onsdag 12 december 2012

The meaningless death of Christ

Christ is the first and only fully "ready made God" in the history of religions: he is fully human, and thus indistinguishable from other ordinary man - there is nothing in his bodily appearance that makes Him a special case. So, in the same way Duchamp's pissoir or bicycle are not objects of art because of their inherent qualities, but because of the place their are made to occupy, Christ is not God because of his inherent "divine" qualities, but because, precisely as fully human, he is God's son. For this reason, the properly Christian attitude apropos of Christ's death is not the one of melancholic attachment to his deceased figure, but that of infinite joy: the ultimate horizon of the pagan Wisdom is melancholy - ultimately, everything returns to dust, so one must learn to disattach oneself, to renounce desire -, while if there was ever a religion that is NOT melancholic, it is Christianity, in spite of the false appearance of the melancholic attachment to Christ as the lost object.

Christ's sacrifice is thus in a radical sense MEANINGLESS: not an act of exchange, but a superfluous, excessive, unwarranted gesture aimed at demonstrating His love for us, for the fallen humanity. It is like when, in our daily lives, we want to show someone that we really love him, and we can only do it by accomplishing a superfluous gesture of expenditure. Christ does not "pay" for our sins - as it was made clear by St Paul, it is this very logic of payment, of exchange, that, in a way, IS the sin, and the wager of Christ's act is to show us that the chain of exchanges can be interrupted. Christ redeems humanity not by paying the price for our sins, but by demonstrating us that we can break out of the vitious cycle of sin and payment. Instead of paying for our sins, Christ literally ERASES them, retroactively "undoes" them through love.
- Slavoj Zizek, "Death's merciless love", 2004. 

Inga kommentarer: