You have to go through a Christian conversion experience to be a true materialist

(More readable version)
 

"In our politically correct times, it is always advisable to start with the set of unwritten prohibitions that define the positions one is allowed to adopt.The first thing to note with regard to religious matters is that reference to “deep spirituality” is in again: direct materialism is out; one is, rather, enjoined to harbor openness toward a radical Otherness beyond the ontotheological God. Consequently, when, today, one directly asks an intellectual: “OK, let’s cut the crap and get down to basics: do you believe in some form of the divine or not?,” the first answer is an embarrassed withdrawal, as if the question is too intimate, too probing; this withdrawal is then usually explained in more “theoretical” terms: “That is the wrong question
to ask! It is not simply a matter of believing or not, but, rather, a matter of certain radical experience, of the ability to open oneself to a certain unheard-of dimension, of the way our openness to radical Otherness allows us to adopt a specific ethical stance, to experience a shattering form of enjoyment. . . .” What we are getting today is a kind of “suspended” belief, a belief that can thrive only as not fully (publicly) admitted, as a private obscene secret. Against this attitude, one should insist even more emphatically that the “vulgar” question “Do you really believe or not?” matters—more than ever, perhaps. My claim here is not merely that I am a materialist through and through, and that the subversive kernel of Christianity is accessible also to a materialist approach; my thesis is much stronger: this kernel is accessible only to a materialist approach—and vice versa: to become a true dialectical materialist, one should go through the Christian experience."

Very interesting. Of course I disagree. Or disagree with his definition of materialism. I think. We shall see as this book unfolds.

I'm reading Žižek in conversation with Peter Rollins. Žižek is one of Rollins' oft-cited thinkers.

The question for me re: this conversation with Peter Rollins... Is Rollins, in Idolatry of God, about creating this conversion to materialist Christianity away from traditional Christianity? This is, I feel, an essential question for Rollins' project.

If it were true, it would change my reading of Rollins. And likely many other peoples' reading of him.

P.S. I like Žižek's analysis of current spirituality. Fun times with Slavoj Žižek.

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About the Author

Hi. My name is Jeremy John. I'm a scifi writer and activist working to build a liberationist Christianity.

Right now, I'm writing a dystopian science fiction novel, and building a website that will connect farms and churches, mosques, and synagogues to buy fresh vegetables directly and distribute them on a sliding scale to those in need.

In 2003, I spent six months in prison for civil disobedience while working to close the School of the Americas, converting to Christianity while I was in the clink.

I'm always looking for dialogue, so kick in below in the comments, connect on Twitter or Facebook, or. . . Read More