December 3, 2013

Gospel History vs Political History

Here's a favorite quote of mine from Richard Bauckham, speaking on The Gospels as Micro-History & as 'History from Below' during his 2011 visit to Waco, TX.

"One of Popper's complaints was that such metanarratives exalt the history of political power, which is one form of history, one aspect of human life, to the status of all history. Political history subsumes all other history, as though all people were to find their goals fulfilled in political power. [Popper now, in Italics:] In reality... (and for this statement you need to know that he's writing in 1945) In reality, the history of power politics is nothing but the history of international crime and mass murder.

"Popper also rejects any kind of theistic concept of the meaning of God in human history. He writes, To maintain that God reveals himself in what we commonly call History is indeed blasphemy. If History were to concern itself with the forgotten, the unknown, the lone individual, his sorrow, his suffering, his death - for that is the true experience of people through the ages - then I would certainly not wish to claim that it's blasphemy to see the finger of God in it.

"Exactly. God is not in the power politics of Roman domination, in which Polybius saw the hand of fate unifying history, but in the Gospels' micro-history from below, in the forgotten, the unknown, and present in the suffering and death of the abandoned Jesus. It's a story that resists integration into the history of power politics, but it has its own kind of universality and it's own kind of power in History."

End of Quote. 

Any Thoughts?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I'm having a hard time distinguishing between Bauckman's comments on and Popper's. Can you clarify the inner quotes a bit?

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