Contemporary Pragmatism 17 (2-3):193-204 (2020)

Lenart Škof
Science And Research Centre Koper
In his insightful essay »Prophetic Religion and the Future of Capitalist Civilization« Cornel West fervently addressed a question of our abilities to imagine a more empathetic, more compassionate, and also more hospitable world, in which we could foresee, or perhaps already lay ground for a future community where the word religion would simply mean that we live our lives in the consciousness of our finitude and thus in an existential and cognitive humility. This kind of religion would enable us to see beyond the margins of any narrow-minded religious ideology or any violent incarnation of religion. Based on these initial thoughts, we first wish to discuss two basic concepts of contemporary political theology – community and vulnerability. We shall argue that we need to offer in contemporary political theology a basic ethico-democratic response, infused with our imaginative capacity for remembrance and future hope. We will argue with Unger that we need to live through accepting an enhanced vulnerability, being shared in our democratic religious communities. From this view any loss of human life and its potentials is a sign of a grave injustice, and a catastrophe from an ethical point of view. Finally, we will propose the so called reverse thesis on religion – namely that today, perhaps, we should first look at religion in its radicalized ethico-political form which only later enables us to think about its various variations and incarnations within different traditions and cultures. We will argue that it is within this newly acquired temporality of religion and its inherent ontologico-political paradox, that it is possible to imagine a future place where recurrent hope for a life is reborn and nurtured within future pluralistic / inclusivistic / democratic / post-Christian communities, based on compassion and shared vulnerability, and not any more on power, or any other form of violence.
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DOI 10.1163/18758185-01701156
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