Monday, July 09, 2007

Calvin SCS —Summer 2007—Day 5
July 2, 2007

Reading: Cavanaugh, W. T. 2004. Discerning: Politics and reconciliation. In The Blackwell Companion to Christian Ethics, S. Hauerwas and S. Wells, 196–208. Malden, PA: Blackwell.

Link to PDF of my presentation.

CP: Could this be narrated as searching for eucharist (nation-building 1) and finding eucharist (nation-building 2)… but the eucharist that’s found is the market? MG: How about an even bolder narration: the state doesn’t matter? Peter Storey talks about Tutu at the height of the repression of the state saying to the Prime Minister (and ignoring the latter’s weapons): "You can still go over to the right side."

On the issue of apartheid in the churches (and the performance metaphor): can the eucharist be performed badly? The eucharist is to rearrange our common lives. CP: The nation state is built on a logic of not-remembering (representing itself as timeless). It can’t talk about time in the way the church does. SL: Spatial boundaries function by violence. MG: Why give up space? Doesn’t this give us the "invisible church"? Christ on the cross takes up space. MB: Space is part of the drama of church history. How would you spatialize the unity of the church? MG: As a gift. Better a martyr than a soldier. CD: Perhaps "creation order" is a way of imagining the space called church. SL: What about those places like the Vatican and Canterbury? We can celebrate their beauty without having a stake in defending them. What we want to do is affirm BC’s idea of church as time without letting go of importance of certain spaces. CP: Church buildings should be disruptive. Architecture can do this.

JR: If the body is so important why aren’t we talking about footwashing. CP: Footwashing can be both a powerful practice and an empty sign. MG: can’t inhabit a space nonviolently without an eschatology. LA: Perhaps we do need to let space claim us. Look at the North American practice of choosing not to worship in our own parish. Perhaps we should worship in our own parish no matter how good the liturgy across town is.

CD: Cavanaugh’s idea of performing is weak. It is insufficiently ontological. I like better the idea of a drama on a cosmic level, taking place in the space opened between the Father and the Son.

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