Subscribe via RSS Feed

From Babel to Pentecost: Proclamation, Translation, and the Risk of the Spirit


21 Jacques Derrida, “Psyche: Inventions of the Other,” in Reading de Man Reading, eds. Lindsay Waters and Wlad Godzich (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989), p. 36; Jacques Derrida, Negotiations: Interventions and Interviews 1971-2001, ed. and trans. Elizabeth Rottenberg (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002), p. 344; Derrida, On the Name, p. 43.

22 Derrida, “Psyche: Inventions of the Other,” p. 28.

23 Ibid., p. 42; Derrida, Negotiations, p. 96.

24 Jacques Derrida, Rogues: Two Essays on Reason, trans. Pascale-Anne Brault and Michael Naas (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2005), pp. 135, 143; Cf. also Jacques Derrida, Memoires for Paul de Man, trans. Cecile Lindsay, Jonathan Culler, Eduardo Cadava, and Peggy Kamuf (New York: Columbia University Press, 1989), p. 160 and Jacques Derrida, “The Spatial Arts: An Interview with Jacques Derrida,” in Deconstruction and the Visual Arts, eds. Peter Brunette and David Wills (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), pp. 27-28.

25 Jacques Derrida, The Specters of Marx: The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning, & the New International, trans. Peggy Kamuf (New York: Routledge, 1994), p. 28; Derrida, Negotiations, pp. 361-62; Derrida, “Faith and Knowledge,” pp. 17-18.

26 Derrida, The Specters of Marx, pp. 167-68. Cf. also Caputo, Deconstruction in a Nutshell, p. 23.

27 Derrida, Monolingualism, p. 68; Derrida, Negotiations, p. 362.

28 John D. Caputo, On Religion (New York: Routledge, 2001), p. 11.

29 John D. Caputo, The Weakness of God: A Theology of the Event (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006), pp. 9, 38.

30 Jamie Smith also notes the relationship between Babel and Pentecost as promoting God’s affirmation of diversity, concluding that “truth, in creation, is plural.” He also concludes that God’s creational desire for difference and otherness holds ethical implications for how all of the individuals excluded and alienated by society relate to the Kingdom of God (The Fall of Interpretation, pp. 59-60).

31 Cf. Curtis Freeman, “Toward a Sensus Fidelium for an Evangelical Church: Postconservatives & Postliberals on Reading Scrip­ture,” in The Nature of Confession: Evangelicals & Postliberals in Conversation, eds. Timothy R. Phillips and Dennis L. Okholm (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996), pp. 168-71.

32 Cf. Paul Ricoeur, “The Hermeneutics of Testimony,” in Essays on Biblical Interpretation, ed. Lewis S. Mudge (Philadelphia: Fortress Press), pp. 145, 149-50 and also Caputo, Deconstruction in a Nutshell, pp. 167-68.

33 I borrow the terminology “saturated phenomenon” from Jean-Luc Marion. See “The Saturated Phenomenon,” trans. Thomas A. Carlson, in Philosophy Today: Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, vol. 21, eds. Leonore Langsdorf and John D. Caputo (Spring 1996), pp. 103-24.

34 T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1971), p. 27.

35 Jamie Smith suggests an interesting solution to the problem of how finite and sinful individuals may properly use language to reference God. He claims that words of praise are not inhibited by the difference and deferral that characterize language itself nor by the flawed nature of those who use that language. As one proclaims God by glorifying him, one directs others away from the self in order to experience the divine Other as the presence of the Spirit of grace and love. See Speech and Theology: Language and the Logic of Incarnation (New York: Routledge, 2002), pp. 128-29.

36 See Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All its Worth: A Guide to Understanding the Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1993), pp. 14-17.

37 See Phillip D. Kenneson, “There’s No Such Thing as Objective Truth, and It’s a Good Thing, Too,” in Christian Apologetics in the Postmodern World, eds. Timothy R. Phillips and Dennis L. Okholm (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1995), pp. 162-67.

