Friday, July 18, 2014

The Placental Turn in the Crucifixion

In my previous post, I referred to the hypostatic union as an event within the event of  the Cross. The term itself refers to the orthodox expression of the relationship between the nature of the human and the nature of God as they exist within the single person of Jesus, the God-Man. From a contemporary Catholic perspective the appearance of Jesus in history is an evolutionary development in the history of humanity and represents the beginning of the final phase of human development. It is an irrevocable event, an event horizon--a point of no return, anthropologically speaking. For Christianity, it is a trajectory within a process of theosis. 

Hybridity is a metaphor for the union of the two natures, not its genetic actuality; for there is no fusion of the divine and human elements into a new single nature, which is the actual phenomenon of a biological hybrid.  Still, I like the metaphor because it keeps the conundrum alive and permits the outrageous assertions of monstrosity in play. The metaphor allows for the indictment of the modern turn's hatred of the hybrid and its implied miscegenation. Modernism wants purity, certainty, predictability and its mode of operation is alchemy: its worst kept secret is its desire to turn base metal into gold. The postmodern critique lays modernism's desire bare.

The placental turn I took in describing the communication of idioms, the transferability of the predicates of God and Christ, contextualizes how Caputo's insistence and existence can operate in the event of the Cross. In his first discussion of insistence and existence (I, 14ff), Caputo asserts the chiasmic relationship between these terms, and speaks of their co-dependency. It's not just an 'intertwining,' what I have called interdigitation and evagination, but he seems to be asserting something much more transgressive, more parasitic in the relationship. So, in the context of bringing something into being, a birth, an insistence landing on a fertile substrate---a positive response to the call---the placental relation to the womb is descriptive. The hybridity within the temporary relationship between the pregnant uterus and fetal placenta provides a locus for a creative parasitism operative in the hypostatic union as it comes into being in the death of God on Calvary.

While the New Testament is already grappling with the idea of the Incarnation, is does not know of anything like the hypostatic union. That is an event that must wait for another epoch; that call from the Cross must wait to be heard. The desolation of the day between the Death of God and the birth of God struggles with "Lema Sabacthani" like Jacob wrestles with God through the night until at dawn, God cries, 'uncle', hineni, and Jacob awakens as Israel.

The way Abram awakens as Abraham,  Kephas awakens as Peter,   Yeshua awakens as Yahweh, the disciples awaken as Christians, The Way awakens as church, church awakens as Catholicism, Vatican I awakens as Vatican II, the way Catholicism awakens...finally awakens. 


Me Voici.

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