which prevented any non-verbal Real Understanding of anything at all.
    A cage created by left brained objectifying "reason". The purpose of objectifying "reason" being the control of every thing, including humankind.

    And ultimately the destruction of everything thus objectified---including Humankind and indeed ALL of Earthkind.

  2. The primary delusion of the big talkers of big religion is that you can find the Divine by studying the archaic relics of the past.

    And besides which what do we really know about the essentially fictional cartoon characters called "paul" and "james"?
    After nearly 2000 years they are less real than Bart Simpson.