Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"Know Kidding" = "Know Love" ?

I have no idea (know idea) what this "Know Kidding" ad I just saw in a hospital cafeteria means..or even what the ad is for (how effective is didn't say?)

I just had to snap the pic..dunno why

Must be some theologians who work midnight shift in the cafeteria wanted to make a prophetic commentary on fundagelical epistemology (:

Maybe it's not an ad, but encouragement from the hospital
for guests to actually "know" how to enjoy themselves in the cafeteria even ...and in all of life.

Whatever it's did stir me to follow up the epistemology posts of the last few days, especially re: epistemology and love connections. Still waiting to hear from St Mark Deraud in this I found NT Wright adocating an "epistemology of love," with a fascinating link to science:

"... Epistemologies of faith and hope, both transcending but including historical and scientific knowing, point on to an epistemology of love – an idea I first met in Bernard Lonergan, but which was hardly new with him. The story of John 21 sharpens it up. Peter, famously, has denied Jesus. He has chosen to live within the normal world, where the tyrants win in the end, and where it’s better to dissociate yourself from people who get on the wrong side of them. But now, with Easter, Peter is called to live in a new and different world; where Thomas is called to a new kind of faith, and Paul to a radically renewed hope, Peter is called to a new kind of love. Here I go back to Wittgenstein once more, not this time for a poker but for a famous and haunting aphorism: ‘It is love that believes the resurrection.’ ...

If we are even to glimpse this new world, let alone enter it, we will need a different kind of knowing, a knowing which involves us in new ways, an epistemology which draws out from us not just the cool appraisal of detached quasi-scientific research, but the whole-person engagement and involvement for which the best shorthand is ‘love',
My sense from talking to some scientific colleagues is that, though it’s hard to describe, something like this is already at work when the scientist devotes him- or herself to the subject-matter so that the birth of new hypotheses seems to come about, not so much through an abstract brain (a computer made of meat?) crunching data from elsewhere, but more of a soft and mysterious symbiosis of knower and known, of lover and beloved. "
-NT Wright, link

Elsewhere, Wright offers:

I’ve written a certain amount about what I loosely call, following Bernard Lonergan, an epistemology of love. The point about love is that it simultaneously affirms the otherness of the beloved and in the case of the historian, that means letting the past be the past and not trying to collapse it into the present. And also embracing it. And unless it’s doing both of those, it’s simply not love. If it simply affirms the otherness without the embrace, it is simply a cool, enlightenment style tolerance of something of something that is very different. If it tries to collapse the boundaries without the affirmation of otherness, then it is some kind of rape or abuse. link

Which traced to this article:

Postmodernism liberates the integration of psychology and Christianity from the domination of modernism, but also leads to a vertiginous relativism. A movement beyond postmodernism seems essential. For Christians, such a movement might build upon the "future objectivity" of Friedrich Nietzsche's postmodern perspectivism. Writings of the French social theorist Rene Girard suggest how this "objectivity" might be assimilated within a Christian metanarrative about Truth. His theory more
specifically implies that the Bible commands an epistemology of love that is non-authoritarian, critical, and integrative. Methods compatible with an epistemology of love have been developed within an ideological surround model of the relationship between psychology and religion. An epistemology of love supplies a metaperspective for seeing and then telling a coherent metanarrative about the challenges of integration after postmodernism.
Journal of Psychology and Theology

And of course, there is a U2 connection (you knew it, or felt it):

Behind Bono's lyrics and the music of U2 lies a distinctive epistemology...
The feeling that most expresses the Christian vision expressed in the songs of U2 is love. Bono says, 'Well, I think I know what God is: God is love, and as much as I respond in allowing myself to be transformed by that love and acting in that love, that'smy religion."...One may want to reconsider the importance of feeling over knowledge and wish to embrace U2's message: "What you don't know, you can feel it somehow" ("Beautiful Day")

-Timothy Cleveland, Chapter 8, "U2 and Philosophy"

Of course, the Bonoman once preached about the "ineffable, unknowable love of God"..
he's been reading NT Wright again, I know it...k(no)w kidding...and k(no)w line on the (epistemological) horizon:


  1. Hey, I've been reading Surprised by Hope, and i came across this idea which really caught me and confused me. I'm having trouble understanding what the "epistemology of love" is. That bit about U2 helped a little, but how it connects to science and postmodernism... Could you break it down or give me a resource that helps to explain it, with examples or anything? thanks a lot, i feel like this is important.

  2. hey Chris.. so glad you stopped by. I am still learning myself, so glad to start a conversation.
    Maybe the heart of it is from SBH:
    it's when we are "self-giving, not self-seeking, subject...a knowing that is a form of love"
    "it is love that believes the resurrection"
    p 74, 39

    It would seem that science and postmodernism, for all the hits they might take for being "liberal" or relativistic or (more to the point) "sloppy agape" ..seem to be these days encourage us to "know" or experience things relationally,

    Scientists keep saying this like "It almost feels like the universe, or the equations are personal, relational." That may not mean God to them, but its certainly a starting point. So to return the perceived love/relationship in kind, one seems to learn more, by assuming a posture/epistemology of love.

    Brain science seems to be discovering emotions, feelings, relationship are more central than anyone thought etc

    Let me know..


Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!