Sunday, 13 July 2008

On watching Scorcese's Last Temptation of Christ

For much of the film I found myself (in a good way) thinking of Deckard's words: 'how can it not know what it is?' The more I think about that question, the more profound and spiritual it seems to me.

The news on the BBC earlier this week was about the Church of England ordaining female bishops, and those members of the Church so outraged by this decision that they are planning to leave. At root (since none of those upset could be coaxed into saying but women are inferior to men!) their outrage was based upon: but this is not what I am used to! To say that something violates tradition is always, at root, to denigrate it because it's not what we're used to. And part of me thinks, fair enough: continuity and tradition and important props to help human subjectivity along its torturous path. But it also makes me want to say to one of these anti-female-bishop Anglicans: have you even read the New Testament? It's a text open to a number of interpretations of course, but one thing that comes unambiguously out of it is the message: everything is different now. It is a book that says, in its whole as well as in numerous specific places: give up your attachments to the old ways, however comforting you find them. It's all new. To live according to the logic of the Gospels, surely, must be to live as thoroughly as you can the everythingness and the difference and the nowness of everything is different now.

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