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Secular Christianity: A Lecture with Sean McGrath

Hobrechtstraße 66 Berlin, 12047


The essence of Christianity, according to Slavoj Zizek, consists in Paul's claim that the world is one body, and within this one body, distinctions of gender, race, and class are secondary to the freedom of each person redeemed by Christ.

These two ideas, universalism (equality) and emancipation (liberty), articulate the subversive core of Christianity, which threatens the existing consumer-capitalist regime today as much as it did the Roman Empire in Paul's time.

In this lecture and discussion, we will study these two aspects of the Christian legacy which are so at odds with contemporary trends toward sectarianism, nationalism, and right-wing populism.

We will examine how these political ideas gave birth to the modern secular world and show why it is therefore false to oppose secularism and religion, at least the Christian religion, for secularism would not exist without Christianity.

But can we be Christians without the support of the Church? Could secular Christianity be the next stage of religious development?

Facilitated by Sean McGrath, Ph.D, teacher in the areas of metaphysics, classical German philosophy, phenomenology and hermeneutics, and psychoanalysis.

Background reading:
Slavoj Zizek, The Fragile Absolute (London: Verso, 2000).
St. Paul, Letter to the Galatians, Letter to the Philippians

The picture was taken from the movie "Romeo + Juliet" (1996).

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