This is Full Communism.
Yet another intriguing post, The Lamb Slain From the Foundation of the World: The Crucifixion as Revelation of the Kenotic Core of Reality, from Michael Dise over at Theopoetry. Check it out for a vaguely Hegelian take on the New Testament’s Lamb metaphor.
I was recently asked to contribute some articles to an ecumenical theology discussion group, appropriately named The Ecumenicals. There, three-to-five contributors from different points on the theological spectrum respond to a single issue, text, or question. Please check out their very interesting website.
My contributions can be found here:
“Promoting understanding about Christian issues and theology through conversations between Christians and Skeptics.
In the blogosphere, uncivil discussion runs rampant – especially in matters of faith, doubt and the interaction of Christians with the rest of the world. This group exists to start hopeful conversations between Christians of different denominations, Skeptics And Atheists.”
The philosophic value of irony has been a topic of investigation from Kierkegaard’s On the Concept of Irony With Continual Reference to Socrates, if not all the way back to Plato’s dialogues themselves. Yet, seemingly unaware of the long philosophical tradition of practiced irony, Christy Wampole’s recent article “How to Live Without Irony,” through an irredeemably surface reading of so-called “hipster” culture, advocates a total rejection of irony, a self-conscious cleansing of the inauthenticity of ironic self-reference. Yet, is such a radical position vis-a-vis irony necessary? Is there no possible value to be gained from the use of irony in discourse or even life?
In Slavoj Zizek’s Are We Allowed to Enjoy Daphnée du Maurier?, he offers the seemingly paradoxical assertion that, not only does feminine masochism fail to support patriarchy and its most heinous manifestation in sexual violence, but that feminine masochism is subversive of this patriarchy itself.
“What this means is that, paradoxically, the staging of what appears to be a masochist scenario is the first act of liberation: by means of it, the servant’s masochistic libidinal attachment to his[sic] master is brought into the light of day, and the servant thus achieves a minimal distance towards it. In his essay on Sacher-Masoch, Gilles Deleuze elaborated this aspect in detail: far from bringing any satisfaction to the sadistic witness, the masochist’s self-torture frustrates the sadist, depriving him of his power over the masochist. Sadism involves a relationship of domination, while masochism is necessarily the first step towards liberation.”
In essence, through the overt enactment of patriarchal power relations, the frailty and fiction of this power structure is made manifest. The apparent acting out of this problematic structure, in reality functions as its very undermining. By playing out the structure as fiction, it is revealed to already be fiction.*
Could not irony, even “hipster” irony, provide such a necessary acting out. Does ironic fashion not reveal the vacuous nature of fashion? Does ironic language not reveal the artificiality of language? Rather than reject irony, perhaps it is the role of the philosopher to live out irony, to live it out as radically as Kierkegaard or Socrates. Perhaps it is the destiny of philosophers to become hipsters.
EDIT 12/06/12: [Check out THIS response to Wampole by The Atlantic‘s Jonathan D. Fitzgerald]
*Special thanks to Noelle Vahanian’s “Theology ‘after’ Lacan”. Presented at SPEP 2012