Material Sacramentality | Virgin Mary, Mother of God, Be a Feminist, We Pray Thee

Postmodern theology cannot begin in sanctuaries where there is, as a presupposition, a witness of faith, although these sanctuaries can be visited. —Charles Winquist

Henri Bergson writes that being Platonists to a greater or less degree, the ancients imagined that Being was given once and for all, complete and perfect, in the immutable system of Ideas. The world of matter-flux which humankind inhabit was therefore rendered as impotent and incapable of adding anything to it. Since the whole was presupposed as given, movement was perceived as the space covered between privileged actualizations of Ideas (Imputus). The modern scientific revolution led to a shift, which meant that movement was no longer understood as a recomposition of the space covered between privileged actualizations of transcendental Ideas but between any immanent material elements (Inertia). Thank God for physics and history.

However, as Deleuze explains in Cinema 1when Achilles overtakes the tortoise, what changes is the state of the whole which encompasses the tortoise, Achilles, and the distance between the two. Chic This is Bergson’s main thesis: movement equals qualitative change of the whole. The ancients and the moderns thus perceived movement in two distinct ways but they made the same underlying mistake by presupposing the whole as given. The whole is not given according to Bergson, because its essence is constant and qualitative transformation. Real movement is thus concrete duration and as Deleuze points out, duration or the whole is a spiritual reality which constantly changes according to its Wholesale Miami Dolphins Jerseys own relations.

Since the whole is not given but continuously becoming, theology cannot begin in sanctuaries where a testimony of faith lays the foundation. What Charles Winquist labels as sanctuaries are the mental and material architecture of institutions which presupposes the whole Cannondale as given. Further, such institutions exists in both religious and secular forms, and to use a language that they themselves would approve of.

It is also paramount to note that a similar tendency to the shift from the ancient to modern view on movement can also be seen in the modern turn towards individualism. Both shifts signify a kind of democratization—from privileged actualizations to any actualizations whatsoever, and from privileged institutions to all individuals—which means that not only grand old structures should abandon the belief in the whole as given, but that this is true also of modern individuals. Not simply because Being is not given once and for all, but since the consequence of presupposed witnesses of faith is both the suppression of desires and the oppression of people.

Ethics is thus the name of the game. Michel Foucault writes in the preface to Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus that their ‘strategic adversary is fascism. And not only historical fascism, the fascism of Hitler and Mussolini—which was able to mobilize and use the desire of the masses so effectively—but also the fascism in us all, in our heads and in our everyday behavior, the fascism that cause us to love power, to desire the very thing that dominates and exploits us.’

By making use of Foucault, Petra Carlsson traces the historical movement from God to man as noted above. She then turns to Deleuze in order to imagine a third draw in which ‘the forces of man will enter into relation with other forces again in such a cheap NFL jerseys way as to make something else that will no longer be either God or man.’ Representational thinking is thus left behind, regardless if it is exegetical or critical, in order for us to create new compounds; a kind of non-places in which a catacombic theopoetics is both spoken and performed. Rather than reducing two contraries to an identity of the same, catacombic theology follows Deleuze wholesale MLB jerseys and Guattari and affirms the distance between the contraries as that which relates the two as substance different. As Catherine Keller puts it, ‘God is not just loving but the love by which any fragile difference is cherished.’

Since Being is not presupposed as given once and for all, the eternal world breath of fire—the spiritual reality of this becoming God—calls for a deconstructive apophatic language, but as wholesale NBA jerseys Keller makes clear, ‘it will come contaminated–entrained–with some positively relational language: Mother Sofia, Black Christ, Queer God and all.’ Perhaps it can also be articulated as a punk prayer that breaks with the old aeon in order to call forth a new: Virgin Mary, Mother of God, Be a Feminist, We Pray Thee…


To Top