Kingdom Come: Postmetaphysical Inclusivism? (My Conference Paper)

Per Ed's request, I'm posting a copy of the paper I just submitted for the upcoming IT Conference.  I only had 3 days to work on it, so I ended up rushing on it and I'm not entirely satisfied with the end.  I went in the general direction I wanted, but in the presentation I'll definitely try to clarify my proposal more and provide more concrete suggestions.  If you've read some of my old blogs, you'll see (in the interest of time, since I had so little of it; and also in the spirit of Wilber!), I've used material from some of them to flesh it out ... but there is still a good bit of new material in it!

 

Technically, this paper is not supposed to be published anywhere.  I don't think a forum really counts as "publication," but just in case, I'll leave it up only for a short time.  You will find it attached below.

 

Best wishes,

 

B.

 

P.S.  I have removed the attachment and replaced it with a link (above) to the pdf of the paper which is posted on the ITC website.

 

 

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wtf... an hour and a half later, and i'm only on page 6!!?? :-)

Balder said:
Thanks for taking the time to look it over, Edward. If you had a hard time following it, I definitely wouldn't attribute that to any intellectual shortcoming on your part; I think that's probably more of an indication that I wasn't entirely successful with the paper. Halfway into it, with my 40-plus reference texts or whatever, I realized I'd gotten into something that I'd really need a lot more space to unpack, but I just didn't have time to rework it, or start over and maybe narrow it down a bit; so, I did my best to "wrap up" the threads I'd introduced. In the presentation, I'll definitely try to bring in some illustrations and make the terms and the overall theoretical landscape clearer.

One problem was that I'd started out wanting to show how Integral was a "step beyond," or at least could provide a way out of, some of the shortcomings of earlier approaches. But I found that actually, while I believe it has the potential to do that (IMO), I was finding different indications in Wilber's writings and elsewhere that seemed to show it was aligned more with a position that had been found to be problematic in Religious Studies circles. But I hadn't started out to do a critique paper. So, I introduced a critique in a more oblique way. In the conference, I'll try to spell that out more.

And maybe I'm missing something, too -- not taking enough of Integral sources into consideration, for instance. If that's the case, hopefully someone at the conference (if not here) will be able to point that out.
Must have nodded off, eh?  :-)

Wow, thank you, Kela.  Unexpected but very welcome feedback.  I will pore it over and respond -- and also use your feedback to polish my paper.

 

If you're interested, I'm attaching below a copy of my latest "working draft" of the paper, which includes a number of revisions and additions, including a post-script section, a chart of the different interreligious orientations, several new footnotes, and some corrections to typos and such.  It looks like you've noticed some other typos and structural issues, though, that I may have overlooked (and which I will correct).

 

In the interest of not having this "out there" on the net too long prior to publication, I'll only leave this up for a couple days, so let me know if you've downloaded it and I'll delete the attachment.

 

Best wishes,

 

B.

 

 

[NOTE: Attachment removed.]

Hi Balder,

On the way to the studio, I thought that everyone else doesn't need to see my suggestions in minutiae.  So this is a repost of the original comments. I'll send the stylistic-grammatical details by message as I should have in the first place.

Repost:

Bruce, this is a clear, well written, well thought out, well argued paper. I don't really see many "inadequacies." You make very good use of your concretizations and examples, from what I can see. There is only one instance I can find where perhaps you might have explained a bit more (see message). I am not going to give a critique of your paper because I think you have articulated a position that makes sense, even though it is not necessarily one I would hold, and I can respect that (and it is more than one can expect online these days).

Any difficulty you or theurg are having can probably be traced to the difficulty and intricacy of the material.

I found the paper interesting and engaging. It also helped clarify where you have been coming from. And I learned a few things about some of these theorists. Well done.

As I said before, Banerjee's account of Halbfass doesn't seem to be accurate. The one image (rivers) is from the Vedanta (Chandogya Up), while the second (the elephant's footprint) is late Shaiva; it is not Jaina. If you get asked to publish, you may want to go to the horse's mouth directly and quote Halbfass himself. But let me look up Halbfass once again and be sure.

I think you have adequately met and gone beyond my initial suggestion that "inclusive" need not be wholly negative; it is only wholly negative for some. 

As I said before, the normative/descriptive distinction may partly underlie some of the issues here. A theological or interfaith position would be wholly normative. What would we call the philosophy of religion or "integral theory"? What about Religious Studies? Are they wholly normative or also descriptive or wholly descriptive? Perhaps the only position that could be pluralist and not commit the performative contradiction would be a purely descriptive one. But I don't think you need to go into this in this paper.

