Enchanted Deconstruction

Last day in Paris

“Deconstruction is an approach, introduced by French philosopher Jacques Derrida, which rigorously pursues the meaning of a text to the point of exposing the contradictions and internal oppositions upon which it is apparently founded and showing that those foundations are irreducibly complex, unstable, or impossible. It is an approach that may be deployed in philosophy, literary analysis, or other fields.”

The word deconstruction tends to conjure up a lot of different responses. Some fear it. Others embrace it, still yet, there is hope in deconstruction. I think though from the variety of responses across the internet some have become disillusioned with the art of deconstruction. But, what if it doesn’t have to lead to disillusionment?

Some might think it is all about disenchanting the subject of enquiry.
But, what if we deconstruction could be about restoring the enchantment within a field of study?

I think deconstruction as a science is a practice that could lead to nowhere. Since the 20′s, it has been to distance itself from modernism, a much needed shift I think in terms of social progress. but the days of deconstruction a science I think should be numbered. as an art, well, there is definitely room for growth there.

if i were to define enchanted deconstruction i would say its the process of trying to understand the enchantment of a subject. with the hope of finding ways to utilize that enchantment to make the world a better place. so let’s use politics as an example. when we deconstruct politics it is still the goal to ‘get to the bottom of it’ but not for the sake of destruction, but for the hope toward self-global-objective discovery.

in finding what makes a topic enchanted we can then approach subjects with an wide-eyed expectancy rather than the stereo-typical cynicism that we get labeled with as deconstructionists. the enchanted aspect of the deconstruction means we look for the pieces of what we’re deconstructing that are still valuable and still can add value back into society.

sometimes deconstructionists get labeled as ‘all-or-nothing’ people when approaching the process of deconstruction. this is what i call the science of deconstruction, which i think needs to be left to the wayside. the art of enchanted deconstruction leaves necessary space for the child within to be fueled by the discoveries that can have equally integrated outcomes. so, how does this work in terms of christianity?

I think essentially, in terms of philosophy, the church needs to be against the Church (e.g., or politics against Politics). if we believe in growth or progress than to leave room for the church, politics or fill-in-the-blank of the future. to be one step ahead of ourselves (or better said: informed by the future) we must be willing to be against ourselves and not in the sense of aggressive hegemony, but one of realistic curiosity of what we might look like in the unknown future.

Jesus used the image of old wineskins and new wineskins. How one doesn’t really go with the other. imagery about imagery that is counter-cultural to the other. and so in these terms for the church to embrace this new enchanted deconstruction it must be willing to ask what are the things that still speak to society today and can help re-enchant society as a whole.

the danger is that we keep things for the sake of tradition. when you participate in any sort of estrangement and make any object/yourself a foreigner to the place of origin there is radical space for reinvention and reformation. i think enchanted deconstruction is in a prime place to help inform the Church of their future. this coupled with the transformative offerings of post-structural christianity (a previous post) we can begin asking the really difficult questions.

but also rather than simply look at the theological offering and trimmings that might need to take place, the enchanted deconstruction of any subject is about reinstiling a radical child-like enthusiasm for global change…when we do this, then the word impossible is a word in the past dictionaries of our deconstruction…

About George Elerick

George Elerick is a widely sought-after speaker, activist and cultural theorist. He lives in England with his wife and two children. He and his wife run Cross Culture Consultancy (http://www.crosscultureconsultancy.com): A webinar & in-person speaking-based platform to discuss, apply & innovate new methods to respond to some of the world's biggest issues.

George majors on cultural engagement, pop-culture, postmodernism, theology & others. Deborah majors on human rights, gender equality,domestic violence, social justice issues and more. They are available for booking! He has a book out entitled 'Jesus Bootlegged' and has another on the way: Jesus and the Death of Church.

  • http://www.revbillcook.wordpress.com Bill Cook

    I am no philosopher, and have no training in philosophy, so I do not claim to have anything deep to add, nor to fully understand what deconstruction is about. But I do align with this post.

    I do believe deconstruction can be a healthy and solid process that leads us beyond the limiting quality of concepts that have become rigid and even approach idolatry. It can also lead to a humility that may help us be less violent.

    I love Anselms proposition that God is a being beyond which nothing greater can be thought. Doesn’t that invite us to deconstruct any concept of God that we hold dear, in order to move us beyond our concepts and toward the reality of God who is beyond all of them?

    Deconstruction, then, is a defense against idolatry, and a step toward true worship.

    But it is not a step everyone can take. For many the deconstruction of a limited concept of God becomes a step toward atheism. Unfortunate.

  • george

    thanks for the thoughts Bill! very well said!

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