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Back to Unedited Philosophy Quotes and Ramblings about Intequinism.

Book name:
ANATHEISM { Returning to God After God }




Date: Paperback edition, 2011


Reader: Mr. M.D. Pienaar


Table of Contents




6. In the World: Between Secular and Sacred?




Between secular and sacred means the two presuppositions about God's perfection and oneness are rejected. God is not perfect and God cannot be one person nor is God oneness of the cosmos. Plato's Forms are perfect but the Forms are not God.




'After our hermeneutic detour through sacramental poetics we return, finally, to the question of sacramental ethics. .. what does it mean to accept the sacred stranger into the secular universe? What is involved in translating epiphanies of transcendence into immanence of everyday action? What are the practical implications of moving from sacred imagination to a sacred praxis of peace and justice?'



The above objectives of Kearney explain what he would like to see as the teleological ends of his anatheism. Secularisation with a place for the sacred stranger and immanent actions instead of transcending procrastination is important to Kearney. Practical peace and justice instead of sacred imaginations of utopias are espoused by Kearney. There is not a radical element in Kearney's wishes except radical hospitality. His wishes imply a broadening of intellectual and religious horizons.




'Anatheism, I have argued, is not an end but a way. It is a third way that precedes and exceeds the extremes of dogmatic theism and militant atheism.'





<p.134> a kenotic moment of "nothingness" and "emptiness" resides at the core of a postmetaphysical faith; but neither sees this as the last word. Abandonment leads back to action, surrender resurfaces as service.

Breton .. claims… faith "must inhabit the world and give back to God the being he has not." Speaking more specifically of Christian kenosis, he talks of a process that follows "the descent of the divine into a human form, obedience unto death, the ignominy of the Cross. …"



Using 'he' above does not make sense and it was probably done because of the presupposition of God as One in Christian religion, without realising. 'They' would have made more sense. Breton emphasised welfare work as an important way of sharing.




'In the case of the contemporary thinker and activist Gianni Vattimo, kenosis entails a reading of 1 Corinthians 12 (on love) that treats the Incarnation as God's relinquishing of all power so as to turn everything over to the secular order.'




Gianni Vattimo envisages cooperation between The-incorporeal part of God and creaturely humans as part of God.




John Caputo also advocates kenotic faith when he says the sacrificial power, when sacrificing others, should be left behind and emptied into accepting strangers and others with love.


"All these contemporary thinkers contribute, in their distinct ways, to the anatheist option of a sacredness beyond sacrifice. … Or as Francis did when he followed the kenotic way of Christ …"



who did not start a sacrificial revolution against the Romans and Greeks who colonized Israel.




"For what is God, as Irenaeus put it, if not us fully alive?


The acknowledgement of divine kenosis, .. is by no means confined to Christianity. .. is a crucial moment of new creation."




If survival is based on creating as an ethical methodology instead of sacrificing others as method of eliminating competition or of appropriating others' assets and ideas, the above kenotic experience can take place.





'In what follows I propose to explore how anatheist attitudes might be put into practice. How may one keep open the space of hospitality when it is real strangers knocking at the door, real migrants seeking food and <p.138> shelter, real adversaries challenging our way of life—and maybe even our lives? Here then we return to the ultimate, and unsurpassable dilemma: what is to be done?

Let me begin by saying what, in my opinion, is not to be done. To be avoided, at all costs, is the ruinous temptation to use religion to dominate politics. … Stalinism and Nazism were, as Mircea Eliade recognized, examples of perverted messianism .. and the Middle East .. bear out the sorry lesson of ongoing religious violence.'






… The task is to reenvision the relationship between the holy and the profane such that we can pass from theophany to praxis while avoiding the traps of theocracy and theodicy.'


theophany |θēˈäfənē|

noun ( pl. -nies)

a visible manifestation to humankind of God or a god.

ORIGIN Old English , via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek theophaneia, from theos ‘god’ + phainein ‘to show.’


theodicy |θēˈädəsē|

noun ( pl. -cies)

the vindication of divine goodness and providence in view of the existence of evil.


theodicean |-ˌädəˈsēən| adjective

ORIGIN late 18th cent.: from French Théodicée, the title of a work by Leibniz, from Greek theos ‘god’ + dikē ‘justice.’ (New)



Thus theophany should be allowed as Jesus told his disciples by asking them to be God. In a way Kearney is doing the same as Jesus; the most important difference is that Kearney is not doing as he is saying because he mostly refer to the Other whilst excluding himself. He did however accept his own responsibility on page 137 where he rhetorically stated: "For what is God, as Irenaeus put it, if not us fully alive?"





'Raimon Panikkar is a contemporary philosopher who proposes the option of a creative relationship between the secular and the sacred. … <p.141> This is not to say the secular and the sacred are identical. … It is a matter of reciprocal interdependency rather than one-dimensional conflation. And this chiasmic coexistence may itself serve as model for the interanimation of democratic politics and mature faith: ..'



