Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Further Rant on Periods

In my previous post, i've described the 3 periods in a concise and affirming way. Another reason for such categorization is due to ever-present critique of my negative view on pre-critical and critical methods of doing theology, biblical studies, and philosophy; in 3 easy words: of doing Life.

For eg. whenever i condemn pre-critical method of doing biblical studies, Steven and Dave Chong would unleash their ever-ready swords of the(ir) spirit and say that those pre-critical thinkers are no less critical in their exegesis of texts. I admit that the notion 'pre-critical' does naturally connotes non-criticality, but it does not necessarily mean so, and definitely not in the way I (and many others) use it. Pre-critical IS NOT non-critical. Just as post-critical does not mean the abandonment of criticality.

This is my updated appropriation of these periods:

In the Pre-critical period, heretics are burned, slaughtered, guillotined, drowned, castrated(?) or other bloody punishment.

In the Critical Period, heretics are excommunicated and ecclesiastically-condemned.

In the Post-critical period, heretics are not only not being excommunicated or ecclesiastically-condemned, they are still being invited to Christmas parties, children's birthday celebrations, Sunday services, and do life together.

In view with this definitions, one might ask, "where then is the notion of critically applies?"

To use St. Paul as a bad analogy, pre-criticality is the pre-convert Saul. He is faithful to God and in so doing, he went around villages and towns, dragging heretics to be punished. When Saul met Christ on the road to Damascus,
that was the critical period of his life. That time he realizes that the God that he was serving all this while is actually the God who he was persecuting. Thus he was in that sense 'converted' to the belief that Jesus is the promised Messiah who is now known to be divine and eternal, sharing the very throne of YHWH. After the conversion, St. Paul further interpret and appropriat his theology and mission (thus, his life) in accordance with this revelation. This 'further appropriation' is the post-critical.

To draw that to humanity's progress in epistemology, the pre-critical hominids use Reason and apply criticality on that perceived Reason. The Reformation and later, the Enlightenment, played the part of 'Christophany' where humans are being revealed the more encompassing potential of the role of Reason. And the post-critical period marks the further appropriation of the role of Reason, and thus the recognition of the limits and weaknesses of its potential as well.

In other words, humans have never failed to be critical in these 3 periods. The distinction is that they differ in their appreciation and interpretation of the roles, limits, and boundaries of Reason. Thus, whenever I mentioned 'pre-critical', I do not mean that those hominids are not critical. Just as when I use 'post-critical', that does not mean the desertion of criticality.

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