Sunday, December 20, 2009

Primordial writing

The first writing was the memory of the spoken.

On Dreams...

"The laconic, lapidary quality of dreams is not the impassive presence of petrified signs."

Derrida  "Freud and the Scene of Writing" 

Friday, November 27, 2009

Différance -- differ and defer...

"Derrida indicates that différance gestures at a number of heterogeneous features which govern the production of textual meaning. The first (relating to deferral) is the notion that words and signs can never fully summon forth what they mean, but can only be defined through appeal to additional words, from which they differ. Thus, meaning is forever "deferred" or postponed through an endless chain of signifiers. The second (relating to difference, sometimes referred to as espacement or "spacing") concerns the force which differentiates elements from one another and, in so doing, engenders binary oppositions and hierarchies which underpin meaning itself." 

--from the Wikipedia article on différance

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


History--the airbrushing speech of the victor/vanquished.

--from the Wikipedia article on différance 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

God--the Thief

"God is thus the proper name of that which deprives us of our own nature, of our own birth; consequently he will always have spoken before us, on the sly.  He is the difference which insinuates itself between myself and myself as my death."    Derrida   "La parole soufflée"

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Of Judaism and reawakening Greeks

But if one calls this experience of the infinitely other Judaism (which is only a hypothesis for us), one must reflect upon the necessity in which this experience finds itself, the injunction by which it is ordered to occur as logos, and to reawaken the Greek in the autistic syntax of his own dream.

Derrida   "Violence and Metaphysics"

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Three Readings

Recently I have been thinking about how we interpret the bible, often unconsciously,  through our culture, traditions,  and belief systems.  Below, I have tried to reveal those interpretations for three, very different people.

Reader #1

For God [big guy on the throne] so loved the world [except for homosexuals, Muslims, liberal Democrats, and the ACLU of course] that He [male, authority figure] gave his only Son, [male, empathy figurethat whoever[yes, anyone] believes [affirms the Apostle’s Creed, accepts Jesus as their personal savior, believed that God raised him from the dead, confesses that they are a sinner and commits to an ongoing reduction of sinning—including not smoking, drinking, fornicating, and going to R rated movies, is pro-life and holds that the Scriptures are the inerrant word of God] in Him [male empathy figure] should not perish [spiritual death, not physical death] but have eternal life [in heaven while all the non-believers are tortured eternally in the fires of hell] 

Reader #2

For God [destructive invention of man] so loved [Ha, some kind of love that torments forever those that don't bow down to you]  the world [full of deluded people that insist there is a God] that He gave [beware, this gift has some serious strings attached!]  his only Son, [Where's Mom? Couldn't the two of you managed more than one kid, with all that omnipotence?] that whoever believes [...and shuts down their frontal lobes] in Him [that raving prophet in the 1st Century with delusions of grandeur and an apparent suicidal streak] should not perish [it seems that lots of believers have perished--jokes on them] but have eternal life. [What a convenient fiction!  Keep the masses quiet with unverifiable promises.  Suck it up now and keep those tithes coming--but heaven will be great, singing songs and all that, plus throw in a few virgins to attract the young men ] 

Reader #3

For God[Consuming fire and love that fills the universe] so loved the world [What manner of love is this?  Apparently not the unconditional acceptance sort of love, or the I Cor 13 "Love does not insist on its own way" sort of love. The love of offering choices.]  that He [Can we get over the He/She thing and recognize that God transcends gender? Two thousand years ago I can see that people weren't ready for this, but now?  Come on! We don't require "The Force" in Star Wars to be a he or a she] gave [Well, more like offers.  The "gift" has strings--just your life is required.  God offers a great gift, but for a gift to be a gift there must be a willing recipient-even something wonderful, if forced upon us it ceases to be a gift.] his only son, [Another tired metaphor?  Christ is a son only in the most abstract sense.  There is no mother, no possibility of other siblings to add significance to his "only-ness"   There is no sequence  to the Father and the Son -- they both precede time] that whoever believes [So the only requirement is belief.  What manner of belief is this?  And how long must it be maintained?  Continuously until we die?  Or is there a five second rule on belief sufficient for collecting the prize? Jesus gives us some clues:  Moses in the desert raises sin (a serpent) on a piece of wood and only asks that the dying look at the serpent, a look was enough] in Him should not perish [ as was his custom, Jesus is muddying the waters with respect to death.  Of course he means spiritual, not physical death.]  but have eternal life.[It seems that the damned have eternal life too--at least in some passages, but we can reasonably assume eternal life is a good thing.  Pretty mysterious place, we will still have bodies, a physical reality, no marriages, but nice places to stay.]

