Philosophy = Learning How to Die

Maybe you’ve been reading about Pete Rollins’s Pyro-Theology. If you like that, you should also be reading Kester Brewin‘s Pirate Theology. He’s got a great post about it today:

‘to philosophize is to learn how to die.’

That really struck me when I read it, and Critchley goes on to expand a little on that in the piece, especially in relation to love, which draws the possibly selfish philosophical attitude to death out of itself and into relationship with another person. Critchley’s – and Socrates’ – point is this: by carefully considering what life is about, we are better able to consider what our own life means, so that when it comes to the end of our life, whenever that might be, we are better prepared to step into the void beyond.

Pete Rollins tweeted something on these lines yesterday too:

‘Coming to terms with the death that signals the end of life seems easier to me than coming 2 terms with the deaths that happen while we live…’

Musing on that today, I was reminded of Socrates’ other famous adage that

‘the unexamined life is not worth living.’

I have been thinking how that fits with the above, for it might seem that, while the unexamined life may be unenlightened or not well thought out, it at least doesn’t get forced to drink hemlock. The examined life, the one that is worth living, actually turns out to be a lot of trouble, because it throws up difficult questions about our place in the world and our relationship to those around us, and to our closely held beliefs too.

So perhaps Socrates should have continued: the unexamined life is not worth living, but the examined life may come at too high a price.

via Kester Brewin » Is ‘The Examined Life’ Worth It? | Philosophy, Theology and Death.

Kester Brewin Wonders if (More) Opposition Is Coming

Kester Brewin has been considering a couple conversations he had at Greenbelt, and he wonders if there’s something in the air.  Namely, will there be an internal backlash in the emerging/-ent/-ence movement to the more radical theology being promoted by Pete Rollins, et al:

One of the things I’ve been wondering is if the theological direction that a few of us have been taking is entering into a period of more acute opposition. I had a long conversation with two people – one a good friend and the other someone I’ve known for some time – and I found both were, a couple of beers down, becoming quite aggressive in their opposition to, in particular, Pete Rollins’ work and the parallel stuff I’ve been writing too.

The general thrust was this: a) it’s been done before in the ‘negative theology’ movements b) it gets people nowhere in mission or social justice c) it’s too complex for the ‘common man’ – and thus cannot be ‘true.’

via Kester Brewin » Into the ‘Year of Opposition’ – The Backlash Begins?.


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