Tijdschrift voor Theologie vol:25 issue:1 pages:59-77
The so-called crisis of Christianity is, at least from a philosophical view, a hermeneutical matter. The ‘old’ format of narrative has worn off. The narrative or story that reveals and evokes Christian identity is no longer ‘the one full story’, but is unavoidably marked by delay and abyss. Both, however, should be read in the register of promise, not of limitation of meaning and/or sense. The story is not already completed, from the very beginning and for always – its accomplishment is persistently delayed, to allow for meaning as an event, as opening. It cannot be deduced from any original truths, divine intentions or super historical blueprints (as a firm ground). The narrative, moreover, is also marked by endless ending, endless finitude. It is ‘opening’, though not opening onto another world where the full truth of the Christian story is kept. Finally, the story is marked by inclusion – the story is a testimony, not a theoretical description – and materiality – its meaning is not at our disposal. It is adverbial rather than adjective – it doesn’t discover divine properties amidst the secular ones – and centrifugal – they do not just point at one central figure, but at what is ‘other’. Again, this is a philosophical, or at least philosophically motivated exploration. It leans heavily on French contemporary thought (Derrida, Nancy et cetera) and indeed implies a fundamental and radical revision of the relation between thought and faith, science and belief, philosophy and theology in terms of friendship rather than domination.