måndag, maj 18, 2009

Fish om onyanserad religionskritik

Stanley Fish bloggar vidare i NY Times om religionen och dess kritiker:
So to sum up, the epistemological critique of religion — it is an inferior way of knowing — is the flip side of a naïve and untenable positivism. And the critique of religion’s content — it’s cotton-candy fluff — is the product of incredible ignorance.

måndag, maj 11, 2009

Intervju med Kevin Vanhoozer

Kevin Vanhoozer intervjuas med anledning av hans flytt till Wheaton, och talar bland annat om teologins balansgång mellan kulturell relevans och isolering:

Några highlights:
"I have a pet theory: every significant intellectual and cultural trend eventually shows up in the way people read the Bible."

"The most important thing is to be aware that culture is always, already there--something in which we live and move and have our historical being--and that it is always actively cultivating, always forming habits of the heart and habits of perception."

"My concern is that many Evangelicals are suffering from malnourished imaginations. This impedes their ability to live coherently in the world--that is, according to a meaningful metanarrative. We want to believe the Bible, but we are unable to see our world in biblical terms (...) That leads to a fatal disconnect between our belief-system and our behavior, our faith and our life."

"Hermeneutics is a subset of ethics because interpretation aims at a certain kind of good, namely, understanding. In my book I argue for the importance of what I call the interpretative virtues: habits of mind that are more conducive than not to getting understanding. In particular, humility is a key interpretive virtue without which readers cannot do justice to authors as "others.""

torsdag, maj 07, 2009

Folkbildaren N.T Wright

Missa inte N.T Wrights lilla utläggning om moderniteten och postmoderniteten.

"Postmodernism is about announcing the doctrine of the fall to arrogant modernity"

via Kolportören

Eagleton om brödrostar, ateister och Tjechov

Den amerikanske litteraturvetaren Stanley Fish bloggar på New York Times, och kommenterar även han Terry Eagletons nya bok Reason, Faith, and Revolution:
When Christopher Hitchens declares that given the emergence of “the telescope and the microscope” religion “no longer offers an explanation of anything important,” Eagleton replies, “But Christianity was never meant to be an explanation of anything in the first place. It’s rather like saying that thanks to the electric toaster we can forget about Chekov .”


onsdag, maj 06, 2009

Bristen borde förena

Den brittiska litteraturvetaren Terry Eagleton har kommit ut med en ny bok. Den nyfikne kan snyltläsa ett (lysande) kapitel här. Jag fastnade särskilt för denna passage:

Multiculturalism threatens the existing order not only because it can create a breeding ground for terrorists, but because the political state depends on a reasonably tight cultural consensus. British prime ministers believe in a common culture-but what they mean is that everyone should share their own beliefs so that they won’t end up bombing London Underground stations.

The truth, however, is that no cultural belief is ever extended to sizable groups of newcomers without being transformed in the process. This is what a simpleminded philosophy of “integration” fails to recognize.

There is no assumption in the White House, Downing Street, or the Elysée Palace that one’s own beliefs might be challenged or changed in the act of being extended to others. A common culture in this view incorporates outsiders into an already established, unquestionable framework of values, leaving them free to practice whichever of their quaint customs pose no threat. Such a policy appropriates newcomers in one sense, while ignoring them in another. It is at once too possessive and too hands-off. A common culture in a more radical sense of the term is not one in
which everyone believes the same thing, but one in which everyone has equal status in cooperatively determining a way of life in common.

Alltså, en genuin vilja till möte med den andre innebär alltid ömsesidig påverkan.

Min briljanta vän Lovisa har skrivit ett paper om kosmopolitanism och religion. Hon lyfter där Augustinus tanke om "hungerns väg" som ett mer fruktbart sätt att tänka kring det mångkulturella samhället. Istället för att fokusera på det vi har, i termer av egenskaper och likheter, borde en inklusiv gemenskap kanske snarare betona det vi alla någonstans erfar att vi saknar. Kärleken blir i linje med detta en hunger efter det som vi inte har.
A people is the association of a multitude of rational beings united by a common agreement on the objects of their love [and] it follows that to observe the character of a particular people we must examine the objects of its love.
St. Augustine - City of God, XIX

En grymt spännande tanke tycker jag!

måndag, maj 04, 2009

What good would a theory do you?

Jo, jag vet att nedanstående Hauerwas-utdrag är på tok för långt, men det är ju så grymt bra! Bra, därför att det på ett komiskt vis sätter fingret på vad som blir så märkligt med teoretiska modeller för hur den liberala demokratin skall förhålla sig till det pluralistiska samhället.

Some years ago I was lecturing at Hendrix Collage in Conway, Arkansas. I no longer remember the lecture I gave but I assume it was one of my attempts to suggest why Christians, if we are to be Christians, owe it ourselves and our neighbors to quit fudging our belief that God matters. When I finished my lecture, one of the professors in the religion department at Hendrix had clearly had enough of me. He had been educated by John Cobb and, therefore representing a peculiar mixture of protestant liberalism and process theology characteristic for that tradition.

He reacted to my lecture by observing that my stress on the centrality of Christian convictions provided no theory that would enable Christians to talk with Buddhists.
By “theory” people often mean the necessity of a third language to mediate between two traditions. Such a language is often said to be necessary in “pluralist” societies in order to mediate differences in the “public” square. I, however, apologized for being deficient of such a theory, but asked, “How many Buddhists do you have here in Conway? Moreover if you want to talk with them, what good would a theory do you? I assume that if you want to talk to Buddhists, you would just go talk with them. You might begin by asking, for example, ´What the hell are you guys doing here in

I then suggested I suspected that the real challenge in Conway was not talking to Buddhists, but trying to talk with Christian fundamentalists. We should also ask weather we have anything interesting enough the Buddhists would even want to talk with us about.
Stanley Hauerwas, The State of the University. s.58-59

Teorier om hur man med hjälp av ett "neutralt" tredje språk skall kunna överbrygga kulturella skillnader, och på så sätt nå konsensus, är oftast allt annat än neutrala. Isället tenderar de att utgöra dolda maktanspråk från de som tycker sig behöva sådana teorier (vanligen makthavarna), gentemot de traditioner som inte ser behovet av sådana teorier. Med Hauerwas ord: "Those representatives of the "public" with "all humility" assume they are superior to other traditions because they can "appreciate" other traditions in a manner other traditions cannot appreciate themselves."

Vad gäller hur olika traditioner skall kunna leva i fredlig samexistens, så är inte problemet vår avsaknad av förment neutrala kommunikationsteorier. Inte heller är det vad vi kallar "religion" och därmed särskiljer från annan mänsklig aktivitet.

Då kyrkan tack och lov är skild från staten, och kristna inte längre i egenskap av kristna har någon värdslig makt, innebär detta att vi inte heller behöver någon teori om hur vi skall "hantera" pluralismen. Vi är istället fria att oförblommerat leva ut vår berättelse, tillsammans och mitt i bland alla andra berättelser.

Grundfrågan om hur vi skall leva tillsammans i fred borde därför istället handla om med vilken attityd vi bemöter den Andre, med rädsla och misstänksamhet, eller med nyfikenhet och kärlek?

Citatet ovan återfinns även i Hauerwas föreläsning: Ending religious pluralism