Tag Archives: politics of purity

Considering Marion’s Gift: Prefatory Remarks

For the past year and a half or so, few books have held me as captive as Jean-Luc Marion’s God Without Being. The volume of posts on this blog working with this text is probably an indication of this. Some of my captivation lies in the fact that I am interested in the ways the church can and should claim, name, and confess its central loyalty to Jesus. This is a tricky task. It is not easy to avoid claiming instead the various idols that close us off from Jesus speaking in unexpected places and hold our attention on the voices of false gods. Into such thinking, Marion’s rigorous and evocative efforts to allow for the worship of a God that comes to us as the gift of cruciform love, outside of the logics of Being, speaks with a great deal of potentiality. In this series of posts I want to consider the ways that Marion may be helpful for thinking about the church’s confession of faith and the political formations that might happen with confession of faith. My next post will consider themes of receptivity, dependence, enjoyment, and use vs possession, after which I will consider some of the paternalistic and conservative undertones and implications in these themes. First I will conclude this post with some remarks about Marion’s critique of idolatry and the stakes that I believe are present in his presentation. Continue reading Considering Marion’s Gift: Prefatory Remarks

The politics of purity and compromise

The rhetoric of western leaders, as we once again prepare to wage war against Islamic peoples, has reminded me of the ways that I think the politics of purity (a politics that wants to neatly define who is in, who is out and, most importantly, where it is that “we” stand) has captivated our political imaginations. This may be surprising to hear, given that it is the rhetoric of compromise that is most evidently present in the calls for and declarations of “total war.” What I detect, however, is that the kind of compromise being articulated functions within the larger framework of a puristic politics, creating one of its most insidious offspring: puristic compromise. Continue reading The politics of purity and compromise