[KB] "Deacon"-structing Burke Part Whatever

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Wed Oct 29 17:55:49 EDT 2014

Just a footnote. John Calvin was rigorously logical, and in his argument for Scripture as revealed (inspired) Truth he noted (though he didn't like it) that an Inspired Text implied an inspired reader. That led to the various 17th-c currents which tended to dissolve all churches into collections of Inspired but differently inspired individuals. If I really really know I'm right then I'm right! And if enough inspired readers all have the same inspiration then they are certainly right in cutting off the King's Head.


-----Original Message-----
From: kb-bounces at kbjournal.org [mailto:kb-bounces at kbjournal.org] On Behalf Of Edward C Appel
Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2014 12:37 PM
To: Gregory Desilet; Stan Lindsay
Cc: kb at kbjournal.org
Subject: Re: [KB] "Deacon"-structing Burke Part Whatever

Greg, Stan, and All,

Most centrally, Greg and I are defining "religion" and "religious" differently.  Greg is making the "authoritative" (that's the term that harkens back to the "fascism" of the early- and mid-20th century), Divinely-inspired text, essentiallly non-negotiable, with little room for "interpretation," the distinguishing attribute.  My definition is different.  Although the word "religious" can migrate (see OHN, pp. 143-44 on the looseness of even "proper names") in myriad directions, I regard its primary reference as characteristic of one who believes in an Originary Power we can rightfully call "God."  For me, as a Burkean, I would reductively define that Power as the "Great Potential,"  In other words, a "religious" person  is one who believes that human personality, or the verbal, is "Potential" in the Ground of Being, Creative Source, or Generative Force, maybe not necessary, but at least "Potential."  After all, here we are (See RM, pp. 290-91).  As such,  a "religious" person would believe that human personality, or the verbal, is rooted in, and in some way reflective of, maybe only in a very, very small way relective of, the Ground of Being, Creative Source, or Generative Force, not just inanimate matter and blind physical forces.

Called to lunch by higher authority.  Will get back.


On Wed, 10/29/14, Stan Lindsay <slindsa at yahoo.com> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [KB] "Deacon"-structing Burke Part Whatever
 To: "Gregory Desilet" <info at gregorydesilet.com>, "Ed Appel" <edwardcappel at frontier.com>
 Cc: "kb at kbjournal.org" <kb at kbjournal.org>
 Date: Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 12:12 PM
 I think we are, to use
 Burke's terminology, arriving at closer and closer  approximations.  I don't mind the religion vs.
 philosophy distinction Greg makes.  But I would apply some  sort of Toulminian qualifier to much of this.  Clearly,  Evangelical Christians (those who believe in an entirely  inspired and 100% infallible Old and New Testament,  including those "evangelical Presbyterian groups"
 Ed mentions) could be categorized as those who make the  following claim:  "The Bible is DEFINITELY  inerrant/inspired."   There are other groups--perhaps  what Ed calls "mainline" who might claim:
  "The Bible is SUBSTANTIALLY inspired."  There  are those who claim that the Bible is PARTIALLY  inspired--wishing to back off of certain texts.  Even  Luther did not
  accept the Book of James.  Some biblical scholars debate  what is Pauline (written by the apostle) and pseudoPauline  (only claims to be written by the apostle.  And, there are  some outright unbelievers who still like to study the Bible.
  More on this later.  I have to teach a class,  now. Dr. Stan A.
 Lindsay, Ph.D.
 Teaching Professor
 Professional Communication
 College of Applied Studies
 Florida State University
 slindsay at pc.fsu.edu
     On Tuesday, October 28, 2014 11:32 PM, Gregory  Desilet <info at gregorydesilet.com> wrote:
 I find myself in agreement with much
 of what Ed
 and Stan say, but I also sense that it only obliquely  addresses the issue I’ve  raised. When Ed says, “You can’t paint everybody with a  broad brush,” I assume  by “everybody” he means every “religious” person.
 But the issue I’m addressing
 concerns instead the notion that the term “religion” may  be getting painted  with too broad a brush. The use of any given term, when  expanded too  widely, becomes too thin to convey useful meaning.
 Accordingly, I’m arguing
 that for all practical purposes the distinction between  philosophy and religion  largely collapses when religious texts are no longer treated  as “sacred” in the  sense I’ve indicated—namely, when the source of a text  is not viewed as  divinely dictated or inspired. When a religious text becomes  a text composed  and written by a “mere” human, it shifts into a very  different category than  when it is considered “sacred.” Groups who approach  religious texts in this  fashion cannot be significantly distinguished from groups  who gather to  interpret, study, discuss, and learn from philosophical  texts (such as the  Great Books discussion groups popular in the 50s and 60s).
 Indeed, I would
 challenge anyone following this discussion to propose a  significant distinction  between these “religious” and “philosophical” groups  aside from the circumstance  that one may meet in a church and the other may meet in a  library or conference  room.I understand that a great variety  exists among  those who happen to call themselves “religious” or who  claim to belong to a “religious  tradition.” But if such persons who claim religious  alignment AND also claim  their relevant religious texts are NOT divinely inspired  cannot significantly  distinguish their activity from what philosophers do with  their particular  texts of interest, then I do not find the label  “religious” compellingly useful  in such cases. More likely the label in these cases could be  rightly understood  as misleading. In these cases, what would someone who says  “this is my  religion” mean that could set it apart from the one who  says, “this is my  philosophy”?So I acknowledge there are many  folks who  approach what have traditionally been called “religious”
 texts in the
 interpretive rather than received manner, but I see nothing  thereby that  necessitates the label “religious” be applied to such  folks other than that  their texts have been previously called “religious.”
 Applying the label in such
 cases would perhaps be analogous to continuing to call a  bright light in the  morning sky the Morning Star after it has been discovered to  be the planet  Venus.  In sum, if the term “religion”
 retains primary
 connection to views and practices oriented toward the  approach to texts as  divine inspiration, then the metaphysical connection between  religion and  fascism retains a measure of accuracy whereby fascism  becomes a distortion of  religion by way of a shift into the political realm with  more implications for  the here and now than an afterlife.Greg

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