Sunday, September 20, 2009

Clay IV.22

Dear Paul: Sorry to take so much time getting back to you. I was glad to hear you'd brought your work to the attention of others. Of those consulted I predict M------'s suggestions will be the most fruitful.

Why have I taken so long to reply? The difficulty is your question as to what Durationism is. I don't know how to answer without sending you the texts that might make it clearer, but, to tell the truth, I haven't finished writing these texts. It may be a while until I have.

Generally speaking, I'm a believer in the Christian message. Yet there are elements of orthodoxy that are unacceptable to me--theological positions I can't accept, positions that, formulated as they are, seem both complacent and insufficient to the problems. Likewise there are elements of Christian Gnosticism that are unacceptable to me. (The latter of course is a much less uniform tradition than Christian orthodoxy, but there's a tradition even so.)

I believe the Christian message remains latent. And I believe it can best be formulated between these two--between Gnosticism and the orthodoxy that forged itself partly in opposition to Gnosticism. The Duration is a term coined to indicate this work: the work of articulating a latent truth.

The Christian Duration, then, would be a heresy. Or it would be a heresy at least to the extent that it ever gathers enough force even to be dignified by that term.

What is a "heresy"? I'd insist that in relation to the truth that exists all our formulations are heresies, including, yes, the orthodox formulations. Because we can never articulate truth in a way commensurate with it--such articulations being always already duped by the snares of language. We are all, as the cliché has it, inmates in the prison-house of language.

Some of my initial formulations of what Duration theology asserts can be found in The Clay Testament, vol. IV. In the form of a collection of aphorisms or brief essays, vol. IV contains texts that led me to see the problems more clearly. I'm still working however. Best, Eric

No comments: