tisdag 12 april 2011

A God that does not exist

Slavoj Žižek avslutar sin senaste bok Living in the End Times med följande rader vilka sammanfattar hans teologiska agenda på ett något makabert sätt:
If theology is again emerging as a point of reference for radical politics, it is so not by way of supplying a divine "big Other" who would guarantee the final success of our endeavors, but, on the contrary, as a token of our radical freedom in having no big Other to rely on. It was already Dostoevsky who showed how God gives us both freedom and responsibility - he is not a benevolent Master steering us to safety, but the one who reminds us that we are totally left to our own devices. This paradox lies at the very core of the Protestant notion of Predestination: Predestination does not mean that since everything is determined in advance we are not really free; rather it involves an even more radical freedom than the ordinary one, the freedom to retroactively determine (that is, change) one's Destiny itself.
The God we get here is rather like the one in the Bolshevik joke about a talented Communist propagandist who, after his death, finds himself sent to Hell. He quickly sets about convincing the guards to let him go to Heaven. When the Devil notices his absence, he pays a visit to God, to demand that the propagandist be returned to Hell. However, as soon as the Devil begins his address, starting with "My Lord...," God interrupts him saying: "First, I am not your Lord but a comrade. Second, are you crazy for talking to fictions - I don't even exist! And third, be quick otherwise I'll miss my Party meeting!" This is the kind of God needed by the radical Left today: a God who has fully "become a man," a comrade amongst us, crucified together with two social outcasts, who not only "does not exist" but also knows this himself, accepts his own erasure, passing over entirely into the love that binds all members of the "Holy Ghost," that is, the Party or emancipatory collective.

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