Saturday, January 30, 2010


It seems that events in the AC and TEC are unwinding in a rather predictable course, though at a tedious pace. So enough of all that.

I'm still here, but I've been working on finishing a book and some articles, the most interesting of which, I think, is a piece on Adorno and Girard, "Baptizing Adorno's Odysseus."

The basic idea? Move political theology toward ecclesiology. Girard's theory of scapegoating can be adopted into Adorno's account of the failure of working classes to complete the work of their own liberation--a problem whose global ramifications have been displayed of late in the US' spectacular financial meltdown. Rolling back the disposition to self-sacrifice would require a counter-praxis--a ritual--expressing a rejection of scapegoating. But not just any ritual would do; it must express an ultimate rejection, requiring a transcendent reference point: God. The transcendent reference point stuff is not especially new, but a staple of political theology (think Schmitt, Benjamin). What might be new, and what I want to emphasize, is the tie between the transcendent and repeated ritual. A mere occasional reference won't suffice.

The idea's weakness, as I present it, is its neutrality on God--on its face theism is enough, specifically Christian theism is not required. There are two ways to go, so far as I can tell: something about the Crucifixion and Resurrection necessarily uniquely ground God's rejection of scapegoating. That would do the trick, but I couldn't find the argument. Or one might think the Trinity would serve as a necessary, unique ground; how could one prove that though? Hence, an aporia.