By Farida Abu-Haidar
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Extra resources for Christian Arabic of Baghdad (Semitica viva)
But why? God, reaching out to sinful humanity, inevitably appears as ‘God’ in a great variety of forms more or less exposed to contamination from human sinfulness. 15 Eckhart remains a loyal churchman but, nevertheless, urgently seeks God beyond ‘God’; that is, beyond the ‘God’ of conventional church ideology. True, such flamboyant self-distancing from what, after all, still remains one’s own religious culture is rare in Christian theology. Christianity is, by every instinct, evangelistic for itself; its theology has always been intimately tied up with its own self-promotion to potential converts, an orientation which must always tend to inhibit the sort of corporate self-critique towards which 15 Meister Eckhart, The Essential Sermons, Commentaries, Treatises and Defense (trans.
But that, I think, is its great virtue. His Phenomenology of Spirit, on the other hand, opens the philosophic door towards a strictly trans-metaphysical understanding of theology. This, I would argue, is its most fundamental claim to truth: that it is an opening towards theology, once and for all, purged of metaphysics, and so set free to become what it is truly meant to be, a sheer celebration of truth-as-openness. The old metaphysical ‘proofs’ of the existence of God are pushed right to the margins of the Logic.
God’s relation to humanity? Why must God wound that relation? Or God’s relation to Godself? Then it is God’s hand that heals God, but why does God have to wound God? What could such a self-mutilating God be? The self-wounding God would be the same as the self-healing God. But what could one make of the self-forgiveness of this self-mutilating God? And if Hegel is right that it is a matter of knowing, God seems to have to fool himself in order to make himself wise. What kind of stupid God is this?