Friday, October 31, 2008

The Radicality of Marriage

I have been hoping for several years to develop a course that I'd love to teach at Calvin--on marriage, family, and sex from a philosophical and theological perspective (drawing on Aristotle, Aquinas, Hauerwas, David Matzko McCarthy, and others), but also utilizing literary and poetic sources. I think it will be a hard sell for me because it will be perceived as a "conservative" course so I expect opposition from certain quarters. But, in fact, I think the course would be radically counter-cultural. As Slavoj Zizek provocatively asks:
What if, in our postmodern world of ordained transgression, in which the marital commitment is perceived as ridiculously out of time, those who cling to it are the true subversives? What if, today, straight marriage is 'the most dark and daring of all transgressions?'" -Zizek, "The Thrilling Romance of Orthodoxy," in Theology and the Political: The New Debate

This doesn't mean I would have any truck with the rabid Constantinianism (and hypocrisy) of evangelical anti-gay marriage campaigns . Indeed, a radical theology of marriage would also be subversive for a church which has also pretty much accommodated itself to serial monogamy.