lördag, december 31, 2011

John wants to win, I just want to survive!

I ett fantastiskt samtal mellan John Milbank och Stanley Hauerwas, lett av Luke Bretherton,  tydliggörs centrala skillnader mellan Hauerwas och Milbanks teologi. I utdraget nedan ber Bretherton dem redogöra för hur de uppfattar varandras metod och tillvägagångssätt:

SH: I try to avoid the language of declension exactly because I think the church always finds itself in tension with the world. And so, it is not like we ever got it right. I use broad historical analysis to help me give a diagnosis of the world in which I now have to negotiate being a Christian, but I don´t want to take it over. John wants to take it over!

LB: Do you want to respond there, John? 

JM: Oh no. I definitely want to win, no question. It is absolutely right. There´s nothing wrong with winning. Just because Christianity is about peace, charity and humility, and so on doesn´t mean we don´t want to win. But precisely because we want those virtues to win we want them to prevail and to transform the world. That´s just the program of salvation as far as I am concerned. The church has suffered to long from a sort of false consciousness that turns loosing and the apparent inevitability of loosing into a kind of kenotic following of Jesus. It is not, it is a lie!

SH: I didn´t say I wanted to loose, I wanted to survive!

Samtalet i sin helhet återfinns här: "Theological Reflections on Being a Theologian and the Task of Theology". 


Om phyleteism

"... to say we are a ‘Christian nation’ is to confuse what it means to be a Christian with what it means to be British and this is to confuse the ‘nation’ for the church. In theological terms this confusion has a name: it’s called ‘phyletism’ and was condemned by the Synod of Constantinople in 1872 as a heresy.  What the Synod was condemning was a move whereby national identity and ecclesial identity become synonymous such that to be Greek is to be Orthodox and vice versa."
Luke Bretherton, tillträdande professor i teologisk etik vid Duke (Hauerwas arvtagare?), reder ut begreppen och kommer ut som Kristdemokrat. Bretherton finns även på twitter som @WestLondonMan

tisdag, december 27, 2011

Gemensamma nämnare

måndag, december 26, 2011

God politisk jul!

På juldagens förmiddag roade jag mig med att titta igenom ett antal jultal från diverse statsöverhuvuden, regeringschefer, och kyrkoledare. För stats- och regeringschefer tycks det obligatoriska jultalet utgöra både en lockelse och en utmaning. Lockelsen ligger sannolikt i möjligheten i att för ett par ögonblick få framstå som trygg och enande landsfader genom att få adressera undersåtarna från en position höjd över vardagens politiska käbbel. Julen behandlas här som en tid för att lägga den splittrande politiken åt sidan för att istället fokusera på sådant som uppfattas som enande, okontroversiellt och opolitiskt. Svårigheten består dock i att tala om julen i ett förment neutralt perspektiv, och om vad denna högtid egentligen handlar om. Det vill säga utan att ta den specifika tradition, ur vilken julen härstammar och blir begriplig, på allvar. Resultatet blir därför oftast en tunn soppa av plattityder och sentimentalitet.

Det finns förstås olika strategier för att komma runt detta dilemma. Man kan till exempel välja att fokusera på ett alternativt ämne som alla förväntas sluta upp bakom och därigenom skapa en känsla av gemenskap och samhörighet. Till exempel: våld i nära relationer (Reinfeldt), alla som är ensamma (Kungen), landets ekonomi (Kanadas premiärminister), stöd till militär trupp i utlandet (Obama), eller familjen - (Drottning Elizabeth).

Det finns något komiskt i det faktum att det är världens politiska ledare som bidrar till avpolitiseringen av julens budskap genom att reducera det till att handla om varma känslor, glitter i barns ögon, och tid med familjen. Enligt kristen traditionen är julen dock långt ifrån opolitisk. Den handlar nämligen om ankomsten av en ny politisk regim - Guds rike.
N.T Wright uttrycker detta väl: 
"Well, you may say, I didn’t expect to be told about empires and money and wars when I came to church tonight. I expected to hear lovely things that would make me feel good inside. But that’s the trouble with how we’ve treated Christmas these many years: we’ve screened out the emperors, and so we’ve missed the point of the angels. The Christmas story, like Isaiah’s prophecy, isn’t about an escape from the real world of politics and economics, of empires and taxes and bloodthirsty wars. It’s about God addressing these problems at last, from within, coming into our world – his world! – and shouldering the burden of authority, coming to deal with the problems of evil, of chaos and violence and oppression in all their horrible forms. And only when we look hard at those promises and come to grips with what they really mean are we able to grasp the real comfort and joy that Christmas does truly provide. Otherwise we are purchasing a spurious private comfort at the inflated cost of allowing the rest of the world to continue in its misery."

tisdag, december 20, 2011

Carl Schmitt

Intressant artikel i dagens SvD om Carl Schmitt och "den och postpolitiska liberala toleransens återvändsgränder".

måndag, december 19, 2011

Mixed bag

- Vad händer om en präst i Svenska kyrkan hävdar att:
"Det finns ingen fallen skapelse och därför blir hela försoningsläran orimlig! Plocka bort allt tal om synd, skuld, skam, blod, slaktade lamm och annat förfärligt! Det hör inte hemma i modern tid, bland upplysta människor!" 
Kyrkans tidning rapporterar och Marie Demker reflekterar klokt med anledning av domkapitlets beslut.

