Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Radical Orthodoxy & Basileia tou Theou

Things just keep getting crazier. Something is brewing in the catacombs of the "conservative" camp, & this is just one example.

For Radical Orthodoxy, the particular Neoplatonic hierarchies of being, Being, and "beyond Being" are not decisive. What matters is the way in which Neoplatonism treats the world as a differentiated realm of beings and events knit together, not in spite of or against the discrete identities of things, but in harmonious order and toward a common purpose. This view, which Radical Orthodoxy argues is advanced and intensified by classical Christianity (especially by Augustine), operates outside the contrastive logic of identity and difference. Identity is neither a wound in the flux of difference, nor a vulnerable citadel to be defended. Dynamism and difference—"I am coming from and going toward"—constitute identity. The glue is sticky, but it never dries.
This, of course, is exactly the banner the New Pantagruel marched under. "Augustinianism" being short-hand for a perfection that is known and experienced, but incompletely, in the joy of material life under the sun. Imperfection with linking implies shadows, archetypes, a goal. In short, "NeoPlatonism". "Being" is not, after all, something we can dispense with in Christianity without loss.

This amounts to nothing less than Resurrection for cultural Christianity & the West. A declaration of war. Fix bayonets, refuse the line. Fight hand to hand if you have to. With joy. This is nothing like ordinary evangelicalism, even of the high caliber/octane John Piper variety. Stone cold Christianity. The stonewall. Rebuilding.

I am not sure about Reno's concluding note, which sounds overly tentative. At least these guys are literally killing their weight every day in hecular summanists. There is a lot to be said for going off half-cocked once in a while. If you never lose your head, it proves only that you've no head to lose (Rosenstock-Huessy). Stay tuned for more examples of this sort of thing. The Spirit is stocking up kindling in many varied places, and the wind is picking up. Look to see a huge turning radius & some surprising "revelations" about the supposedly modern world we live in, and that right soon.

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