Paul writes – Friend, Jason Clark provides an outline of where he’s at, and what he’s trying to do with what to me looks like a very complex PhD. As I will have previously said, I can easily get lost in the philosophical arguments that build towards, and argue for/against a particular thesis, HOWEVER, while persevering with that part of a thesis / book (stretching my own thinking), I’m always drawn to the practical implications and possibilities, which hopefully there are. In Jason’s case, having read or being reasonably familiar with a good number of his ‘conversation’ partners, I'm looking forward to seeing how he develops his third line of thinking – his “ecclesial move” and what he describes as the “theological nub” of his thesis:
“…[T]hirdly I am wanting to make an ecclesial move, and to provide an account of ecclesiology as a rival ascetic of desire. I’ll begin this with Graham Ward using his appropriation of Baurdillard to introduce poesis and how identity creation takes place within religion in consumer culture. Wards poesis leads me into Vincent Miller and the theological nub of my thesis. The ‘double movement’ that I think I have identified, in terms of it’s phenomena, has a theological discussion centered around it in the work of Bernd Wannenwetsch, William Cavanaugh, Reinhard Hütter, Daniel Bell, Vincent Miller, Stephen Long etc. Within their work I will highlight three key tropes/foci, where:
- The market is a form of ascetic practice, disciplining our bodies and inducting us with habits and practices in contrast with ecclesial practices.
- The market then sets up patterns of desire through these ascetic practices in contrast to the church in its ecclesial forms and worship and orients us around desire.
- That comes together in embodiment and social relationship, and individually around desire, of how the market makes a false form of universal communion…”
This above section of Jason's outline resonates with a theme I introduced (from a very different perspective), without all the academic rigour, important nuances, qualifiers, ground clearing and foundation work that Jason has been / will be doing for his PhD. While the specific quote (below) is not included in my article, I’m trying to engage this profound insight expressed by Symeon the New Theologian (949 – 1022) in his prayer to the Holy Spirit:
“…You who have become yourself desire in me, who have made me desire you…” (You can read the full prayer here).
You can read Jason’s full post here. All the very best for the thesis Jason. I look forward to reading the final copy.