Social Justice

GB08 : Postmodern & Postcolonial

At Greenbelt (which seems like a looong time ago now…) I got to hear Brian McLaren speak on the topic of “postmodern & postcolonial”. It was really interesting to me, so I’ve typed up some notes from the session – would love to hear your take on it too!

  • Literary criticism – where does the meaning in a text lie?
  • “It’s not easy having no faith either.”
  • Disentangling our faith from modernity
  • “Don’t depend only on intellectual history, also look at social history.” – Alan Roxborough. It’s not only driven by intellect but by social issues.
  • The flipside of the northern postmodern conversation is the southern postcolonial conversation.
  • How do you reconcile being followers of Jesus & being part of the system of colonialism?
  • A gospel that avoids inconvenient truths – what happens when you see the gospel through colonialism.
  • In the years after WWII, its almost as though the Holocaust became the catalyst to wake up to the horrors of the last 2 centuries – the horrors of colonialism, of the indigenous peoples, etc.
  • William F Butler – “They [communists] do not understand that the gates of hell will not prevail against western civilization.”
  • To what degree do we need to imagine a faith that is not a western religion? Its as much an African or a South American religion as a western one.
  • The Bible is a book written by the colonized (the Jews) – its dangerous when we read it as the colonizers. For example, when talking about poverty, people quote Jesus saying “the poor you will have always” – but Jesus is quoting Deut 15 – very different!
  • One of the assumptions of colonialism is that everyone has to play by the same rules. Now the question is which rules – the UK ones – or the African ones?
  • In a time when we’ve slipped back into preemptive war, we have to rediscover preemptive peace-making.
  • The conquest of Canaan would actually justify terrorism more than empire.

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