Thursday, May 14, 2015

Being and Time and Comedy Central

The weakening of Being (Heidegger) has made "Christianity" once again a legible, credible story, one that we can take seriously, and secularization has transcribed that story from unreadable myth into legible history. In secular culture the old religious narratives are published in a new edition, translated into the secular vernacular in an affordable paperback. There they are no longer tales told about transcendent transactions in eternity but stories about the saeculum, the historical time in which real people live. There is thus a "family resemblance" between the weakening of Being and the rebirth of religion, an essential correlation. With the withering away of metaphysics, which was given ample opportunity to prove its worth and whose only result was an arid and reifying rationality that turned the world and human life into objects for instrumental reason, we are free to return for nourishment to the old religious narratives.
 I was going to pull apart this long passage by Caputo, in order to focus on certain passages.  Then I got sidetracked by this interview with Reza Aslan:

For the record, what Aslan is talking about here is hermeneutics; i.e., everything is interpretation. Scriptures are right because I say so, and because of how I interpret them.  There's also something to be said about Christmas there, and in Caputo:

For example, for Vattimo, the commonplace complaint that the secular world has taken the Christ of to Christmas and transcribed it into "Happy Holidays" is to be viewed as still another success on Christianity's part. For now the Incarnation, a theological doctrine accepted in a strong or robust form only within confessional limits, has been translated into a popular secular holiday in the West, in which the spirit of generosity and goodwill among all people prevails. During the "holidays" this attenuated if wispy "spirit" of love becomes general among humankind, which is what in fact this doctrine actually "means," its application in the concrete reality of lived experience.

So I gotta postpone that discussion a little longer....

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