I recently did an interview with John Shuck on the radio show/podcast progressive spirit, also on youtube about my book “All Things in Common: The Economic Practices of the Early Christians.” I hope you enjoy it.
I would argue that the best summation of Christian ethics is found in the sermon on the plain in Luke 6:20–49. What I love about the sermon on the plain is just how radical it seems on the surface, it seems almost impossible; however, when you think about what it’s saying, and think about it deeply—it makes sense. Probably my favorite example of this is found in Luke 6:34–35 (NRSV):
If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
I recently wrote up an article for the website Libcom. The article is basically a teaser for my book, as well as a very little history of early Christianity and its social framework.
Over the last few months I haven’t been posting that regularly, there’s a few reasons for that; one reason is that I’ve been working on a book. The book I’ve been working on is called All Things in Common: The Economic Practices of the Early Christians, which has just been published by Wipf and Stock.
Earlier, on this blog I predicted that purely secular/liberal effects to overcome Capitalism are doomed from the start. I laud their efforts, and I think most of the Marxian critiques of Capitalism (as well as other critiques such as the Anarchist critique) are absolutely accurate. Recently the Erik Olin Wright wrote an article in the Jacobin magazine called “How to be an Anti-Capitalist Today” Where he outlined 4 approaches to be an anti-Capitalist. The first two are obvious, the revolutionary model of the Anarchists and Marxists, and the Social-Democratic Model, the problems with those models are obvious to anyone who has paid attention to the 20th century. Wright puts it quite succinctly in his article, first with the revolutionary model:
This is the final post of a 3 part series on the Theology of Zizek. If you haven’t read Part 1 or Part 2 of this series I strongly recommend you go through both. If you don’t this post won’t really make much sense.
Zizek in his book “The Monstrocity of Christ” attempts to explain how community is gained from the death of God. I’ll start in (Kindle) Location 1232:
It is not enough to say that people (individuals) organize themselves in the Holy Spirit (Party, community of believers): in humanity, a transsubjective “it” organizes itself. The finitude of humanity, of the human subject (collective or individual), is maintained here: Christ is the excess which prohibits simple recognition of the collective Subject in Substance, the reduction of Spirit to objective / virtual entity (presup)posed by humanity.
These precise distinctions also enable us to account for the passage of what Hegel called “objectvice spirit” to “absolute spirit”: it is through Christ’s mediation that OS changes into AS. There is no Holy Spirit without the squashed body of a bird (Christ’s mutilated corpse): the two poles, the Universal (the virtual infinity/immortality of the Holy Spirit (OS)) and the Particular (the actual finite/mortal community of believers (SS)) can be mediated only through Christ’s monstrous singularity.
In the previous post, I presented a quick overview of Zizek’s materialist theology, and began a critique of it. Before you read this post you should read the first one, since without the context of the first post of this series you won’t really understand what it is I am arguing against.
Zizek often quotes Melville Bartleby who takes the stance “I would prefer not to” as a philosophical stance against (psudo?) ethical individualistic demands put on us by ideology. I agree with Zizek here, but in the face of the Death of God, this mantra must be taken to the end and included. A clear example of Zizek’s naivety when it comes to not taking the “I would prefer not to” to the end is found in his book “Living in the end times” where he talks about growing tensions in the Netherlands between the Gay community and the Muslim immigrant community who are more and more homophobic. Zizek says in Location 3182 (kindle version) in “Living in the End Times”: