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?

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