Running Comments:

I sense that Heim would also reject the position of Cobb on the grounds that it too falls into a performative contradiction.

It would seem that Cheng's model has moved to some form of inclusivism; the use of the term "while" is indicative. (I notice you note this later.)
I'm not sure I would use the term "solipsism" in the context of constructivism. There are forms of constructivism that rely on a notion of intersubjectivity. Same goes for "observer-generated."

"Causal realization..."  Shut up Robb Smith! haha. "Ideal speech situations" may, however, imply something like Gelassenheit or "letting be" which could be called a "causal practice."

I would separate Cobb from the other pluralists, then say that though he is not explicitly inclusivist, still his language implies including some form of inclusivism. (This applies to a section near the end.)

It would seem that D' Costa's charge is particularly applicable to Cobb.

I don't think I buy Trapnell's mystical/experiential hypothesis entirely. Plurality in India had more to do with the fact that they put less emphasis on dogma and belief, imo. (Before the Puranas invented sectarian "Hinduism," people used to go to Jain, Buddhist, and Brahmanic shrines.) The problem then becomes taking the Christian religion as paradigmatic of "religion." Trapnell appears to be invoking something like Schuon's thesis of a transcendent unity, and as such his view would amount to some form of inclusivism, imo. He may be right though about the conversation being pre-specified in Abrahamic terms. I just don't buy the experiential-mystical aspect of his idea -- even though some mystics, like Kabir, did cross boundaries, and others today (Shridi Sai Baba), do -- since it is not clear how much of this crossing over has to do with their "experience."

Hick, Knitter and Smith are 'relativist?' Whoever says this, it would appear to be a bit strong, given Hick talks about the Real as Such.

"Neo-Advaitin..." I think it's ok to say "Advaitin" in this context, Balder. (The post-metaphysical police are not going to come after you for conflating Ramana and Shankara :-)).  Here, such a term could then include other non-dual traditions besides Vedanta, which may be Wilber's intent.

 

Kela, as I mentioned in my post yesterday, I appreciate your taking the time to do this -- even if, as it turns out, you were only under the temporary spell of Inelia.  I had found a few of the typos and issues you mentioned while I was reading through the paper on my call with Wilber, but there were a number of others that I had not, so your stylistic and other suggestions are helpful.


Kela:  As I said before, Banerjee's account of Halbfass doesn't seem to be accurate. The one image (rivers) is from the Vedanta (Chandogya Up), while the second (the elephant's footprint) is late Shaiva; it is not Jaina. If you get asked to publish, you may want to go to the horse's mouth directly and quote Halbfass himself. But let me look up Halbfass once again and be sure.

 

I recalled you had commented on this apparent discrepancy before, back on my blog, but I no longer had record of those comments.  So, I purchased Halbfass's book (India and Europe) this weekend so I could research this.


Here is the passage by Banerji which I quoted in my paper:


In his discussion of inclusivism, Halbfass points to the discursive tendency of traditional sectarian Indian thought to develop doxographies in which ‘others' are neutralized through inclusion and subordination. In this, he divides the strategy of inclusivism into two major types, based on images developed within the Indic tradition. The two images are: (1) that of the ocean into which rivers merge, discharging their waters and losing their names, but remaining preserved in essence and substance; (2) that of the elephant's footstep, which includes through exceeding the footsteps of other animals, covering larger terrain than any of them individually and erasing or obliterating them in the process. Halbfass characterizes these strategies as hierarchism and perspectivism respectively, and sees examples of the first in Advaita Vedanta and the second in Jaina doxographies.


And here is (presumably) the text by Halbfass to which Banerji is referring:


In addition to the "vertical," hierarchical model of inclusivism, there is also a "horizontal" model, which is typified by the Jaina doxographies.  The Jainas present their own system not as the transcending culmination of lower stages of truth, but as the complete and comprehensive context, the full panorama which comprises other doctrines as partial truths or limited perspectives.  Although these two models are not always kept apart in doxographic practice, they represent clearly different types of inclusion.  The subordination of other views to the Vedantic idea of brahman or the Madhyamaka viewpoint of "emptiness" (sunyata) postulates an ascent which is at the same time a discarding and transcendence of doctrinal distinctions; the inclusion and neutralization of other views is not a subordinating identification of specific foreign concepts with specific aspects of one's own system, but an attempt to supersede and transcend specific concepts and conceptual and doctrinal dichotomies in general.  The Jaina perspectivism, on the other hand, represents a horizontally coordinating inclusivism which recognizes other views as parts and aspects of its own totality.  Of course, the Jainas, too, claim a superior vantage point, and a higher level of reflection.


