Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Further in the opposite direction

Modernity is supposed to be the moment when religious claims and systems of authority reveal themselves to be human-all-too-human fictions that lack divine legitimation. Religion is supposed to wither away. But this itself...can be understood as a religious claim: the very groundlessness, the very contentlessness of the messianic call is what makes it religious. Modernity, on this account, might be understood as the fulfilment of messianic thinking. The relation to the divine can now be revealed in its contentlessness as an empty transcendence. And when that happens, a whole theological vocabulary puts itself out of use, ready for new appropriations outside traditional religious practice.

This is from The Opposite Direction: Taubes, Bernhard and the Gnostic Imaginary, an exceptionally rich essay by Lars Iyer. 

The title offers a marvellous advancement on my haphazard post on Bernhard, also entitled The opposite direction, and another on Gnosticism called The withdrawal of the novel, both of which can be found on this blog but also in my unfallen from no press freely downloadable epub or PDF collection.


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