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Sunday, February 7, 2016

7 No-Trump: Catholic Realism, Phenomenology, Object-Oriented Philosophy and the 4-Suited Fourfold



Catholic Realism traces itself through the theological thought of Karl Rahner and Bernard Lonergan, through transcendental Thomism and back to the Angelic Doctor himself. Deeply rooted in the Incarnation, Catholic Realism rests in the goodness of the reality of creation, the goodness of the cosmos and upon the fundamental trust in God's judgment that matter is good. As would any philosophical realism, Catholic Realism understands the origin of a world before the emergence of the human creature, and the priority of 'objects' to human consciousness. God did not divide Creation between man and the universe, but saw that all of creation was good, before the man was, and after. The extinction of man negates nothing of the truth of the goodness of non-human creation. That reality is the reality of everything. God is no 'correlationist.' Catholic Realism, not a philosophy unto itself, but more posture toward the real, seeks Truth wherever it resides, and in whatever system of thought that addresses truth comprehensively.

It is no accident that phenomenology, as the philosophy of experience, the philosophy of the experiencing object or entity, has entered the Catholic imagination with such power and grace. Phenomenology offers the kind of realism discussed here a footing, a language and a method for understanding the love for things, for objects, and for how such objects interact with that special instance of objects, consciousness. It provides a way to explain how things declare themselves in their real presence, their reality, and how such presences and realities appear to human real presence and actuality.

Anthony Steinbock, Jean-Luc Marion and Graham Harman each in his own manner offer intense critiques of the phenomenologies of Husserl and Heidegger. Steinbock's 'generative' phenomenology of 'vertical experience' emerges from his rhizomatic critique of Husserliana; Jean-Luc Marion's critique of Both Husserl and Heidegger results in the discoveries of the saturated phenomenon, negative certainty and a phenomenology of givenness; Graham Harman's relentless and magnanimous critique of Husserl and Heidegger's results in something other than phenomenology properly so called, in what he calls object-oriented philosophy---a 'speculative' realism.

Harman's The Quadruple Object (Zero Books: Winchester, 2011) provides a succinct critique of both Husserl and Heidegger, whom Harman identifies as object-oriented idealist, and object-oriented realist, respectively. In fact, his project appropriates Husserl's 'intentional object' and Heidegger's real-present object (through an elegant critique of the 'tool analysis') into his own 'sensual' and 'real' objects, respectively (26; 35ff). Though he identifies a certain 'realist flavor' (20) to the work of the pioneering thinkers, Harman maintains that phenomenology remains 'idealist to the core' because, in his view, it does not adequately, if at all, address real objects (139). Instead of this inherent idealism, Harman wants to offer a metaphysics with refreshed categories, and he succeeds beyond his own intent; for what seems to emerge from his thought is the very 'inverted' metaphysics that so far has eluded Marion, that inversion of metaphysics that reverses the analogia entis from 'below' to 'above.' Indeed, Harman's metaphysics seems to be the metaphysics of absence that the postmodern turn has posited, like a hypothetical particle, but has not yet identified or elucidated.


Harman's metaphysics of objects presents a robust philosophy of the tensions between real and sensual objects and their real and sensual qualities, and it holds out the promise of being productive and advancing truth. In a series of ingenious diagrams depicting the interactions among objects and qualities, he lands upon the delightful analogy of a deck of cards. As an amateur cardist myself, I was certainly prepare to be delighted. Harman designates each suit ontographically (124ff.): there are always 10 permutations (4 tensions, 3 each of radiations and junctions; p.114) in a field of four basic poles of reality (78). In Harman's system of card-counting, there is no trump, no privilege of one suit over another: his ontography has a flat ontology. Despite all the counting and interacting of suits in the play of this realism, I take Harman at his word that we cannot count into his deck a reduction to mathematics. Harman's polarities play out not only in the fourfold structure of the quadruple object, but in the fourfold of his resurrection of Heidegger's Das Geviert: no longer earth, sky, gods and mortals, no longer 'something at all' and 'something specific' as event and as occurrence (87-91) but now space, time, essence and eidos, which now constitute the four tensions of the four poles of reality (99ff.).

Obviously, a complete analysis of Harman's system cannot occupy this piece. I offer it, though, as a productive system that seeks to unveil the truth of reality. The very uncontainability of the essences of real objects, and their indolent withdrawal from experience, suggests a sympathy to the saturation of phenomena and givenness as Marion describes it, and even Steinbock's verticality, though verticality describes 'vertical' experiences. Steinbock's rigorous descriptions of the tensions between the moral emotions, and even mystical experience, and their qualities also seems at home in the speculative realism of the quadruple/fourfold object as the center of Harman's project. Because Catholic Realism commands the most comprehensive account of truth that all these post-Husserlian, post-Heideggerian philosophies of reality offer, it should not surprise that Catholicism has gravitated in this general direction.

Marion's description of the disappearing object (181-88) as it follows from his own 'tool analysis'(197-200) in Negative Certainties reflects the phenomenality of two real objects approaching one another as described by Harman. The mutual withdrawal of each polarity is 'known' as withdrawal even if its 'content' remains unarticulated. Such 'knowledge' has a negative certainty as it plays out in counter-experience. Similarly, the moral emotions that play out against the question of pride in Steinbeck's work also play out as the interface of 'real objects' in their withdrawal. Indeed, the generativity of both Steinbeck's verticality and Marion's saturation and phenomenology of givenness stand (favorably) against the generativity of Harman's fourfold, even as they stand against his indictment of the false, inadequate, less than 'full blown' realism of phenomenology in general. Harman has not yet accounted for phenomenologies that describe phenomena that side-step noema and noesis---generative phenomenologies of givenness and verticality. For in these phenomenologies the objects on either side of the phenomenological moment are real, and give themselves to themselves prior to any other kind of givenness; and they give to themselves their own selves, each their own Myself in a way that is anterior to any givenness of or to an 'other.' In short, Marion's 'third reduction' has postulated a truly autonomous phenomenal object, whose self-sufficient givenness prefigures the inexhaustibility of phenomenality that Harman jealously guards.

Self-givenness supplies real objects with the autonomy of their very nature, their very essence. No other self is required for this self-givenness. No reception validates such a robust givenness; instead, the givenness of things is simply and purely given into reality, regardless of any real or sensual qualities that might inhere in such a moment. That there might be a special kind of object in the vicinity that might experience the reality of another object as a counter-experience of its withdrawal, is an interesting phenomenon in and of itself, but does not distort any reality of any qualities or essences (e.g., withdrawal). 

While Catholic Realism, at least in the hands of the discourse of this blog, places a premium on relationality as anterior to the being of a self, it can withstand the reification of such relation as the birth of another object within which objects, real and sensual, interact in a knowledge verified by negative certainty. Such a realism does not restrict saturation to real, withdrawing objects. Sensual objects, as they enter consciousness, have a saturation all their own. Yet the generativity, the productivity of all object oriented philosophies, whether phenomenologies of verticality, or of givenness and saturation and negative certainty, or the counter-experience of the speculation of the tensions, radiations and junctions of a fourfold structure of reality, find great favor in the special kind of realism I have called Catholic Realism. Whether the objects are real or sensual, whether they withdraw or find presence, whether they take the form of the sacraments, liturgies, morality, social justice, solidarity, subsidiarity, whether we can know them with positive or negative certainty, they either come before us as they present or as they withdraw in a vibrant reality. An example might suffice to illustrate the problems confronted by Catholic Realism.

The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist no longer finds adequate representation in a metaphysics of transubstantiation. Instead, the reality of the Eucharistic presence finds its better accounting in the saturated phenomenon, givenness, vertical experience, and in the tension between real and sensual objects and their qualities. Only among such approaches can the claims made for the Real Presence by Catholic Realism find full expression; for Christ in the Eucharist is no mere impanation or consubstantiation, but in the event of a real and sensual object in tension with its real and sensual accidents, and in the space, time, essence and eidos at play in this reality. Speculatively, the Eucharistic experience involves the withdrawal of the real object into the saturated phenomenon recollected in a counter-experience, which is none other that the stark confrontation with sacramentality itself, further enfolded in the verticality of love and hope.

Only the onslaught of an idolatrous materialism, the materialism of empiricism, scientism and naturalism, threatens to reduce all of reality to its own narrow gaze. Catholic Realism asks then this question: since such a materialism is inimical to all object-oriented philosophies, whether generative phenomenology or generative speculative realism, is the enemy of my enemy my friend? Catholic Realism seeks no synthesis of the object-oriented philosophies. If it asks Harman for real objects, he will respond in spades and a robust metaphysics; if it asks Marion for an account of the icon, or the idol or the flesh, he will respond with the saturated phenomenon and his philosophy of givenness; if it asks Steinbock for an account of hope, he will respond with the verticality of the self, the Myself and the tensions between these and pride, and their qualities. It might turn out that any one of these approaches to the Truth is ill-suited to the task; but in its self-understanding and self-givenness, the realism that inheres in Catholicism knows that it plays on the field of facticity and finitude, and play this hand at no-trump.



