Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Week Two: Wednesday

Today in class we recognized the historic beginnings of cultural theory. It was interesting lecture from Ryan followed by a discussion of what would Jesus do with the differing view of cultural theory. I think at this moment I checked out. I struggle with placing Jesus in 1965. I have trouble placing Christ in our current cultural conversation because it means that we have not placed Christ in our current cultural conversations for some time. How far has Christian dialogue removed itself from the foundational practices of Christ? I think it's a difficult demand because we want Jesus' culture to fit our understanding of our present context. I think there are merits but it provides new problems. The problems are do we create new meaning to how we understand Christ? and what part of Jesus' cultural climate not extend a hand in our present experiences? Is there a better way that theology place itself in the cultural conversation without overly spiritualizing, or dumbing down, the beautiful complex nature of Christ.

On a more upbeat hand I do see the create spirit existent in culture. There are pockets of humanity that are striving to insert that freedom and grace back into our daily conversations and that to me is the spirit of Christ.

1 comment:

C. Wess Daniels said...

"do we create new meaning to how we understand Christ? and what part of Jesus' cultural climate not extend a hand in our present experiences?"

I wouldn't see these as problems so much as rich questions that theologians and cultural theorist need to take up for the church.

It is easy to make Jesus into whoever we want him to be, and this can be true of making his context like ours, but I don't think this necessarily negates the whole enterprise so much as raise caution about how to proceed. One way to proceed (I think), is to not just reach back to Jesus forsaking the past 2000 years of the church translating Jesus into their cultures, but rather find where the church translated/contextualized Christ's life in meaningful and transformative ways. That way we're not starting from scratch, but rather looking for cues within our own narrative.

great questions and reflections - keep it up!