lördag, oktober 30, 2010

Olika berättelser ger olika liv

Stanley: I think often times the liberal white support of civil rights has forgotten that the under class white (who often times is racist) has suffered oppression that is certainly different from what African-Americans have suffered. And whose going to get into comparing victimization. But I certainly think that class matters are often times ignores when you start talking about sexism and racism and they often forget that the most voiceless person in our society is the low class white male.

(23:00) Could you say a little bit more about that? Because people are going to say, I disagree with that, because that's not conventional wisdom at all.

Stanley: What it means for them to be voiceless is that they don't have a story that can make their lives intelligible. The only stories around are those that say "you must be lazy because you didn't get ahead." I think that's an extraordinarily destructive story. I come from working class, which is not lower class whites in America. Though many of the brick layers that I worked with were lower class whites who basically live in a hopeless world. So what you do is drink, screw and die.

Transkriberad från Jesus Radicals intervju med Stanley Hauerwas

fredag, oktober 29, 2010

Hart om den övernaturliga naturen

Missa för allt i världen inte David B. Harts vackra text i First Things.
A person who believes in fairies or in Thor may or may not be mistaken about certain finite objects within the cosmos; a person who believes in God may or may not be mistaken about being, the nature of existence itself, the logical possibility of any world, the moral meaning of the universe, and so on. The former kind of belief concerns facts of experience, the latter truths of reason, and to suggest that they occupy the same conceptual or existential space is either to confess one’s own stupidity or willfully to engage in cheap rhetorical thuggery.

That though, as I say, is obvious. My reason for taking exception to such remarks is perhaps somewhat more precious, but still quite sincere. Simply enough, what if there are fairies at the bottom of one’s garden? Or, more precisely, what the hell is so irrational in believing there are or might be?
... som @joelsh uttryckte det:
Och nästa gång nån bara: "Att tro på Gud är ju ungefär som att tro på féer & troll", svara: "Ja. Och?"

torsdag, oktober 21, 2010

Om sekulär vs. religiös kritik

James K.A Smith skriver mycket läsvärt om kritik i South Atlantic Quarterlys temanummer om "Global Christianity, Global Critique."
"A religious criticism? A religious critique? Even a religious critique of the secular? By calling into question the tales of secularism’s “pure” reason, Mahmood opens the space for imagining critique informed by quite different criteria—not the unquestioned criteria of liberalism, but an alternative vision of human flourishing. For if all critique presupposes criteria and the criteria for “secular” critique have, ultimately, the epistemic status of a kind of faith, then we could also imagine critique informed by a different story, a different faith. Secular critique, then, is what Graham Ward would describe as a “standpoint-project”—a worldview-relative, faith-laden critique. In this respect, the playing field is leveled: Christianity can also be understood as a standpoint-project. And “as a standpoint-project Christianity, then, approaches the world critically. The critique issues from both its ethical and its eschatological vision.” Christianity’s vision of future flourishing becomes the criterion by which the present order and systems are subject to critique. Rather than the opium secular critique would claim, Ward reads the practices of Christianity as a performative critique, as a mode of cultural criticism.
Under the aegis of modernity, critique was collapsed into the secular. And against the backdrop of Enlightenment rationality, prophetic critique could be seen only as parochial and hence uncritical—tainted by the particularity of religious tradition and thus disqualified from the alleged universality of secular reason. But if the secular itself has been shown to be contingent, particular, and (in a sense) religious, then we are no longer faced with a distinction between secular critique and religious belief, between secular suspicion and religious naïveté. Rather, the questions are: which religion? whose critique?

onsdag, oktober 20, 2010

Läsvärt ...

Ben Myers skriver om Reading and progress:
"Belief in progress is cemented deep beneath the floorboards of our culture; if we rarely speak of it, that is only because it has attained the status of an absolute fides implicita. We believe in progress as we believe in financial credit: a powerful silent credendum that gives shape to our social behaviour, preferences, and habits of mind."

Georg Henrik von Wright skrev på samma tema en bok med titeln Myten om framsteget:
"Om det ligger i modernitetens ide att det inte finns några objektiva mått på godhet, värden, då är tron på framsteget enligt ett upplyst sätt att tänka bara en trosartikel. Den kan visa sig äga lika litet rationellt berättigande som den tro som påve eller kejsare eller någon annan premodern auktoritet en gång försökt inprägla hos människorna."

