Putin on Christianity

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Fri Jan 7 20:38:31 PST 2000

>[from Johnson's Russia List]
> MOSCOW. Jan 6 (Interfax) - Acting President Vladimir Putin issued
>Christmas greetings on Thursday to Orthodox Russians, who celebrate the
>festival on January 7.
> "Orthodoxy has traditionally played a special role in Russian
>history," Putin said in an address published by his press service.
> "It has been not only a moral touchstone for every believer but
>also an unbending spiritual core of the entire people and state. Based
>on the idea of love for one's neighbor and on the commandments of good,
>mercy and justice, Orthodoxy has largely determined the character of
>Russian civilization. Its eternal truths, which have become the
>indisputable laws of life, have throughout the centuries supported
>people both in sorrow and in joy, returning hope to them and helping
>them acquire faith."
> "The transcendental values of Christianity, formulated two
>millennia ago, have not lost their deep meaning to this day. It is my
>firm belief as we are entering the third millennium today that its
>ideals will make it possible to strengthen mutual understanding and
>consensus in our society and will contribute to the spiritual and moral
>rebirth of the Fatherland."

***** (from the Verso Spring 2000 catalog)

THE FRAGILE ABSOLUTE Or, Why the Christian Legacy is Worth Fighting For


"From now on, even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way; everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!" Saint Paul's militant declaration from Corinthians asserts for the first time in human history the revolutionary logic of a radical break with the past with it, the age of Cosmic Balance and similar pagan babble is over. What does it mean to return to this stance today? One of the most deplorable aspects of our postmodern era is the re-emergence of the 'sacred' in all its different guises, from New Age paganism to the emerging religious sensitivity within deconstructionism itself. How is a Marxist to counter this massive onslaught of obscurantism? The wager of Zizek's "The Fragile Absolute" is that Christianity and Marxism should fight together against the onslaught of new spiritualism. The subversive core of the Christian legacy is much too precious to be left to the fundamentalists. Here is a fitting contribution from a Marxist to the 2000th anniversary of one who was well aware that to practice love in our world is to bring in the sword and fire.

Siavoj Zizek is Senior Researcher at the Institute for Social Studies in Ljubljana. His books include The Sublime Object of Ideology, Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Lacan (But were Afraid to Ask Hitchcock), The Plague of Fantasies, and The Ticklish Subject. *****

Zizek apparently thinks that he can fight obscurantism with more obscurantism....


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