[Audio] Post-Marxist Slavoj Žižek plays theologian and listen to what he says



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Post-Marxist critic Slavoj Žižek elaborates on theology- a great inspiration to listen to.

■ To say salvation is from our good works like an economic exchange is an OBSCENITY! No, it [salvation] has to be predestination [by God]- « this I totally agree with, » says Žižek.

■ It is a mystery that a Protestant ethics on « active work, » rather than a passive hedonism, was spawned by this belief in predestination.

Zizek’s take on this, to much of my delight, is close to the one advanced by Teilhard de Chardin, Jenson, Derrida and Barth. Predestination is not determinism; as an extremely refined dialectic, we understand it as being decided chronologically backwards: thing happened now retroactively decides the past. (And the history is predestined by and in the eschaton.)

« Every great work of art retroactively changes its entire past. » – T. S. Eliot
« A great writer create his or her own precursors. » -Jorge Luis Borges

■ True freedom is found in faith in the postliberal sense (free for others, such as a loving act): We are free to constitute our very predestination, to choose our necessity.

■ The deification (theosis) tradition in Eastern Orthodox Church is very problematic to Zizek. It turns Christ into somewhat an idol.

■ Calvinism is the purest form of Christianity.

■ We are part of God’s history. Using a nice Hegelian dialectic formulation, only through Protestantism does Christianity become what it always is through history. Protestantism does not elevate meditation or some kind of inner orgasm. Rather, it is principled by Sola Scriptura (Bible alone) and it does not mean it’s only you and God; it means you cannot bypass the Logos. Church as an institution- the essence of Gemeinde (community)- means precisely that.

■ What Zizek opposes is the Feuerbach understanding of religion, aka a soft religious humanism. True religion is more than man in man. Even in psychoanalysis, « death drive » is not a pursuit of Nirvana; it is an insistence for more life and death. Here Zizek claims himself to be a strict Kierkegaardian (!). What Kierkegaard jettisoned at his time is also the mundane coin with its two sorry sides without a portrayal reflective of Jesus’ lordship: soft religious humanism and state conformism.

■ Man has to be de-centered with regard to God. But there must also be a gap between God and the Godhead (?). In order to fully account men, you must accept that God is de-centered in Himself with regard to Himself. (This sounds Jenson-ian and Moltmannian)


Fundamental Queries for Constructing a theology of imago Dei

Fundamental Queries for Constructing a theology of imago Dei (上帝形象的神學):

  • 1. Do we have a nature in the philosophical term?
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    Paraphrase: Aren’t we right to say that our egos are the potentiality of the genes of our biological makeup? (Atomists and Materialists: Yes.) Or are we given in in our context—viz. we are our language, our society, our natural and social relations and so on; our individuality is the construct of the collectivity of the inhabited and observed universe that narrates us? (Post-structrualists: Yes.)

  • 2. Is צֶ֫לֶם / εἰκών (image) best understood as a mode that has to be universally discovered/recovered in humanity, or must we appropriate in life the concept mythologically, namely, in a way that the locus of its realization can only be dated back to the Omega point (cf. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin) in the eschatological terms and in light of the Derridean différence?
    An image of the deceased French philosopher Ja...
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Paraphrase: does “the image of God” still have a [pragmatic/ethical] meaning for this lifetime if we refuse to relate the concept to the consummation of the universe? (Richard B. Hays: No. Teilhard de Chardin: No. Jacques Derrida: No. Non-realists: Yes.)

  • 3. Do the εὐαγγελία ἀγαθὸί (good news) have substance? Or it is merely an ideological form (or conceptual norm) unto which we handily apply [cultural, linguistic, or contextual] substances available to us? ([to the latter question] Idealists: Yes. Essentialists: No.)
  • Paraphrase: can we outline the ideal man transformed by the gospel by virtue (a person who will act in certain way under certain circumstance)? Or must we stop at where the apostle Paul is at in his analogical appropriation of the Greco-Roman ethics (viz. Galatians 5:22-23a ὁ δὲ καρπὸς τοῦ πνεύματός ἐστιν ἀγάπη χαρὰ εἰρήνη, μακροθυμία χρηστότης ἀγαθωσύνη, πίστις, πραΰτης ἐγκράτεια· But what do they look like, I mean, with substance? Figure that out in your own context!)?  *** »But the fruit of the Spirit is blove, joy, peace, patience, ckindness, goodness, faithfulness umility, self control. »
  • 4. Does the Logos of God have an essence in eternity apart from the 33 solar years when He is elected to adopt a human body with all its potentiality of the genes of the body’s biological makeup (provided the rough dualistic way of theologizing and let alone the complexity involved in speaking the socio-cultural contextual constructive aspects of the Son of Man)?  (Calvinists: Yes. Karl Barth: No.)
  • Paraphrase: What can we speak of “Christ as the Man”? How are we going to understand it?
  • 5. Should my girl friend love me because of who I really am in the sense of all the vices and virtues of my pure EGO (understood in the Freudian term if you want to)? Or should she love me because of all the chances (according the Aristotelian concept of “luck” in the human politics) and the gifts (in the sense of Jean-Luc Marion’s des donnés) that has shaped me over time and has actualized the unique Self in me in the unique way, as it is now, among all the possibilities, and in this actual universe out all of the possible universes                                                                                                                       —the totality of all of these we call « grace », and the Buddhists and Chinese alike would like to call it (yuan)?

    Paraphrase: of course she should not love me because of the generic “image of God” in me. Everyone has that, and that does not encourage her to love everyone in the way she loves me. She must have loved me for a REASON! But what is it? Is that 緣 (yuan) or something in relation to it? How do we delineate the ontology, ethics, or phenomenology of 緣 (yuan) or this mystery of relation- whatever it should be called?