The New Metaphysicals offers a peek into a world that I found at once pedestrian and strange, and the information that it gives us about so-called “spiritual but not religious” people is invaluable. The new agers, mystics, yoga instructors, and other metaphysicals whose words animate The New Metaphysicals seem quite foreign at first blush, and it’s to Professor Bender’s enormous credit that she theorizes the milieu without undermining the authenticity claims and struggles in which her subjects engage. At the same time, I found myself wanting more of a critical stance, a more thoroughgoing interrogation of the epistemologies that these subjects espoused.
Posts Tagged ‘indigeneity’
In Sunday school I learned that the cross points to the empty tomb. Given how easily theological concepts jump the tracks when translated for the benefit of eight-year-olds, this now strikes me as pretty fair representation of a core idea central to most Christianities: the crucifixion makes sense only in light of the resurrection. . . . Moreover, the resurrection conveys a Christian theory of death en nuce and metonymically—for some, of course, it would be better to say metaphorically. In any case, whether by way of vague aspiration, an expected apocalypse, or simply due to a learned literary sensibility, most Christians take the resurrection to be the proper model for death—that is, death is recognized precisely through overcoming it. Celestial destinations are in mind. Terrestrial stopping points—graves—are thus temporary and incidental.
This model of death, as signified by the cross, could not be more different from that held by people indigenous to the U.S., including American Indians and Native Hawaiians.