[lit-ideas] Re: "Reading Lolita in Tehran" -"Reading Ricoeur in Manhattan"

  • From: John McCreery <mccreery@xxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 5 May 2004 18:38:01 +0900

On 2004/05/05, at 17:32, Scribe1865@xxxxxxx wrote:

> In a message dated 5/5/2004 3:38:25 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
> straker@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:
> Scribe1865@xxxxxxx wrote:
>> ... I am also very slowly ...
>> plodding through Paul Ricoeur's _Time and Narrative_ ...
>> ... Was quite surprised to learn (after reading the foreword to
>> _Oneself as Another_) that he is Christian.
> Steven: This means he is subscribed?

> Found a strange resonance to Wittgenstein's dictum in the way he 
> presents his
> curiously withheld opinions.
>
> Ricoeur, _Oneself as Another_, Introduction, page 24-25:
>
> But I think I have presented to my readers arguments alone, which do 
> not
> assume from the reader any commitment to reject, accept, or suspend 
> anything with
> regard to biblical faith. It will be observed that this asceticism of 
> the
> argument, which marks I believe, all my philosophical work. leads to 
> the type of
> philosophy from which the actual mention of God is absent and in which 
> the
> question of God, as a philosophical question, itself remains in a 
> suspension that
> could be called agnostic . . . .

I remember noting to myself how my own thinking has been shaped by 
people of faith who adopt similar stances. I think, in particular, of 
the British anthropologists Max Gluckman (an orthodox Jew), Victor 
Turner and Mary Douglas (both Catholic). They, too, appear to follow 
the advice which I believe is found in the Second Isaiah (the book in 
which the text occurs has long since disappeared): "The Lord said to 
Cyrus the Persian, 'Shall the clay say to Him who molds it, what makest 
Thou? Let the potsherd of earth speak to the potsherd of earth.'"

I remember thinking, too, that for a Christian, the tale told in the 
Gospels is the Story with a capital S, the archetype of a tale so 
powerful that it captures the reader's belief.


John L. McCreery
International Vice Chair, Democrats Abroad

Tel 81-45-314-9324
Email mccreery@xxxxxxx

 >>Life isn't fair. Democracy should be. <<

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