Adam Miller skriver om Existential multitasking:
"All sins are just variations on that same desire to do something else when you’re already doing something. Multitaskers are children of the devil. You can’t serve two masters. Divided attention is just dressed up inattention.

Dagens bästa tweet stod för:
@DilsaDSten följdfråga: är liberalismen religion eller politik och på vilket sätt skiljer de två kategorierna sig åt?

tisdag, oktober 19, 2010

Om amerikanska presidenters tro

"Of course George W Bush was and is a sincere Christian. But that is just an indication of how little being a Christian has to do with sincerity. That is why I find Miliband's atheism more interesting than the "faith" of the American presidents."
Hauerwas jämför amerikansk och brittisk religiositet i en läsvärd krönika i The Guardian.

måndag, oktober 18, 2010

Om rädsla som substitut för visioner

Många är de kommentatorer som menar att den gångna valrörelsen utmärktes av en brist visioner eller berättelser som förmår att hålla samman politiken och ge mening och sammanhang. I en läsvärd krönika i The Guardian ger Slavoj Zizek en hint om vad som kommit att ersätta den politiska visionen som sammanhållande funktion - rädslan:
"After the disintegration of the communist regimes in 1990, we entered a new era in which the predominant form of the exercise of state power became a depoliticised expert administration and the co-ordination of interests. The only way to introduce passion into this kind of politics, the only way to actively mobilise people, is through fear: the fear of immigrants, the fear of crime, the fear of godless sexual depravity, the fear of the excessive state (with its burden of high taxation and control), the fear of ecological catastrophe, as well as the fear of harassment (political correctness is the exemplary liberal form of the politics of fear). (...) This vision of the detoxification of one's neighbour suggests a clear passage from direct barbarism to barbarism with a human face. It reveals the regression from the Christian love of one's neighbour back to the pagan privileging of our tribe versus the barbarian Other. Even if it is cloaked as a defence of Christian values, it is itself the greatest threat to Christian legacy."

Jag vill i sammanhanget tipsa om den anglikanske ärkebiskopen Rowan Williams koncisa redogörelse för hur den kristna berättelsen ser på sambandet mellan rädsla och kärlek:


By the way ... Zizek föreläser i Stockholm den 15 och 16 november. Biljetterna är slutsålda sedan länge, men om någon skulle ha ett par plåtar över är jag hejdlöst intresserad!

fredag, oktober 01, 2010

Om kultur som infrastruktur

James Davison Hunters nya bok To Change the World - The Irony, Tragedy, & Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World, har rönt en hel del uppmärksamhet. Hunter tar avstamp i det faktum att sättet på vilket vi föreställer oss och tänker på kultur, påverkar det sätt som vi försöker påverka världen. Hunter är kritisk till den idealism, individualism och pietism som han menar utgör den förhärskande kultursynen inom den både den evangelikala högern och vänstern i USA. I dessa cirklar framställs kungsvägen till att påverka världen, och att vinna "kulturkriget", som att vinna människors "hearts & minds" och att påverka deras värderingar. Hunter menar att denna strategi är naiv och felaktig , och frågar retoriskt (ur en intervju i Christianity Today ):
"How is it that American public life is so profoundly secular when 85 percent of the population professes to be Christian? If a culture were simply the sum total of beliefs, values, and ideas that ordinary individuals hold, then the United States would be a far more religious society. Looking at our entertainment, politics, economics, media, and education, we are forced to conclude that the cultural influence of Christians is negligible. By contrast, Jews, who compose 3 percent of the population, exert significant cultural influence disproportionate to their numbers, notably in literature, art, science, medicine, and technology. Gays offer another example. Minorities would have no effect if culture were solely about ideas, but that’s clearly not the case."
Hunters poäng är att kultur är så mycket mer än tankar, ideér och värderingar. Kultur är också institutioner, nätverk och relationer. Kort sagt, kultur är infrastruktur! Med detta perspektiv tecknar Hunter en teologi om påverkan, makt, offentlighet och politik.

Själv har jag bara hunnit ett kapitel i boken, men det finns en läsvärd recension och en mycket intressant intervju mellan Hunter och av James K.A Smith att tillgå hos The Other Journal. En föreläsning med Hunter kan dessutom avlyssnas här.