Moving away from religion toward Christianity

Moving away from religion toward Christianity

To think of Christianity in such terms is to drift toward the relativism that Pope Benedict has so famously decried. Hence Benedict XVI has insisted that personal spiritual experiences can only become meaningful within the shared context of a lived theology. And the collective life of the Church is far more than a form of social or political association. Christianity is not an ideology. These modern representations of religion can constitute a reduction of Christianity to psychological, sociological and political categories and can result in a denial of its claims to transcendent truth. Benedict XVI has a masterful grasp of all these reductionist tendencies and he has pushed back hard in order to restore recognition of the richness and depth of Christianity. So one might say that we have a Pope who is opposed to religion — and in favor of Christianity. Thank God for that.

To begin to read the byzantine ramblings that compose theology is to take an unwelcome road trip into the bizarre, the absurd, the insane. It’s no wonder Dawkins is accused of being ignorant in this area. To fully understand the rantings of theologians, one has to enter a world far stranger than Alice ever dreamed.

Nevertheless, in this world, you get oxymorons like “moving away from religion toward Christianity.” I guess we are talking about shades of orthodoxy here that only the ‘initiated’ can grasp. Theology, however strange, finds a lot in common with literary criticism or interpretation, and if theologians would act accordingly, then they and their literature could take a respected place alongside traditional scholars. Since Shakespeare and religious texts both contributed a substantial portion to modern metaphor, theologians could no doubt provide some useful insights into language and history.

But no. It appears Benedict is leading the charge against any and all dilution of his precious “transcendent truth.” Any attempt to describe religion in meaningful human terms has become anathema. He and his fanboys continue to insist on staying in the haughty realms of “onto-theology,” acting as if papal authority could somehow cause their interpretations of their god character to have relevance to larger humanity. It is a fitting and very postmodern irony that they cling to the laughable notion that their rarefied and circular fantasy scholarship has any inherent meaning at all outside of their delusional community.

Comments (2 comments)

Frederick Jones / June 21st, 2007, 1:57 am / #1

However you feel ,please could you write in sober prose without recourse to invective? Words like fanboys,laughable, and fantasy hav e no place in what should be sober analysis ,otherwise what you say will be dismissed as sheer rhetoric.

BlackSun / June 21st, 2007, 8:34 am / #2

Frederick Jones,

See I think phrases like “transcendent truth” are just as distorted. And don’t even get me started with the misuse of the word “relativism.” To a certain group of the faithful, relativism is anything that contradicts the absolute word of god revealed to their particular prophet, whoever he or she may be. The proper use of the term relativism is the concept that there exists no such thing as absolute truth, and reality is socially constructed. This is the exact opposite as to how the term was used in the article. “Fanboys” are people who cling to the opinions of their object of worship, no matter what the facts say.

Everyone plays language games to suit their position. What matters is if the position is true. I do find the so-called scholarship of theologians to be circular and laughable, since they base everything on revealed scripture or pronouncements rather than verifiable facts. How would you describe such lunacy in “sober” prose?

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