And yet the question of justification nevertheless remains an inescapable issue for the self. In fact, Jüngel observes that the modern emphasis on individual self-determination has created a deeper unfreedom. The self is bound because it is driven to justify itself, to prove its own meaningful existence. We inhabit, in Miroslav Volf’s poignant phrase, a culture stripped of grace. In late modernity, the economic logic of exchange governs more severely, and thus the self is under greater pressure to exert more effective mastery and control—of nature, others, and itself. The self is constituted ontologically through its performance. Whatever the law of evaluation, the self is forced to justify itself. There is no Sabbath. I must earn in order to receive. Consequently, I can never be truly free for the other."
Sensing that we are unable to live without others, Adam seeks to retrieve, replace, or replicate the presence of the other with the voice of conscience. This is vital to one’s attempt to be like God, to know good and evil out of oneself, because it allows the self to feign alterity by mimicking the voices of God and neighbor. Thus conscience is actually a defense against the voice of the other, keeping the self locked within itself, impervious to the interruption of the other. And so incurvature results in a paradoxical condition of living death. It is the despair that Anti-Climacus diagnoses as the sickness unto death, which, in Bonhoeffer’s terms, is to-have-to-live: this imperative “demands from me something that I am not in a position to fulfill. It obliges me to live out of myself, out of my own resources” and this is precisely what I cannot do."
Bad Brains, 1979
Pretty stoked about this find. Random bookshop in Denver, been around since the 70s and still has a ton of out-of-print radical literature. The guy said the distro folks called Radical Information Project aren’t around anymore tho :/_______________________________________________________________________
This consideration calls into question the basic struggle for life: the way animals compete for food, shelter and mates; the way plants strain upward to take in sunlight. Levinas identifies this drive in Spinoza’s theme of the conatus essence (the drive to persevere in being) as well as in Heidegger’s analysis of Dasein’s care for its own being. Ontology consists in this impulse to claim that this is “my place in the sun.” Levinas suggests that this is why Pascal goes so far as to write that “[i]t is as if, by the very fact of being there, I deprived someone of his vital space, as if I expelled someone.” The violence of being-there becomes apparent when confronted by the face of the other person, whose visage calls the conatus into question. In the face of the other, I encounter vulnerability, helplessness, nudity. This encounter arrests me: I am responsible for this person. I am not called to ensure the continuation of my own existence or to insist on my rights. Instead, my first priority is to care for this other person. The face of the other breaks through the closed circle of my being, revealing that ethics, not ontology, is most fundamental."
PS jealous of everyone’s semester textbook pics from a few weeks back. I miss school, and won’t be able to afford grad school til next year. But here’s some recent finds I’m really stoked on from checking out every indie bookstore in Denver, either obscure texts that are hard to find online, or that I got really cheap! And thanks @poor_in_spirit for the Chrysostom classic_______________________________________________________________________
PS, on the your money isn’t yours line I’ve been on. So that it can be understood: it’s coming from here and here and here (see 0:45, literal example, but in relation to how we all spend our money in little ways) and Lk 9:62 (can’t remember where I found some kind of Girard note, but how we spend money on stuff we don’t need as a “looking back” from the responsibility for downward mobility)_______________________________________________________________________
As one who once actually was a resident alien, I wonder if Hauerwas and Willimon have any clue as to what it means to occupy that space. They do violence to real resident aliens like myself when they appropriate our social location without recognizing how the foreign Constantinian Christian culture from which they feel alienated is specifically constructed to privilege the particularity of their race, class, and gender. They romanticize “not belonging” to a dominant culture that historically and continuously revolves around them. Those in the center who self-identify as aliens of the center are able to confuse an unapologetic conviction of the truth of the Christian narrative with a Eurocentric interpretation of what that truth might be.
— is pretty well-deserved, but it also seems a little facile, pointing out Hauerwas’s social location without exploring what that means for his ideas. I mean, Hauerwas’s general idea of the church is not all that different from Jose Luis Segundo’s ecclesiology of the Church as sacramental community, one that was very thoroughly incorporated in liberation movements. I think these ecclesiologies differ in some key points, and these differences almost certainly result from the different social locations of Hauerwas and Segundo.
It seems obvious that one of the ways in which Hauerwas’s social location influences his thought is his idea that it is possible for him to sort of “opt out.” In my sight, what’s missing from Hauerwas is actually a real commitment to being a traitor to white America, in a way that understands that he is a metaphorical Roman, not a Galatian.
Perfect framing cause I was going to be reading Aliens sometime soon_______________________________________________________________________
Friendly reminder that your money isn’t yours_______________________________________________________________________
Ugh why can’t I be doing this_______________________________________________________________________
LAWSUIT FUNDRAISER UPDATE!
Huge thanks to everyone who has ordered from us this month, helped spread the word about our upcoming trial in Microcosm Publishing’s meritless lawsuit against us, and for sending us messages of support and encouragement!
I just ran the figures and it looks like we have raised close to $3,000 towards our expenses for this month. We’re so thankful for this progress, but we’ve still got a long way to go. We need $6,000 just to get our family and our lawyer out to Portland and into the courtroom. On top of that we have our normal bare-bones farm expenses (rent, utilities, and supplies for our animal rescues) which averages $1850 a month.
As we’ve said before, we aren’t looking for donations, but if we’ve got a book or zine you’ve been eyeing, we could really use your support right now. To sweeten the deal for you, we’re doing CONTEST MANIA for the month of September.
Everyone who orders from Pioneers Press this month will get entered into a drawing to win one of four $40 Pioneers Press shopping sprees! We’ve already announced one lucky winner and we’ll announce a new winner every Sunday.
AND if you reblog this here plea, we’ll enter you into a contest to win our new titles including Big Diamond, Simple Steps to a Life Less Shitty, and the Good Luck Not Dying book!
Any help, hugs, signal boosts, etc would be much appreciated. We definitely can’t do this alone.
Huge thanks for your ongoing support!
xoxo, Jessie Duke and Pioneers Press