Among the familiar inclusivistic images, we find the metaphor of the many rivers which are united in the one ocean, and that of the footprints of the elephant which obliterate the footprints of all other animals.  Adopting a formula which the Mahabharata had used to glorify the ethics of ahimsa, several Tantric texts declare that the various religious traditions are contained and disappear in the Tantric tradition, specifically in the kauladharma, in the same manner in which the footprints of other creatures disappear in those of the elephant.  Vijnanabhiksu, the leading representative of the revival of classical Samkhya and Yoga in the sixteenth century, states that the other systems are contained in the Yoga of Patanjali and Vyasa just as rivers are preserved and absorbed by the ocean.  Both metaphors illustrate the idea of inclusion, but with a significant difference.  The ocean extinguishes the individuality of the rivers, but it also preserves them and needs them for its own fullness.  The footprints of the elephant simply obliterate the other footprints.  This ambiguity is a pervasive and symptomatic phenomenon in the history of inclusivism, and it recalls the fundamental ambiguity in the Hegelian concept of "Aufhebung."

 

The links are not entirely clear to me, but it appears Banerji, following Halbfass, is suggesting that the relation between Jainism and the elephantine footprint image is one of "kind" rather than that the image actually comes from the Jain tradition.  What do you think?

 

In doing some hunting on the internet this morning for documents which include the words "participatory" and "religion," I came across the following dissertation which looks like it touches on similar territory covered in my paper, but which also offers some nice points of resonance with our very own Theurj:  Participatory wisdom in religious studies: Jacques Derrida, philo-s....

 

I can't access the full paper (I'll try again from a computer at my university library), but for now here's the abstract:

 

Abstract:

The aspiration of this interdisciplinary dissertation is to promote scholarship as spiritual practice or philo-sophia , i.e. the love and pursuit of wisdom. To that end, I employ the philosophy of the contemporary French philosopher, Jacques Derrida, to theorize new ways for understanding how the study of religion may contribute to "the art of living" in a sacred world.

 

The project is constructive, consisting of five interrelated chapters: Chapter 1) sets the context for the dissertation, casting the project as explicitly interdisciplinary, with an affinity for the "Participatory Turn" in religious studies--as theorized by Jorge N. Ferrer and Jacob Sherman--and with Pierre Hadot's notion of philosophy as spiritual practice; Chapter 2) explains why phenomenological research--when pushed methodologically to its logical conclusion--results in the deconstruction of such research, and why the objects of its study only make sense within the hermeneutical context of radical diversity, i.e. where there are no "things themselves"; Chapter 3) expands the religious studies sub-field of theory and method for the study of religion by discussing the implications for it in light of Derrida's theorization of religion as a response to an other, the general economy of religion being what Derrida calls auto-immune auto-immunization ; Chapter 4) is a deconstructive reading of John Hick's theory of religious pluralism that radicalizes its pluralism and hospitality to religious others, precisely by way of the deconstruction of Hick's pluralistic hypothesis; and Chapter 5) offers further thoughts on religious studies methodology in light of Derrida's work, particularly the role of hospitality in the study of religion and the notion of religious studies as spiritual grammatology , i.e. the study of traces of the sacred; and, finally, a brief discussion of how interdisciplinary studies may be conceived as theurgy , to wit: participatory collaboration with the divine. As I pursue the broad aspiration of this dissertation, deconstruction and difference (or pluralism) are at the heart of the project; they are, perhaps, the very context in which this dissertation pursues its philo-sophia.

...offers some nice points of resonance with our very own Theurj.

Yes indeedy. This is the kind of "reinvention" I'm shooting for with my including (but transcending) the hermetic tradition of theurgy with confluences from deconstruction, neuroscience, pragmatism, phenonmenology etc., i.e. integral methodological pluralism. Some key phrases that stand out for me: " the notion of philosophy as spiritual practice," that one doesn't have to "meditate" and recognizes that this is a legitimate "spiritual" practice in itself; "the study of traces of the sacred," that these traces never enter into the metaphysics of presence, or of absence for that matter, but rather enact as the "in-between" world of specters; "theurgy...participatory collaboration with the divine," which based on the foregoing can be accomplished via an hermeneutic (as opposed to hermetic)* philosophia of the postmetaphysical kind with specters that have been "reinvented" from angelic, celestial and metaphysical planes of existence.

* With my patron saint/ess Hermes the hermaphroditic father/mother of them both and always in media res messenger (Word), only reinvented anew in the former.

Kela: As I said before, Banerjee's account of Halbfass doesn't seem to be accurate. The one image (rivers) is from the Vedanta (Chandogya Up), while the second (the elephant's footprint) is late Shaiva; it is not Jaina. If you get asked to publish, you may want to go to the horse's mouth directly and quote Halbfass himself. But let me look up Halbfass once again and be sure.

I'm a little perplexed about this at the moment.  It is not entirely clear to me that Halbfass intends for the two classical inclusivist metaphors in that passage to apply to the division he has drawn between hierarchical/vertical and perspectivist/horizontal inclusivism, although that's the conclusion Banerji draws.  And now, in any event, you say Halbfass might be wrong too...

Kela: As I said before, the normative/descriptive distinction may partly underlie some of the issues here. A theological or interfaith position would be wholly normative. What would we call the philosophy of religion or "integral theory"? What about Religious Studies? Are they wholly normative or also descriptive or wholly descriptive? Perhaps the only position that could be pluralist and not commit the performative contradiction would be a purely descriptive one. But I don't think you need to go into this in this paper.

I think some tension arises because Wilber seems to want Integral / AQAL, in some contexts, to serve as a neutral, descriptive map, applicable to all traditions, but as we've discussed elsewhere (such as on the Status of States thread), it actually seems to embed certain strongly normative elements.


Kela: I sense that Heim would also reject the position of Cobb on the grounds that it too falls into a performative contradiction.

It would seem that Cheng's model has moved to some form of inclusivism; the use of the term "while" is indicative. (I notice you note this later.)

I would separate Cobb from the other pluralists, then say that though he is not explicitly inclusivist, still his language implies including some form of inclusivism. (This applies to a section near the end.)

I will go back and look this over.  I think I mentioned near the end that differential pluralists like Cobb and Griffin have made an attempt to "include inclusivism."  Can you say more about what you are suggesting here (if you have the time and interest)?

Have you seen the chart of interreligious orientations that I included at the very end of the revised draft I posted the other day?  What do you think of how I've laid it out?

Kela: I'm not sure I would use the term "solipsism" in the context of constructivism. There are forms of constructivism that rely on a notion of intersubjectivity. Same goes for "observer-generated."

Yes, that's a good point.  I've revised the language to take care of that. 

Kela: "Causal realization..."  Shut up Robb Smith! haha. "Ideal speech situations" may, however, imply something like Gelassenheit or "letting be" which could be called a "causal practice."

Yes, I agree; I would prefer to put it that way, as well.

Kela:  It would seem that D' Costa's charge is particularly applicable to Cobb.

I'd like to hear more specifically what you're thinking.  What comes to mind, first, for me, is that Cobb's approach could be seen as a kind of joint-inclusivism: a way of getting Christian-esque and Buddhist-esque inclusivist models to work side by side.

Kela:  Hick, Knitter and Smith are 'relativist?' Whoever says this, it would appear to be a bit strong, given Hick talks about the Real as Such.

Were you referring to this passage, maybe? 

Heim (1995), for instance, explicitly identifies his strong pluralist approach as ‘inclusivistic,’ rejecting the relativistic pluralism which would regard each tradition as ‘on par’ and identical in the essentials, and reasserting (on non-foundationalist grounds) the right of each tradition to profess its own superiority and ultimacy, “in” which outside traditions may be seen to variously participate.

If so, I think Heim is critiquing a particular kind of relativism he perceives to be operative in approaches like Hick's (where all traditions are held to be participating in the same "Real an sich"):  he's critiquing the loss of the ability to make normative value distinctions between one's tradition and another's, since all are really "doing the same thing" and "going to the same end."

Kela: "Neo-Advaitin..." I think it's ok to say "Advaitin" in this context, Balder. (The post-metaphysical police are not going to come after you for conflating Ramana and Shankara :-)).  Here, such a term could then include other non-dual traditions besides Vedanta, which may be Wilber's intent.

Hahaha, that makes sense.  Okay, I've stopped looking over my shoulder and have trimmed off the "neo."

 

hi Balder

 

congratulations for that paper, and good luck!

 

Some questions are intringuing me.

 

why do you call your paper: "kingdom come"?

 

1) English is not my first language, SO I have some problems to "understand" the semantic narrative(s) surrounding that meaning construction of yours. Translated that into French I would get, "Royaume viens". This would imply a wish, a need, even existentially speaking, it would also suggest  a hyperbolic interrogation, or an idea of lost and of desperate supplication. Any suggestions?

 

2) Kingdom is a term taken from the judeo-christian metaphysical tradition, so an idea of postmetaphysical inclusivism can be discussed. It depends of course also on the extension of the meaning of inclusivism.

if we look at Raimundo Panikkar, he is after all a catholic priest, loyal to his institution. And in the sense that the Roman Catholic Curch has always been eager to claim the indeflectibe universality of her teachings, the infallibility of the Pope, we can somwhow question the depths of his intentional inclusivism, even if he is very honest pretending to do so. There is a hiatus, an aporia at hand here, and it is the christology dogma not shared by other faiths.

How is Raimundo truly reconcilating that in his cosmotheandric vision  if we are plced in a psotmetaphysical frame?

it is not too clear to me even Theilard de Chardin, Saint Augustinus or Charles de Foucauld are  "useful tools" for trying to interpret him.

 

3) How can we interpret that titel "kingdom come" in the light of methodologcal pluralism?

* Is it a form of injunction like a form of doxicologic call for some change  or an intelligibility of "Hierophanic presence"- a term almost banished in postmetaphysical texts?

* Is it a "fait accompli", an already existing posmetaphysical embodied happening awaiting larger collective recognition?

 

Could you please answer these questions, cher Balder?

mes amitiés

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi, X,


Your questions are interesting, so I look forward to answering them.  I am curious if you have read the paper, or if you are responding just to the title?  I am thinking the latter, because I believe I have answered some of your questions in the paper, but I'll be happy to respond here as well since your questions will likely prompt me to think about the issues in a new way.


X:  why do you call your paper: "kingdom come"?


The "kingdom come" language is not "native" to me.  Years ago, when I was a Christian, I almost never used it -- and when I did, it was more in the form of a sapiential eschatology (something we bring about through our own action).  I used the term in the context of this paper for a few reasons.  The main one was that the genesis of this paper was a debate on Integral Life I was having with a Catholic priest, and in that conversation, I used the "kingdom come" metaphor to illustrate how I have come to view the postmetaphysical Integral project: an invitation to the enactment of a mode of seeing, acting, and being, rather than a simple representational mapping of a pre-given state of affairs.  In particular, since we were discussing interfaith relations, I wanted to suggest that, if there was going to be any kind of 'cooperative union' of religions, it would not be via 'inclusion' in some pre-formed metaphysical system (the various strategies of inclusivism), but rather was something yet-to-be-enacted (and, like a love partnership, something to be ongoingly enacted).

 
X:  1) English is not my first language, SO I have some problems to "understand" the semantic narrative(s) surrounding that meaning construction of yours. Translated that into French I would get, "Royaume viens". This would imply a wish, a need, even existentially speaking, it would also suggest  a hyperbolic interrogation, or an idea of lost and of desperate supplication. Any suggestions?


There is a tradition of using the term in a desparate, supplicatory way, but the way I used it in the paper (really, only in a brief section of the paper) was more as an invitation. 


Here is that section from my paper:


Similarly, in an Integral post-metaphysical, enactive understanding, we can no longer posit a pre-given religious “essence” or spiritual ultimate in which everyone is knowingly or unknowingly included, nor can we posit a universal soteriological mechanism by which everyone is “saved,” regardless of faith tradition, but as the authors above demonstrate, that does not preclude us from speaking inclusivistically. Rather, it requires, I contend, that we simply switch from the language of presupposition to the language of promise. We cannot presuppose a pre-existing shared history or worldspace, but we can invite others to the co-creation or the enactment of a new one—into the enactment of a Kingdom-come vision, you might say. To engage with a faith tradition, whether as a practitioner or an interfaith dialogue partner, is, in this context, something like entering into a betrothal, a transformative love relationship. What happens in that relationship, how that fulfillment looks, is not yet written. The other's history therefore is not erased or subsumed, but rather invited into the relationship as part of the creative love-play.
 We are not absorbed into the old; we are invited to give ourselves, to actively contribute, to the upwelling of the new.


(FYI, it was this section of the paper that Wilber suggested I revise, since Integral involves more than promise; it also involves an evidential search for quasi-universals across cultural contexts).


X:  2) Kingdom is a term taken from the judeo-christian metaphysical tradition, so an idea of postmetaphysical inclusivism can be discussed. It depends of course also on the extension of the meaning of inclusivism.


if we look at Raimundo Panikkar, he is after all a catholic priest, loyal to his institution. And in the sense that the Roman Catholic Church has always been eager to claim the indeflectibe universality of her teachings, the infallibility of the Pope, we can somwhow question the depths of his intentional inclusivism, even if he is very honest pretending to do so. There is a hiatus, an aporia at hand here, and it is the christology dogma not shared by other faiths.


Are you suggesting something like guilt by association?  Also, I would not describe his approach as inclusivism; he is a proponent of pluralism.  Concerning Christology, Panikkar has articulated a mystical-contemplative Christophany as an alternative to Christology, but he does so within the 'frame' of what he describes as the Christian cosmovision.  He does not attempt to impose Christology on other faiths.


X:  How is Raimundo truly reconcilating that in his cosmotheandric vision  if we are plced in a psotmetaphysical frame?


I am not clear what you are asking (what is he reconciling?).  Can you rephrase your question?
 

X:  3) How can we interpret that titel "kingdom come" in the light of methodologcal pluralism?

* Is it a form of injunction like a form of doxicologic call for some change  or an intelligibility of "Hierophanic presence"- a term almost banished in postmetaphysical texts?

* Is it a "fait accompli", an already existing posmetaphysical embodied happening awaiting larger collective recognition?

 
I mean it more as a call -- an invitation to newly embody and 'presence' an integral, participatory spiritual vision, an embodiment of openness to emergence (akin, perhaps, to Derrida's or Caputo's indeterminate messianism, or to TSK's 'future infinitive.').


Best wishes,


B.

 

P.S.  If you are suggesting, with your questions, that the term "kingdom come" has some unfortunate connotations (bringing to mind specters of religious & political imperialism, crusades, etc), I agree with you.  I've played with the term (meaning, I've playfully appealed to a term typically associated with traditions I long ago rejected) in the interest of rehabilitating it (at least for myself), but it may be so laden with baggage that it will inevitably taint what I am attempting to do.

The connotation I took from "kingdom come" was precisely that, a kind of Caputoean call to or promise of a messianism yet to come, Derrida's French expression for this being "viens, oui oui" instead of "Royaume viens." It is also an expression used during sexual intercourse, what one might say to a lover when they are on the verge... Same différance, similar kingdom.

THX balder

that was an interesting clarification. Well by kingdom come I wasn´t at all thinking about any imperialistic connation, because I "Know" through your writings that you have already integrated thesse shadowy elements.

 

On the opposite, it is a very creative suggestion you are bringing forth.

I have read your paper, and I liked it  and amazing teh KW said it, but I was wondering about the universality issue, because as Ferrer also does there is this too obvious to me postmodern tendency to avoid the universality speech, Modernity´s bad child, ioW that overemphasis on the de-territorialized "rhizomic" growth of the particular so dear to a philosopher like Deleuze, or the embodied dissimination mode of signifiers in Derrida´s or Butler´s speeches.

 

what do you think?

 

PS: I will rephrase soon my question on Pannikar´s cosmotheoandric

 

Que la divine providence vous protège, cher Balder.

 



Balder said:

Hi, X,


Your questions are interesting, so I look forward to answering them.  I am curious if you have read the paper, or if you are responding just to the title?  I am thinking the latter, because I believe I have answered some of your questions in the paper, but I'll be happy to respond here as well since your questions will likely prompt me to think about the issues in a new way.


X:  why do you call your paper: "kingdom come"?


The "kingdom come" language is not "native" to me.  Years ago, when I was a Christian, I almost never used it -- and when I did, it was more in the form of a sapiential eschatology (something we bring about through our own action).  I used the term in the context of this paper for a few reasons.  The main one was that the genesis of this paper was a debate on Integral Life I was having with a Catholic priest, and in that conversation, I used the "kingdom come" metaphor to illustrate how I have come to view the postmetaphysical Integral project: an invitation to the enactment of a mode of seeing, acting, and being, rather than a simple representational mapping of a pre-given state of affairs.  In particular, since we were discussing interfaith relations, I wanted to suggest that, if there was going to be any kind of 'cooperative union' of religions, it would not be via 'inclusion' in some pre-formed metaphysical system (the various strategies of inclusivism), but rather was something yet-to-be-enacted (and, like a love partnership, something to be ongoingly enacted).

