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Posted by on Apr 26, 2016 | 3 comments

The Myth of the Christ Figure

The Myth of the Christ Figure

  Mythological embodiment is a common allusion used in everyday English. A Herculean task is something that is difficult to accomplish, an Achilles’ Heel is a weak spot, and if someone has a Midas touch then she is able create success out of anything she sets out to do. Allusions are used in order to maintain a distance between the subject and the thing that gives the allusion meaning. For example, if I were to call you my nemesis I am not actually calling you a Greek goddess sent to punish me, what I am saying is you are my bitter enemy who will do everything within your power to cause my downfall. In doing so I am doing two things. The first is I am acknowledging the gap between the language and the object that gives the language meaning. The second thing I am doing is stripping the mythology from the allusion; I am, in a sense, humanizing it. One of the most common contemporary allusions in Western literature...

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Posted by on Feb 17, 2016 | 0 comments

The Spectacle of Excess: Roland Barthes, Wrestling, and the Eucharist

The Spectacle of Excess: Roland Barthes, Wrestling, and the Eucharist

In 1957, during his structuralist stage, Roland Barthes published a book of collected essays titled Mythologies. Barthes’ whole project in Mythologies was to analyze the structure of the myths that gave meaning to French culture. But instead of looking to the classic myths that gave rise to western society, Barthes examines the cultural milieu of mid-century France with unrepentant scorn. Barthes main critique, with the exception of wrestling for which he had a cheery fondness, is that mass culture numbs the mind while feeding the mouths of the bourgeoisie. In other words, the new opiate of the masses is the insidious religion of mindless consumerism. Barthes criticism of mythology is based on capitalistic consumption. As a consumerist society we are trained to desire that which is owned only by the cultural elite. When we acquire this object of desire it no longer has the power it once had because it is consumable and accessible. It has become ubiquitous and ceases to have the same meaning it once had. Through ubiquity objects become...

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Posted by on Nov 22, 2015 | 0 comments

The Anxiety of Use: A Reading Behind Paul’s Epistle to Philemon

The Anxiety of Use: A Reading Behind Paul’s Epistle to Philemon

In verse 20 Paul argues that in order to properly participate in the ministry of the gospel Philemon should turn into a type of Onesimus. In this verse, Paul argues that he wants Philemon to become onaimen (a benefit). This is accomplished by laying aside the dictates of the law for a mandate of grace. A true Christian, Paul seems to be arguing, is defined by their love and compassion for those who are absolutely distinct from them. A Christian’s power and authority lies in their ability to identify and become like the least, the refuge, the impoverished, the imprisoned, and the oppressed. This is the final message we have from of Paul in the Bible; it is a summation of his ministry.

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Posted by on Aug 14, 2015 | 0 comments

Renunciation and Simplification

Renunciation and Simplification

Two of the most devastating things to a dynamic spiritual life are a lack of responsibility and an overwhelming sense of self worth displayed as guilt and shame. In his book Prayer, Hans Ur Von Balthasar describes a man who is caught up in this cycle of despair, and the ever patient and present promise of God’s restoration that seeks to draw him out of his despondency: “he is so submerged in life’s distractions and bustle, in secret desperation, that nothing he does is right, nothing is of any importance; he is incapable of doing the one thing that is essential. His entire spiritual life can be clouded by despair, it can poison his prayer, giving him a negative and unfruitful air of mourning and resignation, the vanquished victim of his own self. But none of this stops faith from being and living within him, unfailingly offering him both the demand and possibility of fulfilling it. Faith’s table is always laid, whether the invited guest sits down or stays...

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Posted by on Jun 12, 2015 | 0 comments

Irony is Wasted on the Young: Metamodernism and Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young.

Irony is Wasted on the Young: Metamodernism and Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young.

  To be clear, the film is really about the working class, and I can’t speak on behalf of the working class, I can’t make their film of course… But they have to be felt as the impossible subject of the text, if that makes sense… But it isn’t even really about the power structure, but about what it means to make a film about it… it’s about the very possibility of making this film… it’s really about America. – Josh Svebnick (Ben Stiller) in While We’re Young   [H]umankind, a people, are not really going toward a natural but unknown goal, but they pretend they do so that they progress morally as well as politically. Metamoderninsm moves for the sake of moving, attempts in spite of its inevitable failure; it seeks forever for a truth that it never expects to find. – Timotheus Vermeulen and Robin van den Akker “Notes on metamodernism”[1] Reminiscent of Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanours, Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young asks what it means...

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