The calling of the church is to follow Christ (imitatio Christi). What does this calling
entail? Following Žižek’s and Derrida’s interpretation of Benjamin’s interpretation
of law and violence, the paper will argue that the call to follow Christ is not
to subvert the law, but as Paul argues - Christ came to destroy the law. In this
article, Christ will be interpreted as one who did not counter this violence of the law
(state-maintaining violence) with a counter violence of state-forming violence, but
completely undermined the justification of both forms of violence (state-forming and
state-maintaining) with a divine violence. If the Christ event is read as an exemplary
narrative of the post-metaphysics in the linguistic turn in the work of Derrida, this
opens up new possibilities for both theology as well as the role of the church within
the context of a postmodern world, and these possibilities will be explored.
This article is a reworked paper presented at the Subverting the Norm II
conference held at Drury University, Springfield, Missouri, USA from 5-6 April
2013 with the theme: ‘Can Postmodern Theology Live in the Churches?’ This
article is a response to the conference question.
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