Thursday, August 16, 2007

Plea for help

I've got to get away from existentialism. But, apparently, I can't escape. That's too bad because most of the time I think it is pretty much wrong and I don't even find it all that interesting. But by some twist of fate I most often find myself reading the existentialists. I know Fear and Trembling back and forth, better than any other book by far. I read it over and over again this summer. The first chapter of The Sickness Unto Death seems only too obvious to me now. I re-read The Brothers Karamazov, very closely this time, until I felt so comfortable with what was going on in the book that I thought Dostoevsky was wrong about things. I pored over the Genealogy of Morals, the Gay Science, and the Anti-Christ until I couldn't do that anymore.

Now here I am reading Being and Time with Walt. So far it seems much like Kierkegaard all over again. When I'm through reading Being and Time I'm going to put my foot down: no more existentialists for at least five years. And I refuse to ever read Being and Nothingness. I own it, but I will not read it.

I'm feeling the need to read something where the theology is not totally fucked, as is the case with Kierkegaard and Dostoevsky. I need something ultra-ultra-uber-orthodox. I need something anti-humanist. And orthodox.

Any ideas?*

*Please no Radical Orthodoxy recommendations.


Richard said...
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Richard said...

I would suggest anything by Karl Barth, His commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, Dogmatics in Outline, etc.

More recent authors I would suggest Colin Gunton (Enlightenment and Alienation is well as The Actuality of Atonement), T. F. Torrance, Alister McGrath, even Yoder and Moltmann aren't caught up in extreme existentialism.

Maybe go back to some Patristic writers...I would suggest Athanasius or even Augustine.

Just some thoughts...maybe you've already read all this kind of stuff you can stand, but I find it helpful.

I also like Polanyi's, Science, Faith and Society, and Personal Knowledge anything by Newbigin and even Avery Dulles isn't bad.

Matthew said...

Thanks for the recommendations, Richard. Funny you should mention Athanasius and Augustine, as right after I wrote this post I went and picked up my copy of his On the Incarnation from the shelf and thought to myself that I should go back to some Augustine. I'm finding as time goes by that I seem to be more inclined to the Augustine side of things.

I haven't read any Barth in a really long time, and I should probably give it another go, but for some reason the idea of it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I seem to be in a very anti-protestant mood as of late. Probably from all of the Kierkegaard.

I took a peek at the Colin Gunton books and they look very promising.

Thanks again.