- En adventspredikan av Stanley Hauerwas.

- Benedict XVI om rättvisans rötter:
"In this world of ours, in which, despite the profession of good intentions, the value of the person, of human dignity and human rights is seriously threatened by the widespread tendency to have recourse exclusively to the criteria of utility, profit and material possessions, it is important not to detach the concept of justice from its transcendent roots. Justice, indeed, is not simply a human convention, since what is just is ultimately determined not by positive law, but by the profound identity of the human being. It is the integral vision of man that saves us from falling into a contractual conception of justice and enables us to locate justice within the horizon of solidarity and love(6).
We cannot ignore the fact that some currents of modern culture, built upon rationalist and individualist economic principles, have cut off the concept of justice from its transcendent roots, detaching it from charity and solidarity: “The ‘earthly city’ is promoted not merely by relationships of rights and duties, but to an even greater and more fundamental extent by relationships of gratuitousness, mercy and communion. Charity always manifests God’s love in human relationships as well, it gives theological and salvific value to all commitment for justice in the world”."

torsdag, december 15, 2011

Årets julklapp?

Bara Zizek kan skriva en bok om Hegel på 1200 sidor och ge den titeln Less Than Nothing.

William Connolly om problemen med sekularism

"... for secularists, religion is safely relegated to the private realm only because secularists also contend that there is an independent way of reaching authoritative public agreements without recourse to the diverse religious faiths of citizens. The problem is that different secular sects nominate different instruments to fill this role, and each instrument diverges significantly from the others on what that authoritative practice is or could be. Some place their faith in the dictates of public reason, others in deliberative consensus, others in transparent procedures, others in implicit contractual agreements, and others in a ‘‘myth’’ of equality citizens accept as if it were ontologically grounded. None of these images of public life folds the reflexivity needed into faith-practices themselves. They do not, in my view, because they pretend to identify a forum above faith through which to regulate diverse faiths. If the nobility of secularism resides in its quest to enable multiple faiths to co-exist on the same territory, its shallowness resides in the hubris of its distinction between private faith and public reason."

Vries, Hent de, och Lawrence Eugene Sullivan. Political theologies: public religions in a post-secular world. Fordham Univ Press, 2006., 292

The Theologico-Political Problem

"What constitutes the political, and how does its classical and modern regime moderate or mitigate the age-old relationship between reason and revelation, which, in the history of Western thought, has been variably characterized by antagonism, analogy, co-dependence, and multiple attempts at reconciliation and amalgamation?"

Vries, Hent de, och Lawrence Eugene Sullivan. Political theologies: public religions in a post-secular world. Fordham Univ Press, 2006., 53

tisdag, december 13, 2011

Skolan förkunnar alltid, frågan är bara vad

"Prästerna får inte förkunna. Det har Skolverket slagit fast. Men då måste Skolverket förklara på vilket sätt de firanden som äger rum i en helt vanlig kommunal skola idag inte är förkunnande."

Lovisa Bergdahl gör ett klokt inlägg i följetongen om skolan och adventsfirandet.

Forska på Charles Taylor?

- Institutionen för Litteratur, Idéhistoria och Religion i Göteborg söker doktorander.

- Konferens om och med Charles Taylor med anledning av hans 80-årsdag. Första gången jag på allvar övervägt att besöka Quebec.

fredag, december 09, 2011


Jag har, som Hauerwas skulle uttryckt saken, ingen anledning att ifrågasätta huruvida Rick Perry är en uppriktig kristen. Hans pr-film visar dock hur lite uppriktighet har att göra med att vara kristen. Eller för att citera Perry själv: I believe in the name of the father, the son and the... uhh... what's that third one? uhh... oops!

lördag, december 03, 2011

Dagens dualism-diss

"There is a perennial temptation that haunts all thought, a temptation that is dangerous for most discourse, but terminal for theology, namely, to parse existence in terms of dualisms: transcendence/immanence; natural/supernatural; sacred/profane; philosophy/theology, and so on."
"In the West, we are used to the sophomore question “do you believe in God?” but such a question is no longer tenable. Why not? Quite simply, the idea of nature, the idea of the purely natural is a fiction,  ..." [...] "We cannot ask if people believe in God, nor if this or that experience is divine or religious, thus presuming there can be an experience that is not divine, just as we have presumed in asking the question about belief in God, that people make sense outside God, and moreover, and even more tellingly, that language makes sense outside theology. Let me spoil the ending, it does not."
Connor Cunningham - Natura pura, the Invention of the Anti-Christ: A Week With No Sabbath

A folly to the French

"There is a carnivalesque quality about a faith for which the whole cosmos is at stake in the gift of a cup of water.  The Son of Man sweeps majestically down on the clouds of glory only to inquire prosaically whether you have visted the sick and fed the hungry.  Conventional Messiahs tend to make their entrance into the national capial in bullet-proof limousines with police outriders, not on a donkey.  Jesus is presented as a sick joke of a Saviour.  Yet the Christian gospel sees in such humdrum activity as clothing the naked the foretaste of a transfiguration of the earth, one which is folly to the French.  The exceptional and the everyday are not divided domains, as they are for the disciples of Lacan."

Terry Eagleton, The Trouble With Strangers: A Study of Ethics, 292-3.  via Sublunary sublime