EC part 3

5/19/04

7pm- seminar with Jack Caputo- “why the church deserves deconstruction”, aka big head trip #2

meaning of deserve, has 2 senses.. one negatively, as insult, or calling attention to consequences; also one positively, b/c something is worthy and merits value.. church is deserving, is worth, receiving critical analysis.. example on law: is that actually justice? or, is it better to say that it’s something we have constructed.. good laws need to be repealable, appealable, amendable, rewriteable, essentially deconstructable.. an undeconstructable law is a rule of terror.. if laws are constructed, then, what’s justice? is there justice? does it exist? the things that are deconstructable are conditioned.. forged and formed in space and time.. conditions of history, economics, society.. justice may be embodied in institutions, but justice itself is perhaps unconditioned.. what would it be like to have a law that catches and captures all the particulars, every idiosyncracy.. (like a map?) laws are supposed to be universal.. the undeconstructable law and justice, is a hope, prayer, aspiration, promise, desire..

the above perhaps makes little sense to those who aren’t philosophical in bent or perspective or abstract, and my sound bite notes don’t help it much either.. where this dialogue went to over the course of 90 minutes was that it kicked into high gear, and he spoke of the value of deconstruction, that he made an argument for how it is not relativistic or subjective or secular, but that it is more of a mechanism (my word, not his) for examining and analyzing and getting behind the verbiage and construction, to recover the essential essence, the pure form and perfect ideal (to borrow more of the Greek or Platonic concept) that of the undeconstructable, and recognizing that while the undeconstructable is impossible to attain, and that there is a future perfect to come, in the mean time, in the here and now, we have to do something.. and that something is a construction, or a better word, he suggests, is reinvent; that is a better word b/c it has the root word for venir, which is French for something that’s to come.. while this constructing and reinventing thing will likely be an institution of sorts, to which organic non-institutional types reactively resist, the work of forming and organizing into some kind of institution, and with an on-going process of reconstruction and reformation over time, perhaps, has some value, and is a necessary thing..

what he has basically said, in 90 minutes, with an intersperced mix of questions and angst at some of the disturbing things he said, such as questioning the deconstructability of the Biblical text, which by the very nature of a text, is that it is therefore deconstructable since it has a context, and has an absent signifer in and of the text itself, is to make an argument for why the church is deserving (worthy) of deconstruction.. he did not say how, he did not say all of what was wrong or problematic, he simply setup the argument. Masterfully done, entertaining, and extremely heady. (which I like)

one of my colleages had to rest after enduring so much head trippin’ in a day; I went on and head tripped ’til 1am..

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