Towards a Post-Foundationalist Quaker Theology: Slavoj Zizek, Quietism and Pink Dandelion

Accepting the whole of a tradition and not just the parts

I found Slavoj Zizek’s opening to his book The Fragile Absolute, to be instructive for a present day study of Quaker theology. He begins by presenting the challenge of two choices: How is a Marxist to counter all the various “thoughts” of the post-modern era? “The obvious answer seems to be not only ferociously to attach these tendencies, but mercilessly to denounce the remainders of the religious legacy of Marxism itself (Zizek, 2000:1).” But the other choice, not so obvious, is to in fact “fully endorse what one is accused of (Zizek, 2000:2).” In other words the second choice is a complete reversal of the first option. Christianity and Marxism are directly connected, they ought to fight on the same side. The atheist Zizek argues, “…the authentic Christian legacy is much to precious to be left to the fundamentalists and freaks (2).”

Zizek concludes by discussing one similarity between Christians and Marxists, a number of both “believers” fetishize the early “authentic” followers and against those who “institutionalized” it (Saint Paul, Lenin). This is the “yes to Christ, not to Saint Paul” campaign, and it is the same as those who are the “humanist Marxists” and deny Lenin as a role within the Marxist tradition. “In both cases, one should insist that such a “deference of the authentic” is the most perfidious mode of its betrayal: there is no Christ outside Saint Paul,” just as there is no ‘authentic Marx’ without Lenin (Zizek 2000:2). Continue reading Towards a Post-Foundationalist Quaker Theology: Slavoj Zizek, Quietism and Pink Dandelion

Spending Money as Christians: A Quaker Perspective

Last night Emily and I had the opportunity to hang out with some of our good friends from Ohio and eat some fantastic sushi.  During the course of the evening, we encroached on a sometimes-touchy subject (except for this night): How Christians spend their money.

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Left Behind Eternal Forces – Violence for Christians

Today in the Los Angeles Times, there is an article about a new “Christian” video game: Left Behind: Eternal Forces. The game aims to make a broadly appealing video game, similar to Grand Theft Auto; it is a “real-time” strategy game that “features plenty of biblical smiting, albeit with high-tech weaponry as players battle the forces of the Anti-Christ in a smoldering world approaching Armageddon.” The creators, including Troy Lyndon who used to work for Electronic Arts, say of their new game, “Left Behind has the anti-christ, the end of the world, the apocalypse…It’s got all the Christian stuff, and it’s still got all the cool stuff (emphasis mine).”
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