33 comments:

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  2. Let's leave aside for a moment the *change* (you know as well as I that the change is sacramental and liturgical and therefore irreducible to anything else) and focus on the Real Presence and the Bread.

    For there to be a conflict of physics and reality, as you suggest, it must rest not in any notion of realism, but in a notion of materialism. Only a reductive materialism forbids the Eucharistic presence of Christ and the endurance of the accidents of the bread. If these 'objects' are to be permitted to 'be', then they must not be simultaneously undermined and overmined by the the kind of materialism you are introducing into the mix, as it were.

    I don't want to say too much more in this vein right now, because I think we need to know if my surmise about materialism is accurate. If not, then I've missed your point and I'd ask you to get me back on track to responding to your actual point.

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  3. If this is really simply the religious question, then the religious response is that absence become presence through the liturgical act where insistence is brought into existence by the response to the 'call' of 'this is my body' and the secondary cause in the instance of sacrament.

    In terms that have appeared here lately, the sphere of reality in which such changes takes place is the sphere of religious experience, verticality and saturated phenomena. That is not some sphere apart from the 'real world', but in another, real layer of reality.

    Again, when we speak of God's radical absence in the world, we are speaking of a God without being, a God otherwise than being. A God without being cannot be finally understood as not 'to be' or not to 'be real.'

    The real presence then does not play on the field of the horizontal, but in the vertical. The 'leap of faith' here is to know that there is a vertical mode of reality. The Eucharist then is an excellent example of what Steinbock means by verticality and what Marion means by saturation.

    The liturgy of the Eucharist occurs in the celebration of the Mass, or the Divine Liturgy, whether in churches, stadiums, etc.: all real places anyone can visit, touch, be present in. Bread and wine never leaves these 'places,' but in the religious sphere of reality, which is experienced in these 'places' but within verticality, Christ becomes present. We *could* say, as the doctrine of transubstantiation does, that the essence of the 'bread' no longer remains, and the essence of Christ is now 'there.' We can equally say, as a something superimposed upon the older tradition, that the vertical experience of the Real Presence, something given from and of God, has for us become a part of reality. What is therefore the radical absence of God in the horizontal realm of reality, becomes the radical presence of God in the vertical realm. *How* did we get to this plane of reality? The saturated phenomenon par excellence.

    I agree with how you put it: "But here we have a change that is sacramental and liturgical, but also completely substantial, real, as real as anything else is real."

    The problem, then, of agency, resolves in just how rich reality is---that reality admits of saturated phenomena, objects that intention simply cannot exhaust, a withdrawal of real objects from the plane of being---or if that term is too charged---the plane of 'what-is-taken-for-granted.' The avowal of the impotence of God in such a plane does not contradict the avowal of the unconditionality of God there, or the 'power-of-God-as-it-is-in-itself'(*not* analogical omnipotence) in the vertical plane.

    This verticality is not restricted to a change 'in us' but in our freedom (a freedom to 'see' and 'be') to let things freely be what they are, such as the freedom to let the consecrated bread and wine 'be' what they truly are.

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  5. If the problem of agency does not resolve for you in the richness of reality, how does your question of 'how,' qualified by the judicious and calculated use of the word 'finite' not hearken back to the question of the imposition of a restrictive 'materialism?' The phrase 'in the world' is delimiting (as Steinbock uses the term as described lately in this blog) of that world, because of the implied exclusion of a special kind of 'agency in the world.' If this is indeed the case, then God has no agency in any reality, because that possibility is already excluded.

    It seems to me therefore that the subtext of the question here is what 'agency' involved in the Real Presence is not also involved in the agency of other changes in 'any finite reality,' or 'in the world.' This question then reduces 'agency' to a willy-nilly character, a 'here' but not 'there.' It seems to simultaneously 'undermine' agency by seeking something more fundamental to it, and overmine 'agency' by locating it (demanding its manifestation) only on the plane of the horizontal realm of 'in the world.' Even if we agree not to call that gesture 'materialism' we must agree that a simultaneous undermining and overmining is at work.

