Monday 24 March 2014

Re-reading AIME: Still insensitive to the Word

I'm making good progress re-reading Latour's AIME book.  I've just finished the chapter 'Welcoming the Beings Sensitive to the Word.'  I found this chapter much easier going this time, much like the book as a whole.  The first time around I felt exhausted and irritated by the end; this time I found it quite interesting.

However, I can't help but come back to exactly the criticism I had before: it seems to me that religious transcendence (i.e. the [rel·dc] crossing) is a feature, not a bug; the only reason anyone has heard of a Jesus of Nazareth is because of the Platonism that was mixed into it in about the second century.  Religious transcendence wasn't an invention of Moderns, it didn't come about in reaction to science, it's been there all along.

Secondly, if the churches have instituted the mode of existence as poorly as Latour suggests then why continue in their vein?  He attempts to justify this, channelling Charles Péguy (of whom I admittedly know almost nothing).  But if religion is love then what need have we of all that existing dogma?  Why cling to the gods of our parents?  Why the conservatism?  What awful fate will befall us if we attempt to reinvent our communal being in a more ambitious and adventurous way rather than stodgily, deferentially nudging our inherited trajectories this way a bit or that way a bit?

I'm still resolutely insensitive to the Word, evidently.