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And what of the Protestant Reformation?

May 10th, 2010 · 4 Comments

After commenting on Hedges’ article on Christianity and Nietzsche, I would offer the caution: don’t underestimate Christianity. Dawkins is a programmed robot set to wreckerball for powerful forces beyond his ken. Xtianity may be undergoing collapse, but that’s none of your doing, don’t flatter yourself. It has long been prophesied that this collapse would occur spontaneously, and yet at each point the religion has persisted.
One reason is that the Protestant Reformation is a part of modernity, one of the triggers of the modern transition. It is therefore as secular as anything else! Note the first and hardest critics of Catholicism were the men of the Protestant Reformation. They fought the long and savage war to establish post-Catholicism, still a form of Xtianity. To overcome the result then, requires some understanding beyond the cliches of bad scientism.
The potential for a type of new Protestant Church to lead beyond the Christian trappings to some new form of religion is therefore always there. Unfortunately none of its members is up to the job. But keep in mind the infinite potential here, beyond the stale dogmas of the Fourth Century Christian Church.
The whole tradition is so encrusted that noone can see a way to move toward the future. Perhaps it is hopeless.

If you study the eonic effect, and the modern transition you will see how the continuation started, and then aborted, with the explosion of German Classical Philosophy in the period of the Kantian Enlightenment: that in many ways was the final phase of the Protestant Reformation, as Hegel noted very well.
Some suggestions: ditch the theology, and consider the ‘archaeology of belief’ in the history of Christianity.
Stop the prattle of Jesus Christ the savior, and see him as an enigma of gnostic history and religion, and start the study of the means of redemption, which is the real issue. The cleverness of Xtian beginnings is almost an occult mystery. But you aren’t required to worship this clever guru as a god. How did that nonsense ever happen?
Godmen are dime a dozen in India. The point here is that Jesus is a great figurehead, but the question of religion is up to you, and your effort.
So Jesus Christ is not your personal savior.
The question of prayer has been so wiseacred as to be almost a travesty. There is the tradition of meditation, try that.
Redemption is a metaphor for the largeness of the universe, and your lostness. The odds are against you: you certainly might perish, thus the religions of redemption. But Chistiantiy is a dead battery of nutcases at this point. As the sufis say, Pass on nor join the idiot in ignorant counterfeit.
Redemption is visible under other names in the guru fields of India where certain gurus try to carry those lacking the capacity for self-salvation. That’s all the Xtian brand could have meant. But waiting for Jesus Christ to save isn’t going to work. However, secularists often fail to see the game at work: many who have sought redemption have gotten the free ride up to a point as types of the Christian ‘saved faust’. What the hell is that? A devil in Jesus, beware.
Jesus is an inspration, no more. Make no pacts with this high priced devil.

Its meaning, redemption is real, and the desperate need is real, but the symbolism has been so corrupted that you have to throw out the bad spaghetti and try something new to understand it. Clutching the rabbit’s foot of Jesus your savior has missed the point, and always did.
It is a limitation built into the original form of the church, which had no practice, or culture of consciousness, as in India, or in Buddhism. It has ended up the bedlam of the retarded.
Redemption is really an understanding of your place in the universe, and can be a long study in agnosticism.
Real religion doens’t require ‘faith’, a late concept of Christian dogma.
The same for the claims for the Resurrection, which originally meant that
the disciples detected the Jesus figure as an astral apparition in the wake of the crucifiction, an entirely plausible, if unknowable, happenstance.

A church is a piece of real estate with tax exempt status. It requires no dogmas, but it does require intelligent enquiries into ‘what is religion’. The odds are against a new Protestant church, but they can’t be worse than the dead bady of the New Atheists.
A protestant church could certainly be semi-atheist, or agnostic, not recommended, but the god obsession is a problem, not a solution.
Christianity may be collapsing but concoctions of Nietzsche and Richard Dawkins aren’t going to replace it, unless you want a few centuries of religious warfare (which Nietzsche seems to have wanted). The point: like manure the Christian soil has a lot of fertilizer for new forms of religions. Scientism does not and will poison any initiative. Is that all you want, to be a dead Darwinian organism?
Etc, etc… the possibilitis are endless, but the obstacle course of Popes and Bible Belt idiots is gruesome, so who knows.
Study the New Age movement, most likely the future will take shape there.

I should note that the Protestant Reformation moved from the Church prison back to the figure of Jesus Christ. But that won’t work this time. Let Jesus displace into the background as an aroma, as new forms of understanding come to the fore. It requires a kind of genius to do any of this, so, obviously, don’t stand for some idiotic mishmash as a ‘new protestantism’.

Xtianity is the great enigma of the Axial Age, one that noone has ever understood, so its mystery must displace to the background as a history and a chronicle, while the dogmas manufactured later are seen for what they are, and stop obsessing.

I should note that the continuation in one direction of Kant/Hegel and the legacy of German Classical Philosophy was the far left world of the post-Feuerbachians, and Marxists. While that is perfectly logical outcome, it lost all its marbles in the rise of Positivism and in the early stages of scientism.
It was too second-rate (while first rate on the issue of exploitation) to resolve the religious question. But it did raise what every church too soon forgets, which is the exploitation that arises in the abuse of religious dogmas as a form of social domination. The solution was found by Marxists, so the issue remains open. But any Protestant initiative has to do justice to the critique of exploitation that arises in religious organizations.

This issue is not a sentimental religious thumbsucking exercise. The first Protestantism took two centuries of warfare to establish itself. Another round will soon be at war with the bible belt and the Darwinian cult of scientism, and the Dawkins New Atheists. A long a savage fight indeed. And it will be inevitable if new brands of Nietzschean fascism and/or theocracty arise.
Let’s be wary of what we wish for, skip the whole idea, maybe, but not be fooled by false alternatives that dominated the top dog circuit.

A man can also be simply an orphan of civilization, like a world renunciate in Buddhism, since all the public alternatives without exeption are false.

You are an orphan of civilizaton, with no prospects, no chances of redemption or revolutionary release. So what’s you next move?

Tags: religion · secularism

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Darwiniana » And what of the Protestant Reformation? - Christian IBD // May 10, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    […] One reason is that the Protestant Reformation is a part of modernity, one of the triggers of the modern transition. It is therefore as secular as anything else! Note the first and hardest critics of Catholicism were the men of the … View full post on protestant – Google Blog Search […]

  • 2 The Gurdjieff Con » More on Hedges’ article // May 10, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    […] And What Of The Protestant Reformation? […]

  • 3 Zendo // May 10, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    You forget the Quakers: almost the last stage of the Protestant Reformation. All the nonsense has been stripped away, and its members just sit quietly and do nothing.

  • 4 Religion, modernity, Kant | Kant’s Challenge // May 14, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    […] Kant and Protestantism […]

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