In other words the secular needs the creativities of creators and creatures need networks of secularism.




'To collapse politics and religion into one leads, as history shows, to holy war, theocracy, and ecclesial imperialism.'




'.. Panikkar coins the word cosmotheandrism to connote the creative cohabiting of the human (anthropos) and divine (theos) in the lived ecological world (cosmos). …

The secular entails a radical reorienting of our attention away from the old God of death and fear, for without such con-version we could not rediscover the God of life at the heart of our incarnate temporal existence.'




Kearney writes about the old devil, which sacrificed and caused fear when Kearney writes about the old God of death and fear.






Kearney hopes that Islamic law will change to include democratic systems with Sufi Islam at the lead. He often quotes ibn-Rushd who is also called Averroës.




Democratisation is taking place in some Islamic countries. It seems Sufi Islamic groups have been targeted by the old tutelary powers of Islamic states in for example Egypt. (From: on 15 May 2013)






'What then of non-Abrahamic religions? … Central to anatheism is the freedom to converse with those who remain alien to one's own faith. … This question of inclusive hospitality to "other Others" seems to be particularly crucial in an age when we are increasingly aware, through global communications, of just how many others there are in the world. … This question of religious difference, on a gobal scale, cannot be avoided if anatheism is to be true to its intentions of radical hospitality. And I say this for practical as well as theoretical concerns: the wager of welcoming or refusing the stranger is often a matter of war or peace.

… It is not simply a categorical imperative of moral reason (à la Kant)'



Kant refined Jesus's wish that we will treat others the way we want to be treated when Kant promoted universality of actions. Kant wrote we should ask ourselves what the world would be like if all act like selves do. If the envisaged impact to the world will be negative if all act the specific way, which is questioned, the action is wrong. If we all throw papers in the street and not in dustbins, our streets will be a mess, therefore it is wrong and no one should throw papers in the street. If we all start sacrificing oppositions, the world will digress into a state of nature, which we do not want, therefore it was wrong when devils sacrificed their oppositions for example Jesus.




'.. here is a sample of typical formulations concerning compassion for the other adduced in a wide variety of religions:


Zoroastrianism: "Do not do unto others whatever is injurious to yourself" (Sahyast-na-Shayast, 13:29)

Buddhism: "Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful" (Udana-Varga 5:18)

Jainism: "One should treat all creatures in the world as one would like to be treated" (Mahavira, Sutrakrtanga).

Confucianism: "One word that sums up the basis of all good conduct … loving kindness. Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself" (Confucius, Analects 15:23).

Hinduism: "This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you" (Mahabharata 5:1517)



It can be noted that the three Magi who arrived in Israel to give gifts of incense and gold to support Jesus's foreign spirit came from Iran where Zoroastrianism was founded. Zoroastrianism[1] and Jesus influenced Nietzsche when he wrote Zarathustra. Nietzsche did not overcome the false presupposition of a singular God, which is present in his Zarathustra.




'Such exchangeability between different spiritual traditions of the planet captures one of the essential points of interreligious dialogue: namely, the commonality of all religions across confessional differences. Hence the claim that when you reach through creedal distinctions to a shared praxis and mystical communion, you realize, as the ancients say "we are all one." … But anatheistic hospitality toward the stranger is, as noted, not just the recognition of the other as the same as ourselves (though this is crucial to any global ethic of peace). It also entails recognizing the other as different to ourselves, as radically strange and irreducible to our familiar horizons.




'.. as divine as the universality of Golden Rules. …

            The readiness to translate back and forth between ourselves and strangers—without collapsing the distinction between host and guest languages—is, I submit, one of the best recipes to promote nonviolence and prevent war.'









'The glory of God is each and every one of US [own capitals] fully alive.

--Irenaeus, AD 185'


'But i [own non-capital letter] am talking here of a transcendence in and through immanence, which, far from diminishing humanity, amplifies it. If the divine stranger does not enhance one's humanity, inviting it to better things, that is, to a more just, loving, and creative manner of being, then it is not worthy of the name divine.




New Oxford American Dictionary (Version 2.1 (80), Copyright © 2005–2009 Apple Inc.)





anatheism · 2, 7

anthropos · 6

atheism · 2


creation · 4

creative · 5, 6, 10

creatures · 6, 8


God of death and fear · 6

Golden Rules · 9


hermeneutic · 2

hospitality · 2, 4, 7, 9


immanence · 2, 9

interreligious · 9

Irenaeus · 4, 5, 9


Jesus · 5, 7, 8


Kant · 7

kenosis · 2, 3, 4


Nietzsche · 8


Other · 5

others · 3, 4, 7, 8


power · 3


radical · 2, 6, 7


sacramental · 2

sacred · 1, 2, 5

secular · 1, 2, 3, 5, 6

stranger · 2, 7, 9

Sufi · 7


theism · 2

theophany · 5

transcendence · 2, 9


universality · 7, 9

[1]        From on 15 May 2012.