    All I am suggesting is that the transfinalization (choose your term for the process) we are speaking of lands in the vertical sphere, and cannot be located in the horizontal---which is not to say that in cannot be located in what I am calling 'reality,' which admittedly, is not what you are calling 'the world' or '*finite* reality.' In your view, if I might be so bold, anything that occurs in the vertical sphere *must* also occur on the horizontal sphere for it to be 'real' or 'non-contradictory.' That view is fine, legitimate, logical, etc. and perfectly attuned to the plane of what-is-taken-for-granted. Nonetheless, we are talking about experiences and realities that are better located at the intersection of that plane and the vertical plane, a plane, I fear, you deny 'reality.' Nothing happens in verticality for you because verticality is not 'real'---it does not also happen in the horizontal. For you, like Harman, perhaps, the *withdrawal* of the real object occurs only within the horizontal plane; perhaps then this version of *withdrawal* is a scalar characteristic that moves in its own immutable plane, receding here and there into this or that corner of that plane. I am speaking of a *withdrawal* as a vector (as opposed to scalar), and as such can point not only within its own plane, but outside it as well. So, for me, real objects can also withdraw into the vertical. And while I have a deep respect for Harman's accomplishments, his fourfold is, for me, a point of departure, and not the sole explanation for things.

    I know your views on the OOO/SR project are very dynamic, so I am really only guessing here, but are you not moving within this project, perhaps away from Harman and perhaps toward Meillassoux? This is not to change the subject at hand, but it is part of the subject in this blog entry.

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  6. Joseph: You've removed your 6:11AM comment, leaving my 7:45AM comment hanging out to dry. Will you be continuing in this manner? You leave any other reader wondering what precisely I direct my response to.

    Assuming you will delete 8:31 and 8:34AM, I will simply say 1) I appreciate the precision of "Does bread, prior to the liturgy, just plain old bread, exist both on horizontal AND vertical planes?" I respond: No, plain bread does not exist on the vertical plane prior to the liturgy, but only on the horizontal plane of 'what-is-taken-for-granted.' Why, because my experience of that bread prior to the liturgy is adequate to its presence in the horizontal plane. 2)Indeed, "Christianity makes claims about the vertical AND horizontal planes, and especially when talking about Jesus's ministry, especially miracles, those are claims about events that have a undeniable horizontal dimension, should they exist." I respond: How else would a 'system' centered on a God-Man proceed? The reality of a God-Man presupposes verticality because it is the only sphere in which the divinity of Jesus can appear. There is one place, and one place only, where Jesus is depicted in his divinity alone: the transfiguration; and that event takes place only in verticality and in the saturated phenomenon of the 'icon.' Everywhere else, Jesus is experienced in his humanity alone, even in the Resurrection, which does not stop Thomas from declaring 'my Lord and my God.' As you say, he eats, is touched, walks, talks--even if he isn't always 'recognized.'

    Now the miracles are different phenomena entirely. They occur in the ministry of Jesus recollected through the reality of his Resurrection. They do not happen for us in the same way that they happened to the Gospel figures. Phenomenology does not allow us to describe the actuality of these events, but their possibility only. Do these wondrous events really transpire? They certainly transpire on the horizontal plane *of the narrated events in the Gospels*. They do not occur 'for us' on our own horizontal plane in that same way: they become reality for us when we open ourselves up to verticality and turn our gaze to the saturated phenomena.

    So, on the one hand, I absolutely agree with you that all these things occur on a horizontal plane, but on the other hand, the lifeworld of the Gospel has a horizontal (and apparently a vertical as well) all its own, and it can only intersect with ours at an angle just off our horizontal: the vertical. If you are not reducing the realities of bibilical events to a so-called naïve, magical realism, or our own reality whose richness includes vertical experience to the 'highly dubious', then you must be open to "how those two planes must interact."

    The fascinating question here is the relationship between the lifeworld we live and the lifeworld represented in the biblical narratives. The characters there seem very much like us: the 'miracles' astound them and are themselves 'wondrous'. They seem to respond to them much like we might today---in our lifeworld: with incredulity or faith. After all, there were more people who denied the miracles in the biblical stories than those who accepted them (otherwise they would have anticipated Gamaliel's admonition).

    Since you are "asking how those two planes must interact since Christianity constantly says they do," then the answer is that "**those two planes *must* interact.**" Which implies both planes are equally real.

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    2. Allow to make some small points here; small points because they are simple clarification that do not mitigate your argument. First, thank you for suggesting that my reading of the gospel miracles is partially accurate.

