Graven Ideologies

Because Idolatry has never really been about the worship of stone and wood, the mere prohibition of graven images is not enough to prevent idols from usurping God’s place in the lives of the faithful. According to Bruce Ellis Benson, a professor of philosophy at Wheaton (Illinois) College, the most popular idols today are ideologies—conceptual idols, human creations passed off as divine and thus beyond question or challenge.

Like Merold Westphal and John Caputo, Benson sees French postmodernists as iconoclastic, not nihilistic, voices. He examines Friedrich Nietzsche, Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Marion (with strong back-up analyses of Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger and Emmanuel Levinas) as voices that may make more transparent, and thus less seductive, the self-serving, self-deifying ideologies that often usurp God’s place.

 

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