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Theology and the Globalized Present

Theology and the Globalized Present: Feasting in the Future of God

John C. McDowell
Copyright Date: 2019
Pages: 220
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  • Book Info
    Theology and the Globalized Present
    Book Description:

    Theology and the Globalized Present focuses on the world's future in God and God's creativeness. In response to a globalized economy that reconfigures time to the detriment of human flourishing, McDowell presents a re-imagined theological vision of eschatological memory and Eucharistic performance. This entails not so much a dreaming of a different world as a dreaming of this world differently. The theological materials offer a temporality that is hope-generating, critically attentive to the inequitable character of features of our world, and educative of ethical wisdom in a self-regulating and emancipatory witness of remembering and anticipating the transformative presence of God.

    eISBN: 978-1-5064-5611-9
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xx)
    John C. McDowell
  2. Preface: Now Is the Intellectual’s Time
    (pp. xxi-xxxviii)
  3. Introduction: The Future of God
    (pp. 1-20)

    To offer both a preface and an introduction might appear to overburden the prelude to the main event. The former has largely functioned as a throat-clearing exercise, or the tuning of the instruments prior to the overture. It has attempted to lay at the door of academia both the need for, and the unavoidability of, political attention. By considering the nature of intellectual responsibility to orient us in dark times, to appeal again to Wendy Brown’s image adapted from Hannah Arendt, the earlier material has attempted to frame the book around the sense of political urgency the Dispatches series inhabits....

  4. 1 Ending as Arriving
    (pp. 21-54)

    According to Ulrich Beck: “Where there is no escape, people ultimately no longer want to think about it. This eschatological ecofatalism allows the pendulum of private and political moods to swing in any direction.”¹ Where Beck announces a sense of entrapment that produces despair, Nicholas Lash recognizes (when pursuing reflections on the difficulty of meaningfully generating a critical hope) that not all the voices of the late twentieth century have been so despondent.² For instance, with the tearing down of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and the impending collapse of Soviet Communism and the Cold War, Francis Fukuyama in “triumphalistic...

  5. 2 Globalizing Waste
    (pp. 55-78)

    Fukuyama’s neoliberal thesis is that while stable liberal democracies have not yet become universally politically available, philosophically “liberal democracy remains the only coherent political aspiration that spans different regions and cultures around the globe.”¹ Of course, a Marxist should ask about the convenience of Fukuyama’s historicist move from noting the collapse of Communism as governmental system to his assurance that Marx’s economic and political theories have been “disproven.”² Equally, one should be suspicious of the glib claim that human beings would be satisfied by liberal egalitarianism in politics, economics, and culture (what Fukuyama calls the desire for “universal and reciprocal...

  6. 3 Practicing Glocalized Religion for Life?
    (pp. 79-94)

    Chapter 2 has taken this book to the point of being concerned about the lack of time for being oneself-as-an-other, to use Paul Ricoeur’s image.¹ In this context, theological reflections over the disciplinary conditions for identity construction in a hegemonic globalized capitalist system can learn from concerns over the loss of democratic participation in political life (such as those of Wendy Brown, Henry Giroux, Zygmunt Bauman, among others) in critiques of neoliberal reconfiguration of values.

    At this point a cheap apologetic trick could offer a “framework,” to adapt Charles Taylor’s concept, of a form of resistance as a solution—the...

  7. 4 A Politics for Eucharistic Adventing
    (pp. 95-116)

    While governor of Bithynia, Pliny the Younger famously wrote to his emperor around 112 CE for advice about what to do with a suspect group, the Christians. Referring to some sort of food consumption, he declares that they gathered “to take food, but ordinary and harmless food.”¹ The reference to “ordinary” can be theologically pressed into highly significant areas concerning the nature of kenosis and sacramentality, the engracedness of all things, and consequently God’s self-glorification in and through the ordinary materials of creation, elected and embodied incarnationally. However, Johann-Baptist Metz speaks of Christianity as being constituted in and through a...

  8. Conclusion: Time for Feasting and Fasting
    (pp. 117-132)

    We supposedly now live beyond mythologies in a disenchanted universe, fracturing and displacing the collective tales and shared sense of the good that delude us and take us from the poiesis of our self-creative moment-to-moment identification and action. Discourse of “choice” and “freedom” supposedly operates in a metaphysically free zone, describing actions that function purely procedurally and that reason instrumentally. Such actions are generated ex nihilo in the momentary episode conditioned only by the indeterminacy of the will.

    Yet, each choice “is a decision that is coloured by the sort of person I am; the choice is not made by...