Monday, 28 November 2011

Notes From Engaging Deconstructive Theology by Ronald T Michener

Michener Ronald T, (2007), Engaging Deconstructive Theology, Abingdon Oxon, Ashgate Publishing Group

Part 1 Introduction and Historical context

1. Intoduction

  • word 'postmodernism' defies description because of a myraid of disciplines have adopted various ideas about PostModernism to make them their own
  • Postmodernism = a degenerate society
  • the multiple words of Postmodernity is not virtual because everything is always or already mediaized
  • Academic Post Modernism = the intellectual concerns seen in the break from Enlightenment ideals
  • some consider post modernism as the term to describe our position in the historical chart, others see it as a radicalization of the modern period e.g 'ultra-modernism or hyper - modernism'
  • Postmodernism - a relativistic doom, or prophetic voice beckoning us to see new insights
Part 2 - Deconstruction and it's roots in Europe

3. Jean - Francois Lyotard: The Dissolution of the Meta Narrative

  • Lyotard known for his 'incredulity toward meta narratives'
  • Lyotard sees meta narratives and philosophy of history as the same
  • Lyotard sees narratives taking on different forms, main two:
1. Narrative of Emanipation
2. Speculative Narrative

  • Both types imply process of reason to capitalist ventures as well as politics and morality
  • both also are important in modern philosophy and contribute towards western indentity of modernity
  • "The Meta Narratives of modernity, ineffect, supress the rich diversity of language-games, the small narratives, and attempt instead to squeeze them into a totalizing mold." (Michener, 2007: 53)
4. The Deconstructionism of Jacques Derrida

  • "So a major purpose of deconstruction is to demonstrate that texts and traditions do not have direct definable meanings. For Derrida, it would be scandalous to even suggest some kind of restrictive textual definition of something that is intended to exceed boundaries and be indeterminable ." (Michener, 2007: 63)
  • Deconstruction is not a method, style or techniques
  • It is not simply negative critique on philospher's or theologian's statements
  • "In a similiar fashion, if one were to understand "deconstruction" as a way of reading a text in order to bring light to something previously concealed, it may create a much more positive image." (Michener, 2007: 64)
  • "So deconstruction analyzes a text so throughly as to discover the many ways the text itself did not communicate upon intial reading." (Michener, 2007: 64)
  • 'experience of the impossible' - moving beyond boundaries and limits
  • key is 'Logocentrism' to understand Deconstructive Project
  • distinqushes difference of speech and writing, speech vanishes once broadcasted but writing involves one's presence at the scene for it to remain in existence
  • For Derrida - notion of logocentrism - looking for logos
  • Differance - Derrida's intention of forming combining two meanings into one
  • 'Messianic = the nature of promise - a future always to come
  • Deconstruction stops closure - desires to keep dialogue going

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