Accepting the whole of a tradition and not just the parts
I found Slavoj Zizeks 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).