Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Celan: "Fadensonnen"

Wisps of suns
over the grey-black wasteland.
A tree-
tall thought
grasps the light-tone: there are
still songs to sing beyond

With the visual eclipsed, the mystical unveiled and the natural desacralized, the dynamism of sound still promises redemption in the transcendent realm of the impossible. Why are we still waiting for the divining rod?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

False Prophets

In Deuteronomy 13:1-5, the biblical writers outline criteria for distinguishing authentic from phony prophets: the vision must come true and must uphold the Sinaitic teachings of Yahweh. Today, The Independent reports that the Catholic Church seeks to re-assert the latter stipulation:

Catholics who claim they have seen the Virgin Mary will be forced to remain silent about the apparitions until a team of psychologists, theologians, priests and exorcists have fully investigated their claims under new Vatican guidelines aimed at stamping out false claims of miracles.

The Pope has instructed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly the Holy Office of the Inquisition, to draw up a new handbook to help bishops snuff out an explosion of bogus heavenly apparitions.

Projecting scientistic expectations onto religious subjectivities may prove to be extremely dangerous. Such efforts already saturate the field of Neurotheology, which strives to locate biological centers of faith. I am forced to ask: Why this cartesian need to map science onto religion? Has religion's historical refusal to take science seriously now bubbled up in the form of a pseudo-scientific religiosity? This is not to suggest that the two endeavors are mutually exclusive ('non-overlapping magisteria') - rather, I am left wondering: is this the relationship that science and religion should cultivate? What scientific law is broken by meeting God?

Monday, January 12, 2009


Helianthus = Helio+theos (Hölderlin: "Sonnenuntergang")
Helian = Helio-theos (Trakl: "Helian")
Heliotropism: a turning towards the light of God for nourishment

Exploding the Secular

With the secular localization of the divine, Coleridge intriguingly advocates for "returning to things the radiance of their enduring strangeness." It seems that the experience of complexity and unfamiliarity holds vestiges of a God that has been 'banned' and 'driven out' (Heine: "Der Apollogott").