I had a course the other day whereby the idea that “all theology is metaphor” was discussed, in which “metaphor” meant taking a word from its appropriate context and using it inappropriately in another.
I have a problem with this. In its explicit goal (if explicit means only to state in public) this theological move wants to reduce prejudice and improve upon a tradition, making openness in thinking about God valuable. So that, for instance, if all theology is metaphor, then we should be careful as to the metaphors we use (whether “father” actually represents my experience of God and my commitment to feminist thinking, for instance). This movement also encourages the idea that God is ultimately incomprehensible, “We get that from Christian theology right” ( (the rhetorical question my professor posed to a class of nodding heads) I don’t know, you tell me, since you know the bounds of every Christian theology as such)?
My problem is in what it keeps hidden. As a claim that knows no bounds or historical reality (this is necessarily the case since it makes a statement from eternity), it has no responsibility to answer to the Christian tradition (it has, arbitrarily, defined “appropriate” contexts and thereby has in its organization a nihilistic movement, a movement of violence toward the other: you don’t really know God, only we do, for we know what god cannot be!—it says). This nihilism is most apparent in its secret that, apparently, remains at least in the conscious background of the theory: to know that God is incomprehensible is to have already received the full gift of closure from God, to have seen God completely (even this means in God’s incomprehensibility, which in turn becomes comprehensible as such). This witnessing and reception, then, is also an experience of the death of God, and now we are floating on clouds in the dark.
At any rate, although this theology was written by a feminist, it becomes a kiss of death to feminism, because in its closure to metaphor, it excludes most experiences of the world and divine and it institutes a new power structure which is fundamentally politically conservative and historically forgetful.
All this melodrama about how the virtual world is replacing and replacing the “real world” is really off-putting.
In the first place, the two exist only as detours of each other: and their existence as such consists in this detour. There is no real world inasmuch as there is no virtual world. And they are real at all only in the sense that they constitute one another.
What would happen if one were to displace the other would be akin to what would happen if speech replaced writing, if theology replaced faith, if the conscious replaced the unconscious (i.e., this displacement is all that could ever happen and is also impossible).
Remember Fox News’s story about the Facebook Messenger app?
It turns out their app requires the same acceptance to the same terms as the Facebook Messenger app.
This is the epitome of irony. Why didn’t Fox just run a story on its own app?
My university’s financial aid department probably has the most incompetent staff I have ever had the displeasure of communicating (somewhat) with.
A simple five-word question turns into a three-week wait for a one-sentence response.
Not to mention the fact I was told, after asking a person in a lead-position, that students who live off campus get a $10,000 aid package—which, I learned the hard way (after relying on it), is totally bogus.
If it is true that ISIS (ISIL) can be understood as an extremist religious group, a jihadist organization (“jihad,” seemingly a word that represents everything the West is against), then, as the following will say, the notion that there is “no limit to their ambitions” and “You have to kill them” becomes an ominous call to, it seems, pre-Enlightenment ideology, a reminder of the tenuousness of Western society, that democracy and human rights are really built on violence, subjugation, and the devaluation of life, the unique categorization which says human life becomes human only as it accepts certain norms and values, and there is an alien knocking on the door which calls for a suspension of ethics in order to ground ethics, whereby ethics becomes the perpetual re-enactment of violence, the intellectual assent to doctrine, a “giving one’s life to god.”
As for ISIL he believes there is “no limit to their ambitions.”
“You have to kill them,” Jeffrey says. “They never stopped in Iraq even when I was there in 2010 and 2011, they had been totally defeated and they had lost their population, we were on their trails and they still didn’t give up. There is no reasoning with them, there is no containing them, you have to kill them.”
…And he thought, “It’s a long slow process for a human to die. We kill a cow, and it is dead as soon as the meat is eaten, but a man’s life dies as a commotion in a still pool dies, in little waves, spreading and growing back toward stillness.