It’s good to let Thomas and Dionysius push us beyond naive images of a Zeus-like God. But we cannot conflate our final ignorance of God’s ineffable nature with the uncertainty of doubt. We do not doubt God’s goodness because he so exceeds what we know good to be. He is (infinitely) more than good—and so other than our mundane word good—but he cannot be less than good. Doubt needs serious engagement and destigmatizing. But there are better ways of doing this than using Christianity’s mystical tradition to conflate honest doubt, theological development, and deconstruction.
Excellent essay, especially in an age where more simplistic approaches to deconstruction too often resemble agendas geared toward destruction. What the author addresses and what I have noticed in politicized religious discourse, is how we seemed to have lost the art of discernment, preferring slogans over substance and context.
Deconstruction today is part of a cluster of words including standpoint, reification, constructs, blurring, identity, discourse, positionality, knowledges, and intersectionality. Deconstruction is no longer an improvisation or variation on a theme (Foucault), and it is not correcting, deepening, or revisiting (Olsen, Sanders), rather a serious attempt to dismantle categories like knowledge, belief, reason, emotion, and sex.
I remember the night I was lying in bed, distraught from life and “deconstructing.” And suddenly God raised my head to look at him, and he said, “It’s between you and me. It’s just us here and now!” The tears fell slowly from my eyes. I was in his pure joy, love, and confidence. I catch myself wanting more ...1
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