friends, people i admire, who are bravely wondering about what makes church good here in the 21st century, often say something like, "i am done hanging out with the people deconstructing their faith, i need to be connected to constructive or re-constructive voices."
i have two problems with this
first, just because YOU are done, why does that mean everyone else needs to be done. give them the same permission that you wished you could have received, to question the unquestionable for as long as it takes.
second, stop saying "deconstruction"
now i flunked out of both high school and college, so i could very well be wrong about this. i certainly do not claim to understand derrida. i could barely make it into "Of Grammatology" before my head exploded
as i understand it, if you can "re-construct" your ideas after some scholarship and analysis, the thing you did just before that, was NOT deconstruction.
examining a system until you have identified the the component parts, and diagnosed which ones are not working and need replacement, is not deconstruction, that is just modern scholarship. we knew how to do that before derrida. it is still useful, but it is not deconstruction.
deconstruction has something to do with making invisible things visible, yes, but that is just the first part of a deconstructive gesture.
my limited understanding of the word "deconstruction" is that it pertains to an activity that has little to do with understanding the true inner meaning, or of stripping away the old baggage. deconstruction seems to me to be, if anything, a move away from the "inner truth quest ", even a move away from the idea of inner truth. a deconstructive gesture can even be intentionally false, if need be. it is performance art which speaks untruth if needed, leaving an imprint on existence ... truth itself is now stamped on reality, and visible in the negative space.
deconstruction does not happen outside the text, 40,000 feet above, where all context is in view. deconstruction eliminates the boundaries between ourselves and text, and places us in the middle of the text, along with the verbs and nouns, to be read and interpreted.
i don't know exactly what deconstruction is, something about artfully, playfully, outlining hidden monsters of complexity and paradox, but never with the intent of resolving them, but rather with the intent of setting them free to wreak havoc.
to the extent that i do understand deconstruction, a fully deconstructed christianity would be an offensive, personal, radical, messy, disaster. the next step after deconstruction would be a party, or a riot, but not a careful reconstruction with all the good parts cleaned up and functioning properly, and new gears and knobs connecting them.
i say this not because i want to claim a higher understanding of deconstruction, but because i think the way forward is to always have space for the trickseter, offensive, crazy thing that deconstruction is, so i want to rescue the word as from the ghetto of things that wise people should "get over".
photo was from this page, which when i stumbled on it, was so perfect, i had to include one of the photos in this article
Deconstruction is love, the love of something unforseeable, unforegraspable, something to come, absolutely, something undeconstructible and impossible, something nameless. -- Deconstruction in a Nutshell: A Conversation with Jaques Derrida, John D. Caputo and and Jaques Derrida