Rank #1: 20 | Mimetic Theory 1: Mimetic Desire
This episode starts off a series that I'll be doing on mimetic theory—an anthropological theory developed by the brilliant literary theorist and philosopher René Girard. My idea in this series is to explain, or perhaps just sketch, the basic parameters and considerations of mimetic theory, as well as looking at how this theory questions and illuminates various aspects of the human experience by focusing on an empirical truth: our capacity for imitation. As we move through this series, I'll be touching on anthropology, psychology, history, the nature of conflict and violence, and the origin of culture. And, of course, I'll be looking into what mimetic theory brings to theology. In this, the first episode in this series, I cover a few of the foundational ideas of mimetic theory: the mimetic nature of desire, the triangular structure of desire, and the place of metaphysical desire.
Rank #2: 80 | The Centrality of Love
At the center of Christian theology is the claim that God is love (see 1 John 4:8). Love is at the heart of the ethics of Jesus (see Mark 12:30-31) and St. Paul (see 1 Corinthians 13:1-13), as well as being at the center of St. Augustine’s approach to interpreting scripture. “Love,” writes Erich Fromm, “is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.” Viktor Frankl echoes this idea: “Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire.” But what, precisely, is love? It is a surprisingly difficult question to answer, and yet it is absolutely vital that we answer it properly. Reclaiming the meaning of love may also hold the key to answering another question: what is the meaning of life? Support this podcast: patreon.com/unorthodoxy Twitter: @duncanreyburn
Rank #3: 86 | Christianity and Imagination
In this episode, I read a slightly modified, translated version of a chapter that appears as 'Verbeelding en Christenskap' in Carstens, Udo, ed. 2013. Om te mag dink. Pretoria: Aros & Juventus, p. 135-144. Twitter: @duncanreyburn Support this podcast: patreon.com/unorthodoxy
Rank #4: 67 | The Obstacle is the Way
Here's a quick provocation/meditation rooted in some of the wonderfully paradoxical thinking of (mostly) Heraclitus and (a bit of) Kierkegaard. Support this podcast: patreon.com/unorthodoxy Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rank #5: 1 | Heresy
In this first episode of the Unorthodoxy podcast, I offer a few reflections on the tricky distinction between orthodoxy and heresy in Christian theology. Books referred to in this episode include: Atheism in Christianity by Ernst Bloch, Did Calvin Kill Servetus? by Stanford Rives, The Soul of Doubt by Dominic Erdozain, Heresy: It's Utility and Morality by Charles Bradlaugh, Heretics by GK Chesterton, and The First Apology by Justin Martyr.
Rank #6: 2 | Excommunication
What can the notion of "excommunication" contribute to our thoughts about communication, theology and God? What does the God talked about by Jesus have to do with excommunication? Books referred to in this episode include Excommunication: Three Inquiries Into Media by Alexander Galloway, Eugene Thacker and Mackenzie Wark, Phaedrus by Plato, Twelve Chapters on the Faith (supposedly by Gregory Thaumaturgus/Neocaesarea). Zizek’s Jokes by Slavoj Zizek. Hughes Mearns's poem Atagonish also makes an entrance at some point.
Rank #7: 15 | Losing my religion
This is not the first time, and it will not be the last, that I grapple with the rather fuzzy line between belief and unbelief. In this episode, I take a closer look at an experience that more thoughtful Christians will be familiar with: the experience of wanting to step away from the religious tradition that you grew up in. I take a look at three ideas offered by three philosophers—Hegel, Derrida, and Žižek—and explore how these may contribute to the journey: from belief, through unbelief, and towards a kind of transcendent, renewed faith. JM Fritzman's to-the-point exposition of Hegel's dialectic was particularly helpful here. A book on Derrida that I found particularly brilliant for its theological insights is Steven Shakespeare's "Derrida and Theology".
Rank #8: 73 | Exegesis of a Fairy Tale
In this episode, I read through Hans Christian Andersen's profound and wonderful little fairy tale, "The Silver Shilling," and offer a few reflections on its meaning. It has a lot to say about how we navigate our own lives with respect to finding a place in the world. You can read the fairy tale here: http://www.andersen.sdu.dk/vaerk/hersholt/TheSilverShilling_e.html Support this podcast: patreon.com/unorthodoxy
Rank #9: 68 | Self-Deception & Faith - Part 1
Whether we like it or not, research shows that all of us are given to being self-deceived. It turns out that a person generally believes to be true what they want to be true, even when evidence is glaringly opposed to their beliefs. Take for instance the fact that most people think they're above average when it comes to job performance or driving skills, as well as the fact that some people who really are ahead think they're not. What does this propensity for self-deception tell us about families and communities in general, and communities of faith in particular? Isn't faith, after all, just a socially accepted form of self-deception? This is the first in a three-part series looking at self-deception and faith. Helpful authors on the topic: Robert Trivers (Deceit and Self-deception), Gregg Ten Elsoff (I Told Me So), and Herbert Fingarette (Self-Deception). Support this podcast: patreon.com/unorthodoxy
Rank #10: 79 | Footnotes to Exodus, Part 5 - Name
In part 5 in our series through the book of Exodus we continue to listen into the conversation between God and Moses at the Burning Bush. The particular focus of this episode is on God's revealed name — about which the early Christians (among others) had rather a lot to say. Support this podcast: pateron.com/unorthodoxy Twitter: @duncanreyburn