Jul 3, 2014
Edward Burne-Jones, The Golden Stairs

Edward Burne-Jones, The Golden Stairs

May 14, 2014
Our poverty and physical hunger was exchanged for theological concepts such as ‘the bread of life’, which objectively did not have much use, and was the equivalent of giving a cookbook with colour illustrations to starving people. Concrete suffering was the currency we exchanged for systematic promises or descriptions of the bread which satisfies more than real bread, but alas, how ridiculous that was when hunger cramps took over the body. This is what Juan Luis Segundo was referring to when in the 1940s he sought to find a theological reflection ‘which would not leave us on our own at the time of having a meal.’ We could further extend this now: a theological reflection that does not separate prayer times from meal times cannot separate prayer times from those of intimacy; from times of going to bed with someone. That is the point for a theology without underwear, made by people whose sexual misfortunes, personal or political, need to be reflected upon as part of our theological praxis.
Marcella Althaus-Reid, Indecent Theology
May 12, 2014
May 12, 2014
The classless society is not a society that has abolished and lost all memory of class differences but a society that has learned to deactivate the apparatuses of those differences in order to make a new use possible, in order to transform them into pure means.
Giorgio Agamben, “In Praise of Profanation
Apr 23, 2014
Apr 18, 2014
Lacan takes psychoanalysis to a place in which it can provide a general theory of subjectivity. For Lacan this theory is an attempt to subvert a certain reading of Descartes’ cogito, in which —as he states in his lectures in the late 1960s — human subjectivity is essentially defined by a disjunction between thinking and being, in which the two shall never meet. There is no place where I am both thinking and I am. It is always one or the other. There is an alienation between the two or, as he sometimes puts it, a forced choice. I think we can see in this idea a general attempt to formulate what human subjectivity is about. He also tries to flesh out this definition through introducing such terms as the “Boromean knot”, which is a knot between the imaginary, the symbolic and the real. This is an idea that could be of great interest to philosophers, because it describes how the visual world, or the world of sensation, the world of language, and the real, are tied together.
Interview with Bruce Fink
Apr 12, 2014
Apr 10, 2014
Theology’s temptation is to set out a world structure or essence and then determine where we fit into that structure. The problem is that this obscures the fact that such structures are produced, and that they serve particular interests. The most radical insight of liberal theology is that what God is can’t be dictated in advance. On my account, this is not an excuse for relativism, but an affirmation that theology is anti-imperial, anti-supremacist, anti-capitalist, since it resists the domination of reality by a single principle of value. More positively, this means that God ‘is’ the reality which engenders multiple expressions of militant solidarity, the flourishing difference which is the common wealth of all creatures. God is possible, not in the weak sense of ‘may or may not be real’, but in the strong sense of a real possibility of expressing and living solidarity, curiosity, love or forgiveness in uncountable and unforeseeable ways.
Steven Shakespeare, “The nature and future of liberal theology
Mar 11, 2014
Jan 29, 2014
The sixteenth century sought gold as the treasure of exotic cultures — we are now searching for spiritual gold. If the twentieth century was the century of physics in the mainstream, the margins were already looking ahead to the next great unknown: the mystery of the mind and the mind-body problem. The twentieth century unraveled the mysteries of consciousness but barely touched the non-conscious or unconscious despite Freud. That is precisely the area that has been more openly cultivated by nonwestern cultures. We admire it and we wish to acquire it. Gold may be valuable, but self-knowledge and mind control are invaluable. Wouldn’t you want to read nature like a Noble Savage, manipulate the minds of others, and control your body and illnesses? If there hadn’t been shamans we would have had to invent them, and in many cases we have.
Esther Pasztory, “Nostalgia for Mud
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