      You are correct in pointing out that few characters (and these few seem to be the evangelists themselves) in the Gospels directly deny that some kind of unusual act took place: most agree 'something' happened but their *attribution* is either to Jesus as a 'miracle worker' or to him as a 'sinner' and therefore remove the attribution to God, or that the works are of the 'devil' and therefore attributed to some kind of malevolent force, sorcery, etc. Only Mark and Matthew speak to possibility or impossibility of Jesus's ability to work a wondrous deed (Mk 6:5f. and Matt 13-57f.). So when I speak of deniers of the miracles, I refer to those who deny that the miracles are from the goodness of divinity. I should have been clearer about that point.

      Perhaps I should have been clearer about this point as well: I do not say that 'miracles' are confined to the ministry of Jesus; nor do I say that we experience miracles today as of a *fundamentally different structure* from the biblical miracles. What unites all these experiences of the miraculous is the unusual and unexpected. So, when you say in another comment that:

      " miracles 'do not happen for us in the same way they happened to the Gospel figures.' That's just empirically false. Christians believe God worked miracles before, during and after Jesus's ministry. No doubt you'll disagree with that they believe miracles do not occur *exactly* like they did in the gospels"

      I respond, again, I could have been clearer, but it is still pretty clear what I meant: "we" do not experience the miracles *of Jesus* the same way the biblical figures experienced them. Our experience of 'miracles' today is not identical to the way they are experienced in biblical texts or even in the tradition. Your outline of the miracle verification process serves to underscore that point. We 'investigate' miracles today; we scrutinize them; we 'prove' that no *natural* explanation is superior to the supernatural explanation before we 'judge' a miracle to be valid, and then proceed to 'declare' its validity; but even this in is the context of opening a case for beatification. The Gospels do not record such a 'critical' acceptance or rejection of Jesus's wondrous deeds.

      As far as my own experience of the miraculous, I continue to see miracles in medical practice. I have said as much, and I do not deny them; in fact I am open to them. They are just not of the caliber of parting seas or raising the dead, but they do have to do with the unexpected and unusual. "Seeing" them as miraculous, though, as opposed to naturalistic forces effecting sudden remissions of illness and hatred, takes a certain verticality and openness to saturated phenomena.

      Again none of these clarifications mitigate the thrust of your argument.

      Regarding my 'weird commitment to Caputo:' That's interesting because if anyone were to seek out any implied commitments in my writings, I would have thought they would have been described as commitments to Marion. But perhaps more on that below.

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    1. I must take issue with several points here:

      1) When you say that "there is no unconditionality without sovereignty in God" I find an impoverished concept of 'unconditionality.' We need to appreciate the 'power'---the 'real' power, not the power of analogical omnipotence, in the unconditional. I am trying to identify a hypercorrection in the coupling of unconditionality with sovereignty, the same kind of hypercorrection in the substandard English word, 'overexaggerate.' To add the prefix 'over' to 'exaggerate' is to completely suck the life our of 'exaggerate,' to mistrust it, to find it lacking and insufficient. So when we speak of the unconditional without sovereignty, we breathe life back into 'unconditional,' we trust it, and find it alive and sufficient, by subtracting 'sovereignty.'

      2) When we speak of the unconditional without sovereignty we are not speaking about something 'in God.' We are speaking of the 'call,' the 'pure call' whose unconditionality is all the 'power' it needs or has to get itself done.

      3) "unconditionality" and "sovereignty" are not 'identical' because the latter is always tapped into a certain politics, power structure; none of which can be layered atop 'unconditionality' without perverting it, without rewriting it into the analogy of omnipotence, rewriting into the shape power takes in human hands.

      4) Because this comment identifies sovereignty with unconditionality, several things are possible here that are distinctly impossible for God.

      5) Here, this is possible: "God de-creates the bread and recreates Christ in its place." This is not possible in Catholicism because dogmatic theology states that God cannot make unhappen what has happened. In Ott's _Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma_, for example, this statement is made and executed against Peter Damian who has suggested that God just might be able to do such a thing. Catholic dogma asserts that [the] historical reality [in this case of the bread] cannot be made to un-happen, to be 'decreate[d]'. That is not what the doctrine of transubstantiation is getting at. That kind of sovereignty is absurd even within an analogical understanding of omnipotence. So it does not follow that "God must have sovereignty over both reality and appearance, over substance and accident, finally, the vertical and horizontal." That the statement is a non sequitur does not, however, suggest that it cannot stand as a simple statement of the state of affairs. In fact, it is a common theological statement; we just cannot get there from a critique of 'unconditionality.'

      6) " I don't think you take enough account of the fact that if God is the unconditional condition of reality, that means God is the condition of all the processes, events, evolutions, histories, times, spaces, contingencies, necessities and planes that are in, or constitute, that reality." On the face of it, you could be right about this, not because of my sense of 'unconditional' but because of my own limitations.

