I’e been wrestling with the question of how to frame the “postmodern Christians” essay (and Margaret rightly reminds me to be skeptical about claims pertaining to “the postmodern age,” as though Euro-American and global cultures had unambiguously and necessarily modulated to a different era with fundamentally different conditions for thought and practice). For a while I worked with the tentative title, “ ‘How Will This Be?’ — Possibility, Compulsion, and Postmodern Christians,” the force of which aimed at Mary’s response to the Annunciation as neither a facile affirmation nor a dubious refusal, but an expression of interested, patient, inquiry. I wanted to develop that as a paradigm for “postmodern” Christians’ faith: neither asserting as flat propositions the truths of faith, nor jettisoning them as incredible fabulations, but persisting with them despite their apparent impossibility.
But the alternative title “ ‘The Way’ Out of No Way” wouldn’t let go of my imagination. That title points me toward Lyotard’s “The Strength of the Weak” article, as I said yesterday, toward pursuing Christian faith as a way rather than a science. Such a way does not repudiate knowing, study, critical reflection, or truth-claims, but it affirms them in a context inseparable from a practice of discipleship — charity, patience, service, and fidelity. I think that converges with the other essay-notion’s attention to disarming forced binary choices, as well. We’ll see what happens next.