We’re back with a quick round of what we’ve been watching! Brad: Los Enchiladas The Trail (Jui gwai chat hung) Stephanie: Into The Dark: My Valentine (Hulu) Wax Mask Dr Sleep (DC) Master Of Dark Shadows Sean: Girl On The Third Floor Snatchers
In this episode of Sancta Colloquia, I have the privilege of talking with friend and academic colleague, Logan Williams (@lllogansays). The topic du jour was a combination of talking about the self, the giving of the self, and love. What does it mean to offer the self as gift in the act of love. Looking at Jesus’s sacrifice and the claim that he “gives himself for us,” does Jesus empty himself in that there is nothing left or does he give himself in a substantival way?
The way we answer the question is important, and Logan does well to guide me and you down that narrow way. We covered a lot and there’s no way I’ll address all of it in this short write up, but I’ll point out some highlights. Logan expands on the predicament we find ourselves in when we overemphasize the loss of self in the event of encounter with God in faith and with Jesus’s self-gift through the event of the cross. He explains that there are two problems of life giving/self-emptying language used: it tends to portray the self as entirely negative with no possible hint at resurrected life now. Essentially, you give yourself away (empty) without any instance where it is right to take care of yourself. Thus, the end result is seeing the cross and the event of encounter with God in faith as total body destruction (of both Jesus and the person in the event of faith). But yet, is emptying the self an actual gift to another person? Doesn’t one have to have integrity of the self in order to engage the self with others? Logan discusses some of the historicity of the idea of self-emptying.
According to him, there is an emphasis in Christendom that we are prone to so seek our own interests to the exclusion of caring for others that the event of self-sacrifice on the cross and the inclusion of that idea in theological anthropological definitions has been included to correct this radical self-absorption and has been absolutized in an unhealthy way. Accordingly, self-emptying to correct self-absorption has become a weapon against women causing them to stay subjugated (marital, friend, social, occupational, etc.). And has been used by male theologians to deal with their anxiety about what the human problem is based on male guilt.
Logan doesn’t deny the reality of the “death” component in “giving self as gift” that is characteristic of some of Paul’s language in the letter to the Galatians. According to Logan, for the language to work, double reference–giving self into death and gift–Christ has to maintain the integrity of the self after death. There is a death in the event, but in order for the gift to be given, there needs to be a self. And here you find resurrection themes. Self in the event of “salvation” is both deconstructed and critiqued, challenged and sculpted, taken away and reformed, deconstructed and reconstructed. On the other side of that death is resurrection. This is the good word of new life and new creation in Christ. We become more ourselves in the encounter with God in the event of faith and not “less.” The problem is that the authorities don’t often want the people knowing how much substance they have because how else would they maintain their tyranny? Break the silence, become a little bit dangerous, listen to Logan.
About The Host: Lauren R. E. Larkin is a priest in The Episcopal Church and teaches High School Religion/Theology. She is a mother of three and a wife of one. Follow her on Twitter @laurenrelarkin and read her musings over at laurenRElarkin.com.
The whole gang is together! We discuss our favorite releases of 2019! Favorite 2019 Theatrical Releases: Stephanie: Sword of Trust Extra-ordinary Dolomite Is My Name Boys In The Wood Daniel Isn’t Real Happy Death Day To You Us Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Mike D: Between Two Ferns: The Movie Fire Happy Death Day […]
Brad Henderson talks about 2020’s THE GRUDGE. After a young mother murders her family in her own house, a single mother and detective tries to investigate and solve the case. Later, she discovers the house is cursed by a vengeful ghost that dooms those who enter it with a violent death.