Wednesday, 24 September 2008

The prejudice against prejudice...

By a curious turn, it would seem to me, we are back at the beginning... or at a beginning.

Gadamer is said to have rehabilitated tradition, with his talk about the Enlightenment 'prejudice against prejudice.'

With Derrida's type of inveighing against logocentrism (all logocentrism, but please don't take the all too universally), there is new reason to be suspicious of the tradition.

But then, yes, not that we should swallow tradition alive. It needs its share of deconstruction, it needs a hermeneutic of suspicion - but also a hermeneutic of recovery - if it is indeed the stuff of our lives, what constitutes us, what carries us along.

My question is: have Christian theologians in India assimilated enough this constitutive role of meaning, of tradition, of history? Or are they not sometimes in danger of ignoring this when they want to simply jump across 2000 years of history - all those inconvenient dogmas, all that hellenization, conceptualization, dreadful logocentrism - and get back to the gospels pure and simple?

Does not the ghost of Descartes continue to haunt us, despite the best efforts of Heideggereans and Derrideans? Are we not somehow all children of the European Enlightenment? (That too, in fact, is part of our historicity... And what a strange way things continue to affect us.)

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