38 Brian McLaren reminds us that Christians should never forget that we do not merely proclaim answers, as if we were only information technologists, but we also proclaim mysteries that provoke new questions. See The Church on the Other Side: Doing Ministry in the Postmodern Matrix (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1998), pp. 78-79.

39 Leonard Sweet calls humility “the open sesame to spiritual awakening,” which then gives us the confidence to walk in the Spirit by staying on our knees before the Lord. See SoulTsunami: Sink or Swim in New Millennium Culture (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1999), p. 313.

40 Stan Grenz and John Franke insist that we must acknowledge the Spirit’s guidance always within the context of the corporate confessions of the Christian community. Spiritual interpretation and proclamation, therefore, must never be reduced to the subjective level of individual experience. See Beyond Foundationalism: Shaping Theology in a Postmodern Context (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001), pp. 66-68.

41 Jean-Luc Marion calls such categorical confinement of God a “conceptual idol,” because we often yield to the temptation to replace God with our ideas about God and, in turn, to worship them as false gods. See Jean-Luc Marion, God Without Being: Hors-Texte, trans. Thomas A. Carlson (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1991), pp. 16-17.

42 Henry Knight confesses that a “gospel free of culture is not a human possibility”; however, he warns against accommodating “the integrity of the gospel” to the control of culture. See A Future for Truth: Evangelical Theology in a Postmodern World (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1997), p. 134.

43 Cf. Merold Westphal, “Phenomenologies and Religious Truth,” in Phenomenology of the Truth Proper to Religion, ed. Daniel Guerrière (Albany: SUNY Press, 1990), p. 117 and “Positive Postmodernism as Radical Hermeneutics,” in The Very Idea of Radical Hermeneutics, ed. Roy Martinez (Atlantic Highlands: Humanities Press, 1997), p. 48.

44 Cf. Caputo, Deconstruction in a Nutshell, p. 159.

45 Cf. Jacques Derrida, The Ear of the Other: Otobiography, Transference, Translation, trans. Peggy Kamuf (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1985), p. 123.

46 Scrooge attempts to dismiss the reality of Marley’s ghost with these words. See Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol (New York: Atheneum, 1966), p. 25.

47 Merold Westphal defines faith as “the willing vulnerability to and acceptance of divine revelation” (emphasis added). See Transcendence and Self-Transcendence: On God and the Soul (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004), p. 209.


Pin It
Page 8 of 8« First...45678

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Ministry, Summer 2007

About the Author: B. Keith Putt, Ph.D. (Rice University), is Professor of Philosophy at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. He has published several articles addressing issues relating philosophy of religion to certain post-secular theories of language and interpretation, specifically the radical hermeneutics of John D. Caputo. He has not only a professional, academic interest in postmodern thought, but also an interest in the ecclesiological implications that post-secular culture may have on understanding the Kingdom of God in the 21st century. His own personal Christian faith reflects a non-charismatic Baptist confessional tradition. Samford faculty page

  • Connect with

    Subscribe via Twitter Followers   Subscribe via Facebook Fans
  • Recent Comments

  • Featured Authors

    Amos Yong is Professor of Theology & Mission and director of the Center for Missiological Research at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena. His graduate education includes degree...

    Jelle Creemers: Theological Dialogue with Classical Pentecostals

    Antipas L. Harris, D.Min. (Boston University), S.T.M. (Yale University Divinity School), M.Div. (Emory University), is the president-dean of Jakes Divinity School and associate pasto...

    Invitation: Stories about transformation

    Craig S. Keener, Ph.D. (Duke University), is F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He is author of many books<...

    Studies in Acts

    Daniel A. Brown, PhD, planted The Coastlands, a church near Santa Cruz, California, serving as Senior Pastor for 22 years. Daniel has authored four books and numerous articles, but h...

    Will I Still Be Me After Death?