It’s the last four days of my N.T, Gospels class an we are still hopeless mired in Post-Colonialism – a point which can be made in five minutes; the implications probably exhausted to some pragmatic degree with a 30 minute discussion.
Yet it goes on…
We could have stopped and started to study the native texts in their indigenous Middle Eastern context – but no.
We could have discussed whether Post-Colonialism is even “Post” at all? But no.
So we are asked (bludgeoned) with the question of how we will find our discussions of Post-Colonialism relevant in the future (can you see me looking at you sideways?)
When my PC gets malware or a bad virus I am in serious danger of losing not only my work, but often my entire computer if the virus is not eradicated. I suppose I could endless fight each incidence of the virus as it cropped up. but they tend to multiply and soon all of my attention would be on that alone and not my work. Instead, I have the option of going back to a previous system save point that existed prior to the infection and having th system rebuild from there. To be sure, I will lose some additions I may have added, but they too may now be infected. Best to go back to a time prior to the corruption when my machine took a bad turn or pretty much all will be lost.
You can see where this is headed easily enough. We can fight the resulting symptoms of Christendom’s unfortunate marriage to power with Constantine and how that eventually led to it’s championing Colonialism as its divine sanctioner; but this will never get us back to a healthy place. It simply keeps us in the disease. Worse – currently (in my view) it has given us the false sense that we are past it (which we are decidedly not). Colonialism is simply dressed in different clothing and framed in new language. But it is still Western Colonialism with its need to dominate and acquire. Show me the article or evidence that refutes this. Oh I saw Modernity fall with the Berlin Wall (but raise half its philosophic head in Post-Modernism – which was a neat trick – like “subjectivism”) but I have not seen Colonialism fall at all.
So as far as I am concerned much of this talk is premature in way. In the meantime, we can certainly, pragmatically, reset the operating system back to pre-Western times – before the virus of power was introduced. Back to indigenous Middle Eastern soil with its rich olive-skinned people and totally other context – say focusing on the first 300 years – just to be on the safe side for awhile.
It wouldn’t hurt us to spend some time studying the Martyrs of North Africa to reintroduce us to serious faith in action, nor to the Desert Fathers for contemplation and the concept of being “holy” or “set apart.” Of course we will seem like juvenile delinquents by comparison. Tough. And the role of women? One of my favorite heroes of faith in all of Christendom is Perpetua who, along with Felecity was martyred for her faith, but not before giving one of the most eloquent renouncements of faith on record. She was so brave.
Given such a clear and clean view, we are the punks, the new kids on their first day at the real school. We don’t know scabula about what is important and we need people to explain the simplest ideas from the Bible because we just do not get it. But who will do this if all we are doing is addressing every little mutation of the virus and not the health of the original organism? To linger on Post-Colonialism is to obsess on a pathology, not do fresh work in exploring the texts themselves. It’s to allow the disease to define the dialogue and agenda, and that is a mistake. The point about its danger is made in five minutes, and I for one, am simply tired of hearing about it and want to get to some real work. It’s not a difficult point.