Ahead of the Great Debacle this morning between Tony Jones and Pete Rollins, I find myself in an interesting place.
On the surface, it is fairly obvious that I would agree more with Jones on what he believes about the events of Good Friday. Much of what Jones says about the crucifixion and its implication (atonement) are solidly where I am.
However, Rollins concerns in the realm of identity/belief/spirituality are closer to the heart of my major interest in the performative nature of religion.
My overwhelming fascination is the way in which beliefs are practiced and more specifically how they function in our religious communities.
I was on another podcast last week trying to explain my preference for adding ‘al’ to the end of important elements of the Christian faith – rather than get bogged down in arguing for their historic validity or scientific veracity.
My assertion is that Christianity is Incarnational, Resurrectional and Pentecostal.
I want to look at how ideas like the resurrection function in Christian communities – how those beliefs and convictions are enacted. I want to know the performative function of believing in the resurrection, not argue for its verification or about its provability.
Do I believe what Jones does about the events of Good Friday and Easter? Almost certainly.
My real interest, though, is more in line with Rollins’ project about the ways that holding these beliefs impact us and frame the way in which we engage the large structures of society.
What difference does believing in something like the resurrection impact they way we live?
How does our view of the atonement frame our participation in issues of violence?
Does our Christology have any function in how we perceive our own humanity?
In what way do we as Christian communities perform on Monday what we proclaim on Easter Sunday?
I have been reading some intense books, such as Eliane Graham’s Transforming Practice. I will be taking a break from studying this Saturday morning to attend the Great Debacle – I just hope that Rollins and Jones take a breath at some point and I get to ask a question about this aspect of belief.
What questions would you like to ask? I’ll see if I can get them in.
April 4, 2015 at 10:29 pm
re: historic validity, scientific veracity, verification or provability <<<<
Even though no stances regarding matters of faith will be informatively "conclusive," not all are going to be equally informatively "suggestive." So, even as we go beyond the informative, performatively, we certainly don't want to go without it, without establishing at least modicum of equiprobability (e.g. historically, scientifically, philosophically) vis a vis competing interpretations (action-abilities) While our performative leaps are certainly more so normatively justified, not otherwise robustly warranted, epistemically, still, we do try to climb to an informatively advantageous jumping off spot, poised, existentially, above deep waters not rocky shallows.