Precritical naivete

February 25, 2006

I learned a new term today, precritical naivete. Marcus Borg uses this in the first chapter of his foundational book, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time. [Before proceeding, I want to mention to any who might be reading this from googling somehow, that I do not agree with Dr. Borg’s theology; however, I am interested in the journey he has taken to arrive to his conclusions.] Borg borrows this from Paul Ricoeur, and defines it as “that childhood state in which we take for granted that whatever the significant authority figures in our lives tell us to be true is indeed true.”

This is my first introduction to any of Borg’s writings. I am fascinated by the journey that has taken him from holding to the basic tenets of the evangelical faith to a “closet agnostic” (pg. 8) to a “closet atheist” (pg. 13) to [what he describes as] “Beyond Belief to Relationship” (pg. 17).

My own journey has led beyond belief (and beyond doubt and disbelief) to an understanding of the Christian life as a relationship to the Spirit of God — a relationship that involves one in a journey of transformation (pg. 17).

I am fascinated, already, by Borg’s theology [again, not in agreement]. Take this statement as an indicator of what is to come:

John’s gospel is a powerful testimony to the reality and significance of the post-Easter Jesus, the living Christ of Christian experience. John’s gospel is “true,” even though its account of Jesus’ life story and sayings is not, by and large, historically factual. My journey for the childhood state of precritical naivete through the critical thinking of adolescence and adulthood now led to hearing John (and the Bible as a whole) in a state of postcritical naivete — a state in which one can hear these stories as “true stories,” even while knowing that they are not literally true (pg. 17).


One Response to “Precritical naivete”

  1. joy said

    two years later—-google search found this—interesting- thanks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: