I might have to soften my usual criticism of anything touting itself as “radical orthodoxy” after having just read Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt’s essay ‘Aesthetics: The Theological Sublime’ in the original Radical Orthodoxy: A New Theology reader. In it, he writes:
“[O]ur experience of the world is an experience of godlessness. But in the cross we are presented with a God who is present even in godlessness, and in the resurrection we are promised that godlessness shall not have the last word. This provides a ground of critique by which we might distinguish false representations of God from true or, perhaps more precisely, by which we might distinguish ‘idols’ (our representations of the divine) from ‘icons’ (God’s self-presentation in revelation) [here Bauerschmidt is using Marion’s formulation of idol and icon, as put forth in his God Without Being – B.H.]. The ‘cruciform’ life of Jesus – and his life is cruciform in that it is lived in its entirety ‘toward’ the cross – serves as the norm of holiness, and all other claims to righteousness must fall under its critique. The cross and resurrection, in their very negativity and obscurity, become the icon by which God presents to us God’s own unpresentable trinitarian life, and we are called not to irony, but to adoration and participation.” (pg. 211)
Why I hadn’t already read this essay, I’m not quite sure. But better late than never. Not unrelatedly, I’m considering the possibility of making Marion a major player in my dissertation. The more I read of and about him and his work, the more I dig it.