Wednesday, April 1, 2015

What Can the Cross Mean?

4/1/2015—What can the cross mean to the nonreligious? (I mean the nonaffiliated). After all, the cross is the intensely Christian symbol. What can it mean for the rest of us?

I’ve been reading Martin Heidegger’s difficult masterpiece, Contributions to Philosophy. Heidegger is on the traces of being. Heidegger writes that the original thrust of western philosophy turned from being to beings. That tradition of metaphysics culminated in the various sciences and is now exhausted. He is seeking a new beginning.

Philosophy seeks after the truth of being. Being is a formal symbol, which can be contemplated as how the holy, the sacred, comes to us. We have a hint of being as refusal.

Refusal is the mysterious secret of human life. We don’t know much. We can’t know much. But we can know that.

What is Jesus’ last moment on the cross but the refusal? “Why have you forsaken me?” God does not speak or reassure.

Yes, I know it is all happiness ever after on Easter, but that is not true of the Gospel of Mark. In Mark, the only way we know that the Kingdom of God endures after the cross is through the life of the participant.

Heidegger presents a new understanding of Christian knowing.

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