Saturday, November 12, 2005

Trajectory of Freedom in the Adamic Myth

Hope I don't scare too many people away with the title. I am re-reading Paul Ricoeur's analysis of what he calls the myth par excellance - Gen 2 and 3. It is brilliant and insightful, and I need to write a paper on it (hopefully today). I have pulled out one theme that of a trajectory of seperation as a way of speaking of the anthropology of sin. But one other thing that is spinning around in my head is this whole notion of freedom.

As you might know freedom is a topic I enjoy musing upon. I think we have some pretty screwed up notions of freedom operating in our society - and the Adamic Myth, to borrow Ricoeur's term, gives us a sense of how the gift of freedom has become for humanity something completely other than it was intended.

Freedom is a big part of the theology of hope in Christianity. If freedom isn't part of what we are moving towards, then what is it? And just maybe that freedom, the gift of God, is still held out to us awaiting for our embrace of it. For freedom's sake Christ has set us free.

Freedom from what? I think the root of the problem lies in an inability to seperate freedom from bondage. Meaning that if there is a trajectory of freedom, then logic demands a current state of bondage. But freedom, as seen in the Adamic Myth, pre-exists bondage.

Freedom as what? Well freedom doesn't exist in the absence of limitations. You shall eat of every tree in the garden except..." The notion of freedom as anarchy is not a biblical notion of freedom. The command was not meant to enslave humanity in a state of limitation even though that is what the serpent made it out to be. Limitations are only limitations when we percieve them as a threat to our freedom. Therein lies the conundrum of the Adamaic Myth, and the crack in the wall, Andre LeCocque's term, for the wedge of fear to be placed.

So how do we envision freedom?

I think this is the challenge for modern barstool theologians - the ones actually talking to the masses. If Christianity is a story of freedom, then we will have to understand the vision of freedom that God has for us. We will have to offer hope, inspite of the fear of limitations that is still woven into the metanarrative of our society. To stave off anarchy we will have to envision something more than a tree and a command. I think we can only do it in light of a tree and a Saviour.

Who shall deliver me from this body of sin? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ!

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