What I’ll be Talking About at Subverting the Norm
As Subverting the Norm II approaches, for anyone interested I thought I’d share the abstract for my talk and share some of the resources I’m working with. Though I’m sure my session won’t be nearly as exciting as talks from the likes of John Caputo, Clayton Crockett, Jeff Robbins, Peter Rollins, Katherine Moody, Kester Brewin, Barry Taylor, Namsoon Kang, Tripp Fuller (the list goes on), I am honored to share my session with the great Jeremy Fackenthal. Jermey’s (I should say Dr. Fackenthal’s) paper will be called “Repoliticizing the Church: Finding Postsecular Engagement in Adorno and Benjamin.” We go on at 3:15 on Saturday in room 3 (Breakout session IV). A complete schedule can be found here.
My paper: The Resonating Church: Overcoming Liberalism to Save the World
In Cinema II, Gilles Deleuze describes how films, unlike written word, have the power of image, music, rhythm, plot, and background sounds which mimic the ways in which our orientation towards the world is formed via lived experience. The Church now has the chance to cultivate renewed belief in this world via tangible, communal, aesthetic experiences that form “resonances” in a pluralist framework that transpose private religious affection into a resonance that is efficacious publically and politically. Such resonances are vital in order to resist what William Connolly names the “evangelical-capitalist resonance machine.” Connolly argues partners in this “resonance machine” are drawn across creedal differences by virtue of similarities in their shared existential ethos that seeks to undermine workers, or the “99%.” The intensity of this resonance machine, wherein special entitlement, privilege, and “cowboy capitalism” “resonate” to create a powerful feedback loop, remains unrivaled on the Left, where liberal ideals of tolerance and individuality work against potential resonance. The key for a postmodern church must not be to just conform to the epistemological and hermeneutical boundaries of its theory, but to follow Deleuze in asking how to best integrate and cultivate positive attachments to the world in our communities and hence overcoming restrictive, tribal, non-resonating liberalism. Against the evangelical-capitalist resonance machine, the Church must become the site of orienting us anew towards an embrace of the world. It must cultivate transformative experience, as Deleuze describes film, for personal and political revitalization.
Hope to see some of you this weekend in Missouri, especially those of you I have engaged with via social media and not met in person!
PS The session Jeremy and I are in is at the same time as the Process session featuring Tripp Fuller and Bo Sanders… You can hear them ANY time on the podcast and I’m sure you’ve all heard the Process gospel by now, so not need to go to their session instead of ours ; )