 
X:  1) English is not my first language, SO I have some problems to "understand" the semantic narrative(s) surrounding that meaning construction of yours. Translated that into French I would get, "Royaume viens". This would imply a wish, a need, even existentially speaking, it would also suggest  a hyperbolic interrogation, or an idea of lost and of desperate supplication. Any suggestions?


There is a tradition of using the term in a desparate, supplicatory way, but the way I used it in the paper (really, only in a brief section of the paper) was more as an invitation. 


Here is that section from my paper:


Similarly, in an Integral post-metaphysical, enactive understanding, we can no longer posit a pre-given religious “essence” or spiritual ultimate in which everyone is knowingly or unknowingly included, nor can we posit a universal soteriological mechanism by which everyone is “saved,” regardless of faith tradition, but as the authors above demonstrate, that does not preclude us from speaking inclusivistically. Rather, it requires, I contend, that we simply switch from the language of presupposition to the language of promise. We cannot presuppose a pre-existing shared history or worldspace, but we can invite others to the co-creation or the enactment of a new one—into the enactment of a Kingdom-come vision, you might say. To engage with a faith tradition, whether as a practitioner or an interfaith dialogue partner, is, in this context, something like entering into a betrothal, a transformative love relationship. What happens in that relationship, how that fulfillment looks, is not yet written. The other's history therefore is not erased or subsumed, but rather invited into the relationship as part of the creative love-play.
 We are not absorbed into the old; we are invited to give ourselves, to actively contribute, to the upwelling of the new.


(FYI, it was this section of the paper that Wilber suggested I revise, since Integral involves more than promise; it also involves an evidential search for quasi-universals across cultural contexts).


X:  2) Kingdom is a term taken from the judeo-christian metaphysical tradition, so an idea of postmetaphysical inclusivism can be discussed. It depends of course also on the extension of the meaning of inclusivism.


if we look at Raimundo Panikkar, he is after all a catholic priest, loyal to his institution. And in the sense that the Roman Catholic Church has always been eager to claim the indeflectibe universality of her teachings, the infallibility of the Pope, we can somwhow question the depths of his intentional inclusivism, even if he is very honest pretending to do so. There is a hiatus, an aporia at hand here, and it is the christology dogma not shared by other faiths.


Are you suggesting something like guilt by association?  Also, I would not describe his approach as inclusivism; he is a proponent of pluralism.  Concerning Christology, Panikkar has articulated a mystical-contemplative Christophany as an alternative to Christology, but he does so within the 'frame' of what he describes as the Christian cosmovision.  He does not attempt to impose Christology on other faiths.


X:  How is Raimundo truly reconcilating that in his cosmotheandric vision  if we are plced in a psotmetaphysical frame?


I am not clear what you are asking (what is he reconciling?).  Can you rephrase your question?
 

X:  3) How can we interpret that titel "kingdom come" in the light of methodologcal pluralism?

* Is it a form of injunction like a form of doxicologic call for some change  or an intelligibility of "Hierophanic presence"- a term almost banished in postmetaphysical texts?

* Is it a "fait accompli", an already existing posmetaphysical embodied happening awaiting larger collective recognition?

 
I mean it more as a call -- an invitation to newly embody and 'presence' an integral, participatory spiritual vision, an embodiment of openness to emergence (akin, perhaps, to Derrida's or Caputo's indeterminate messianism, or to TSK's 'future infinitive.').


Best wishes,


B.

 

P.S.  If you are suggesting, with your questions, that the term "kingdom come" has some unfortunate connotations (bringing to mind specters of religious & political imperialism, crusades, etc), I agree with you.  I've played with the term (meaning, I've playfully appealed to a term typically associated with traditions I long ago rejected) in the interest of rehabilitating it (at least for myself), but it may be so laden with baggage that it will inevitably taint what I am attempting to do.

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What paths lie ahead for religion and spirituality in the 21st Century? How might the insights of modernity and post-modernity impact and inform humanity's ancient wisdom traditions? How are we to enact, together, new spiritual visions – independently, or within our respective traditions – that can respond adequately to the challenges of our times?

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