I am, however, still sick of the generic use of the term in the church by people who have no idea what it means or how it applies to the church.
What I didn’t know, until recently, is that there are people continuing the discussion within academic philosophy and theology groups who actually know what they’re talking about. The primary two appear to be John C. (Jack) Caputo and Richard Kearney.
Seriously, I couldn’t believe it when I heard that they both had studied and debated with Jacques Derrida and that Caputo had written this and on how deconstruction is viable and applicable within the context of Christianity. I liked Derrida when I learned about/read him in graduate school, but also got the opinion that the church largely thinks postmodern deconstruction to be a giant battering ram at the door of their theology. Well, as it turns out, it is. Except that the battering ram is there to remove our problematic presuppositions regarding God and religion. Ok, that was a broad, sweeping statement that I’m still chewing on. I just got Caputo’s book, “After the Death of God,” which looks to shed some more light on it. What I do know is that I find it ridiculously exciting to see someone working so formidably in the academic world in this area. I think it’s an extremely important conversation with regards to contemporary art, culture, and the church.
This podcast series has a fantastic summary of (continental) philosophical history leading up to Derrida and profound takes on how it all relates to Jesus and Christianity. I really consider it important in understanding both contemporary (continental) philosophy and the church’s relationship to/in it. I’m only annoyed that, once again, I’m coming later into the conversation than I wish I had.
*note* This series is a product of Emergent Village (of Emergent Church movement fame), which I had previously read described (pretty much) as a bunch of mega-church dudes wanting to hang out more. Where I’m fairly new to researching their positions and organization (and don’t have a fully-formed opinion yet), clearly they are doing something interesting in this conversation. Thanks to my wife’s boss, David, for recommending it to me.