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Formal Indication

"The only way to thematize a being that cannot be named is to indicate it formally, to point at it exhortatively in such a way that we are drawn to perform the act of thinking that will light up the being for ourselves."

The Early Heidegger & Medieval Philosophy: Phenomenology for the Godforsaken 

by S. J. Mcgrath

"The key to a formal indication is that it does not subsume or enclose particulars within or under it, does  not precontain them, but simply points an indicative finger at "singularities: that are beyond its ken, kind, genus, and generic appetite.  The facticity or singularity, on the other hand is not "conceived" or "grasped" but entered into, given in to, by a certain practical or praxical engagements, which means that you can never "get" it from the outside and you can never "get into" it except by "doing" it, facere veritatem.

"Deconstruction in a nutshell"   John Caputo

Monday, September 7, 2009

Metaphor and Language

"Before being a rhetorical procedure within language, metaphor would be the emergence of language itself" Derrida "Violence and Metaphysics"

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Metaphysics of Desire

Derrida "Violence and Metaphysics" Italics are the author's
  • "Metaphysical transcendence is desire."

  • "Thus, the metaphysics of desire is a metaphysics of infinite separation"

  • "Incapable of respecting the Being and meaning of the other, phenomenology and ontology would be philosophies of violence."

  • Your desire shall be for [against] your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Genesis 3: 16 ESV

  • If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for [against] you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4: 7 ESV

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Illusion of Ethics

Ethics do not exist--only decisions are real

The universal cannot be trusted--you must do/love/walk as is required of you

Truth and the Scriptures

"Greogory's deconstructive strategies of refutation, in the end, indict both language and the Scriptures. Comprised of a variety of genres, none of which sustains a systematic approach, the Scriptures defy the type of positivistic analytic endoresed by Eunomius. In all of this, there seem to be at least three loci of subversion: the diastemic and kinetic constitution of thinking/speaking man and the language he employs, the diverse composition of the primary source text, and the subversion of language and logic by the Logos, in respect to both his incarnation and his place in the Trinity."

 "Theology of the Gap" Scot Douglass pg 123

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Knowledge, Faith, and Belief

"I don't know. One must believe." Derrida

"I believe; help my unbelief!" Father of demon possessed boy Mark 9:24 (ESV)

"And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would drawn near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him" Apostle Paul Heb 11:6 (ESV)

"Before God and with God we live without God." Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Searching for Truth

"The discovery of truth begets an everlasting search whose value is in the search itself. Since dimensional man is, himself, kinetic, he must continually be becoming. What a believer can do is continually "stand within" openings of truth, eternal openings that infinitely grow in size."

Scot Douglass in "Theology of the Gap" pg230

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Community without Community

I have been thinking about the role of Christian community, perhaps a.k.a."The Church", compared to our individuality--especially in what passes for truth and sound doctrine.  

I very frustrated with the Evangelicals being locked-up over the stories in Genesis chapter 1 through 11.   These stories, useful for thousands of years as powerful lessons have now become a powerful destroyer of community and I believe a hindrance to the Spirit of God.   Validated by no less than Jesus himself (Matt 24) the creation stories collide with scientific discovery--creating an unacceptable tension.   The Evangelicals call upon us to reject the truth of what nature presents in favor of a hermeneutic.   A hermeneutic that allows violation of at least one of the Ten Commandments (keeping the Sabbath), but does not allow other statements to be interpreted in a historical way.   

I was nudged last night to find my copy of "Deconstruction in a nutshell" --edited / commentary by Caputo.    I did find it (I've been looking for it for weeks), and read the chapter on "community without community". 

 The possibility of community is sustained by its impossibility.  Our uniqueness, the radical contingency of our being, and the impossibility of agreeing on everything makes community impossible. Christians are called to community, and are pushed beyond themselves--to give and to minister traditionally, but perhaps we are also called  to accept new versions of truth (heresy!).  

 The lack of openness in the Christian community towards science plants potential seeds of its destruction.   Its insistence on agency in the creation of life throws it against the theory of evolution--and I fear the community will break. 

 Adding scientific facts into the conversation has no impact on the true believers--the wagons are circled, the hermeneutic of inerrancy is the redoubt (curious word).   Those that don't know science are enthralled by the few scientists that support their world.