Week 2 – Cultural Studies: Barker; Chp. 4

Two things about this chapter. The first, surrounding meaning and understanding of reality through language, I thought of Adam’s naming of the animals as God brings them before him to find a suitable helper. The creatures had no name, no manner of identification until Adam gave it thus. (Out of curiosity, what language did Adam use if one believes in an actual Adam? How did he understand/construct the tool of language?) Would we then see this as the beginning of culture, or at least the foundation of the structure of which culture was about to embody? Does God exist in a culture, seeing as they are three in one in communion? How does culture/language studies perceive a God who incarnates himself?

Secondly, I’m not sure about Rorty’s assessment that the world exists, and that we have a cultural means of understanding that. The understanding we have is the truth, but the signified object itself is not true. Therefore, our matrix (no pun intended here, but the movie is an appropriate connection) that defines reality is a means that becomes an end. Our openness to other matrices allows for greater perception of the world. In this cultural perception then, our understanding of reality is dependent upon the matrices of culture and communities. I’m not sure that I’m at rest with the poly-cultural narratives defining the meta-narrative of reality, and leaves us in a bleak situation in my opinion.

However, the rub is how do we believe a metanarrative, particularly in Jesus, that isn’t an ideology? To understand the Jesus as he welcomed everyone, from unclean and sinner, the enemy and powerful oppressor, while calling others to do the same is one thing. To live that out with out judging others for their perceived shortfalls is quite another.


~ by Brian Shope on January 21, 2008.

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