The dissenting voice

‘…She said there can be no true faith without doubt.
“It’s the dissenting voice that’s most worth preserving.”‘

– Archer & Armstrong #3
by Fred Van Lente and Clayton Henry with Pere Perez, quoted from wednesdaytheology.blogspot
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“Doubt isn’t a problem that needs to be overcome; it’s an invitation that needs to be explored. It is not the enemy of faith, but a friend.”
– Gregory A. Boyd, Benefit of the Doubt: Breaking the Idol of Certainty (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2013)
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Dukkha

“Dukkha (Pāli; Sanskrit: duḥkha; Tibetan: སྡུག་བསྔལ་ sdug bsngal, pr. “duk-ngel”) is an important Buddhist concept, commonly translated as “suffering”, “pain” or “unsatisfactoriness”. It refers to the fundamental unsatisfactoriness and painfulness of mundane life.”

– Wikipedia

A coefficient of uncertainty

“Who am I? I am one who finds his life a question, whose life is always being put in question, which is what gives life its salt. We seek but do not find, not quite, not if we are honest, which does not discourage the religious heart but drives it on and heightens the passion, for this is one more encounter with the impossible. We may and we must have our opinions on the subject; we must finally reach a judgment and take a stand about life, but my advice is to attach a coefficient of uncertainty to what we say, for even after we have taken a stand, we still do not know who we are.”

John D. Caputo, On Religion

Nutshells

“Nutshells close and encapsulate, shelter and protect, reduce and simplify, while everything in deconstruction is turned toward opening, exposure, expansion, and complexification, toward releasing unheard of, undreamt of possibilities to come, toward cracking nutshells wherever they appear.”

– John D. Caputo

Get-me-to-heaven-and-the-rest-be-damned

“The Right thinks that the breakdown of the family is the source of crime and poverty, and this they very insightfully blame on the homosexuals, which would be amusing were it not so tragic. Families and ‘family values’ are crushed by grinding poverty, which also makes violent crime and drugs attractive alternatives to desperate young men and sends young women into prostitution. Family values are no less corrupted by the corrosive effects of individualism, consumerism, and the accumulation of wealth. Instead of shouting this from the mountain tops, the get-me-to-heaven-and-the-rest-be-damned Christianity the Christian Right preaches is itself a version of selfish spiritual capitalism aimed at netting major and eternal dividends, and it fits hand in glove with American materialism and greed.”

John D. Caputo, What Would Jesus Deconstruct?: The Good News of Postmodernism for the Church

The weakness of God

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John D. Caputo

The Weakness of God: A Theology of the Event

ISBN-13: 978-0253218285, ISBN-10:0253218284

 

“Applying an ever more radical hermeneutics (including Husserlian and Heideggerian phenomenology, Derridian deconstruction, and feminism), John D. Caputo breaks down the name of God in this irrepressible book. Instead of looking at God as merely a name, Caputo views it as an event, or what the name conjures or promises in the future. For Caputo, the event exposes God as weak, unstable, and barely functional. While this view of God flies in the face of most religions and philosophies, it also puts up a serious challenge to fundamental tenets of theology and ontology. Along the way, Caputo’s readings of the New Testament, especially of Paul’s view of the Kingdom of God, help to support the “weak force” theory. This penetrating work cuts to the core of issues and questions―What is the nature of God? What is the nature of being? What is the relationship between God and being? What is the meaning of forgiveness, faith, piety, or transcendence?―that define the terrain of contemporary philosophy of religion.”

“I am wounded by theology, unhinged and uprooted by the blow it has delivered to my heart. Theology is my weakness, the way one has a weakness for sex or money, what I secretly desire, or maybe not so secretly, even as it desires everything of me. Still, with all due deference, like Johannes Climacus speaking of being a Christian, I would say that on my best days I am working at becoming theological.” – Caputo. 

“The desire for God—that is the root of the trouble I have bought for myself. I have taken God, the name of God, what is happening in the name of God, as my subject matter. With or without religion,3 with or without what ordinarily passes for theology, the name of God is too important to leave in the hands of the special interest groups. That is why I freely own up here to a certain theological gesture, to a theological desire and a “desiring theology,” as Charles Winquist would have put it,4 which is undeniably a desire for God, for something astir in the name of God, a desire for something I know not what, for which I pray night and day. I am praying for an event.” 

“the truth of the event does not belong to the order of identificatory knowledge, as if our life’s charge were to track down and learn the secret name of some fugitive spirit.”