Tuesday, June 09, 2009

an unmoving abstraction

When I think of God in a historical context, it is interesting to me that, whether He is referenced as a concept or a physically existing figure, he will always represent something that gives way to so many paradoxes of rebellion. Right now, I'm reading a book called "The Rebel" which, as I said in my last blog, analyzes the concept of rebellion throughout the history of different socio-philosophical movements. What I am beginning to see more and more (which is probably a testament to the counter productive nature of philosophy) is that Christ is used, and even needed, in order to lay out one's ideas. The concept of Christ has so permeated history and culture that he often represents a central totem pole which these sensitive, complex and lost masters of thought dance, tethered in disdain or adoration, around the phenomenal idea of "Christ" which is always present. It's definitely a phenomenon. It's easily understood that Christ is needed to prop up a philosophy which promotes the ideals of his teaching, but I laugh at the fact he is also central to ideas that are trying in vain to eradicate His influence from modern thought. Paradoxically, and frustratingly enough for such authors and thinkers, the idea of Christ is necessary in so many ideas that hope to "enlighten" modern man beyond the chains of "exclusive and oppressive morality" which is based on something which is either "non existent" or "inconsequential". I should be clear, this post is not one which is trying to make an argument for the existence of Christ, it is merely to point out the paradox that finds the Christian God at the root of philosophies which try, not necessarily to prove his non existent, rather to nullify, negate and dismiss, His influence. What a controversial figure, an unmoving abstraction, which even in attempts to destroy God, He is ironically and paradoxically vindicated as a cultural influence and phenomenon so strong that schools of thought are constructed and developed time and time again as a reaction to His "existence". There have been many concepts, political and philosophical, which have given rise to movements that exist in direct reaction, although Christ is different I think, because so many times he is a point of reference in those movements as well. His influence is unmatched, a true phenomenon, which, while He is manipulated, transformed, abused and misappropriated, He remains a cornerstone for understanding. Marx, Kant, Neitzche, Kierkegaard, Plato, Hume, Heidegger, they all existed. God, in addition to being important parts of each of the aforementioned thinkers, has never been proven to exist. That being said, Greek mythology plays a large roll as well...that is so interesting to me. Myth dances in such a controversial and fruitful relationship with factual history and social/political movements. Very intriguing indeed. Christ is justification of everything we know of, He is justification of charity, love, evil, oppression, genocide, murder, racism, and how often He is misunderstood, maybe he has never been understood at all. The fracture in his influence is the same thing which makes Him a phenomenon. The fact that Faith is required is the one thing that leaves that door open for the ugliness of humanity to hi-jack His intent, yet Christ can not exist without Faith. If God was indeed a creation of man, then the man responsible is worthy of intense study and envy in regards to his genius creation and prophetic intuition.

(Of course, Christ's influence is never understood across the span of history and culture as a unified idea, maybe Christ is created in certain minds, their own Christ, or their own understanding of Christ, and that personal definition is used to as a reference point in the construct of their world view. AGGHH, a phenomenon indeed.)


Blogger Melanie said...

That's really interesting. :) I hadn't given much thought to the centrality of Christ from both perspectives.

12:51 AM

Blogger Ezekiel James said...

Great post. A very interesting insight into the unavoidable of--if not the actual Jesus, the idealogical Jesus, the mythos of the character of "Christ" throughout the ages (I'm not saying Christ is mythological, but there has been an extreme westernization of Christ into some sort traditional folk-lore and less of the tangible God that the bible says that he is).

It says something of the post-modern collective theological consciousness that currently undergirds the bulk of Christian and Non-Christian thought whether we like it or not.

11:18 AM


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