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Posted by on Oct 17, 2013 | 3 comments

Zizek, Enjoyment, and the Atheist Bus Campaign

Zizek, Enjoyment, and the Atheist Bus Campaign

Along with his penchant for dirty jokes and obsession with American movies, philosopher Slavoj Zizek’s willingness to discuss trivia such as national differences in toilet design is easily mocked. But Zizek’s interest in everyday details is part of his unique gift to communicate Marxist philosophy and Lacanian psychoanalysis to a popular audience. Zizek is therefore the perfect guide to help us interpret the recent atheist bus campaign. Running on buses worldwide, the advertisements carry a slogan penned by U.K. comedy writer Ariane Sherine: “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” What is of interest here is not the premise – “There’s probably no God” – which is of course the obvious point of the campaign, and functions as an intervention in an established public debate about the existence of a being with a certain name and qualities. Rather, the ideological key of the slogan is the second sentence: “Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” These words can be read in a modest way as...

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Posted by on Oct 2, 2013 | 0 comments

Biblical Authority and the Primacy of Gift

Biblical Authority and the Primacy of Gift

What I believe has been missing in the discussion on the authority of scripture is the notion of gift. Because scripture is living and breathing, because scripture is the revelation of God’s self to us, its very role in the lives of Christians is complicated. The three previous posts have pointed to this. What is needed is a discussion on the way scripture deconstructs us by presenting itself as gift. Because of scripture’s radical alterity, because it reveals the otherness of God, when we read scripture it confronts us with numerous questions about our being and how we relate to God and others. The primary question that scripture asks: “who do you say I Am?” resonates from creation to the eschaton, from Genesis to the Revelation of John. Scripture is first and foremost the gift of the revelation of God to us. Yet this revelation is seeped with the radical alterity of God’s self. The otherness of God opens up a gap between us and God, and it is...

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