Hopeful politics

John Milbank ends his stimulating and confounding opening essay in Paul’s New Moment: Continental Philosophy and the Future of Christian Theology with this: “any hopeful political project requires a sense that we inhabit a cosmos in which the realization of good and of justice might be at least a possibility. But that means, first of all, that we must consider the good to be more than a human illusion but rather in some sense an ultimate reality, ontologically subsisting before evil, both human and natural, including the natural negativities of death and suffering. It means also that we must believe, beyond gnosticism, that the good is in some measure able to be embodied within human time, and this means that human life must somehow bear within its biological spark (which itself must logically be prior to death, which is sheer negation) also a pneumatological spark that links it to undying goodness and justice and that enables it in the end entirely to root out those base passions ‘of the flesh’ (according to Paul) that are concerned only with survival self-satisfaction, erotic possession of, and military triumph over, others.”

That is: There is no hopeful politics without God, without the soul, without resurrection. Which is to say: No hopeful politics without Christ.

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