Saturday, January 2, 2010
Jenson as Tragic Metaphysician.
Is Robert Jenson is a tragic metaphsician? He makes several odd claims that contradict basic Christian claims about metaphysics. First, he claims that the God can suffer. The problem with this is that it assumes that the power of nothingness has a superiority to God, in that it can exercise power of God's very being. This would imply that it is the greatest power in reality and therefore the deep structure of reality. Secondly, he claims that God's reality is primarily one of the future. The past (as in Satrean existentialism) is a force that weighs us down. Freedom therefore means overcoming the determinateness of the past, to the free and therefore infinite possibilities of the future. Two things. First, it seems he in his early writings identifies the past with law and the future with gospel. If that's true, law and determinateness (creatureliness) are bad, and freedom (identified with mutable determinacy) is good. Not only does this seem like Marcionism, this creates a tragic metaphysic again, in that all determinateness becomes evil and therefore one has only two options: humans are not casually determined in their freedom and are therefore divine (Gnosticism). Or they are not casually determined and therefore interdeterminate- consequently, they are nothing at all. Autopoesis as a theme returns with its dual consequences. It's interesting how in the garden of Eden, Adam reaches for divinity only to receive death. Failure to be God's creatures means we are nothing at all. In the end all for Jenson must be rooted in nothingness and therefore tragedy.