Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Religion as A/Theism: Rollins (1)

For the final week of the "Atheism for Lent" Course I've been running at Journey, we're looking at the atheist critiques of religion (from Freud, Marx and Neitzsche) in the context of the Lent narrative in which God confesses God's own atheism. I used some of Pete Rollins' stuff to create some reading material for the group. Pete uses a lot of Slavoj Zizek's work, who in turn likes to quote G.K.Chesteron:

When the world shook and the sun was wiped out of heaven, it was not at the crucifixion, but at the cry from the cross: the cry which confessed that God was forsaken of God. And now let the revolutionaries of this age choose a creed from all the creeds and a god from all the gods of the world, carefully weighing all the gods of inevitable recurrence and of unalterable power. They will not find another god who has himself been in revolt. Nay (the matter grows too difficult for human speech), but let the atheists themselves choose a god. They will find only one divinity who ever uttered their isolation; only one religion in which God seemed for an instant to be an atheist. (G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy: The Romance of Faith, p.207).
Here are some quotations from Pete that I used to introduce the reading:
Christianity is a fascinating religion because, whereas lots of religions have a place for doubt, in Christianity God doubts God.

Atheism is such a difficult perspective to grasp, that only the religious believer can do it. Only the Christian can be an atheist.
They come from the following videos, "Doubt" and "Divine Atheism:"

Doubt from Peter Rollins on Vimeo.

Divine atheism from Peter Rollins on Vimeo.

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