In an earlier missive, So, Like, Are You a Christian?, I expressed my impatience with being pigeonholed into religious categories. In this diary, I’m going to follow up on that photo diary with a more conceptual post on what happens across that slash between “Not” and “Christian.” To do that, the rest of the diary will lay out the arguments of three books that hold Christian and non-Christian perspectives together in exploring religious claims.
The three texts are
* James Cone, Martin and Malcolm and America: A Dream or a Nightmare
* Kathleen Sands, Escape from Paradise: Evil and Tragedy in Feminist Theology
* Louis Ruprecht, Tragic Posture and Tragic Vision: Against the Modern Failure of Nerve
None of these books treats the distinction between Christian and not-Christian as trivial. Their recasting of the boundaries of theological thought does not move them into a bland homogeneity, where all serious differences melt away into a fake feel-good unity. At the same time, they are all acutely aware of the violence that comes with enforcing the boundaries too rigidly. Each writer, in his or her own way, forges a new dialectic between religious particularity and a larger whole achieved through comparison.