      7) the 'unconditional' and 'unconditionality,' as these terms occur here should not be conflated with the 'unconditioned' condition of reality as it appears in general theological discourse. I think this comment makes this miscalculation.

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    3. Thanks for this clarification: it is not a matter of an exaggeration of omnipotence, or changing the past, but of 'making history' ---history is made, not altered.

      Tell me more about the "miracle of feeding the multitudes," or as it is sometimes called, "the multiplication of the loaves [and fishes]." I ask because something in the way you articulated it put 'multiplication' before me in a strange way.

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    7. These remarks underscore the inadequacy, for us today, of 'transubstantiation.' For 2000 years people have noticed this, and at least for a time, Thomistic substance theory solved the conundrum. Even lately, the matter comes up about alcoholics and sufferers of gluten enteropathy (Celiac disease) and how 'communion' is problematic for them. You no doubt recall such conversations on the old Vatican II discussion board.

      You are in a sense making Aristotle's case; he would be amazed at substance swapping. You know as well as I do how the Church explains its robust sense of 'accidents.' We are to understand transubstantiation in such a way that selected people can still get sick on the bread and wine. That we struggle tells us something about how we receive such aspects of the Tradition.

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    8. I wondered if you were looking at the 'multiplication' miracle as of a distinctly different type of miracle. For some reason you reminded me of the fact that in this miracle Jesus starts with loaves and fishes and ends up with loaves and fishes (just more of them). I chuckled at myself for conjuring a mathematical expression of the miracle, a function:

      f(x)= x(5a + 2b)

      But that would be a devolution. No need to go there given the baseline blog-post.

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    1. Ok, well you let me know when you find such an argument, because you'll find no such thing here.

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    1. I think I've sufficiently commented on these ideas above. Let me know if further clarification would be useful.

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    1. "the mere fact of a single miracle is reason enough to see God's love as hopelessly capricious. It only gets worse from there. What I should really say, is that the LACK of a single miracle in a case when a miracle was possible and a miracle was NEEDED, that is enough reason to see God as hopelessly capricious."

      I appreciate that you continue to refine this general contention. We've exchanged thoughts about it elsewhere in the blog. It is a daunting challenge, the kind of challenge that makes this blog interesting and a cut above similar projects.

      The comic movement in the Book of Job, while it certainly begins in capriciousness, ends somewhere else-pure comedy. But for you, that comedy cannot escape the inexorable capriciousness that seems to inform all the relationships the Book of Job is offering.

      Indeed, the ending of Job, the restoration as a foreshadowing of the resurrection, brings the resurrection itself, and all the miracles (and missed miracles) in and outside the bible into the same capricious swerve.

      That I can see this with you is not enough, because in your eyes, for some reason, I will not take the next 'logical' step, a step into the absolute, irretrievably absolute, absurdity of the entirety of existence.

      I do not follow you there because, for me, there is nothing capricious in the Cross. The Christ-event is the antithesis of capriciousness; it erases capriciousness. The very chiasmus at the crux of the Incarnation, the union of the divine and the human, forever banishes capriciousness into perpetual comedy.

      What seems capricious, and what plays out as capriciousness in the facticity of living a life, are not finally God. How could I say such a thing in light of all the horrors of the universe? Because capriciousness is what the lived body endures in finitude, and what the flesh suffers, and what God suffers within the processions and relations of his indivisible unity.

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  12. I am still working this through, but elsewhere I've stated that the body is resurrected and the flesh is redeemed. Because I don't 'value' capriciousness as much as you do, I have only just tried on for size how capriciousness dissolves in the resurrection and redemption.

    Because it is fundamental for Catholic realism that the hypostatic union endures, however 'mysterious' that is, the flesh that has taken upon itself all the capriciousness of the universe is taken into the Trinity itself, where it is 'cashed in', 'redeemed', for the absolute love that is the simplicity of God, the simplicity of the processions and relations. Capriciousness as suffering of the flesh is suffered by the Father in the Spirit as the Logos-sarx-Anthropos suffers it 'once and for all' in the Cross. In a sense, there is nothing left of capriciousness in the Cross; it is finally conquered in the Father's witness of the Son's flesh.

    I have been putting out versions of this idea for months now, but I have a sense that lately, I am getting a bit closer to what exactly I hear calling from the Cross.

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  13. All miracles are flashes and flickers of the apotheosis of suffering.

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