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2 The Limits of the Ecclesiology of Faith and Order: Rethinking in a Postdenominational Way the Foundations Given by K. Barth and G. Florovsky Antoine Arjakovsky (Translated by Tracy L. Russell) As he approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging . . . He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” . . . [Jesus] asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him, glorifying God. (Luke 18:35–43) 35 Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. . . . And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. . . . When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Matt. 6:1, 5–6, 16–18) Although this is an academic publication, I am allowed, I hope, to adopt a nonacademic tone for this contribution to the joint reflections on the theme of conciliarity or catholicity. Karl Barth was the first to define authentic theology as a breach in the dominant theological discourse and as an act of personal audacity. Yet contemporary theology suffers increasingly in the dominant paradigm of secular universities, according to which truth can be expressed only by means of detachment and objectification. This is, of course, in contradiction to the Christian faith, according to which truth is a personal reality and not an impersonal essence. But it is likewise in contradiction to the philosophical understanding of truth held by Michel Foucault at the end of his life, when he acknowledged that epistemological truth was less relevant than doxic truth. In his classes at the Collège de France the French philosopher was in fact searching beneath the concern to speak the truth for a certain ethical power, a personal commitment that is summarized by the phrase “the courage of truth.” In recovering the meaning of rightness, of CORRELATING SOBORNOST 36 righteousness, of the curving of opinion beyond oneself, we find the French philosopher’s desire to propose a wisdom that is first of all a matter of style. During a lecture at the University of California, Berkeley, in October 1983, Foucault presented the concept of parrhesia (free speech) and its evolution of meaning in Greek and Roman culture.1 The term appeared in Greek literature in the fifth century BCE. It played a crucial role in the earliest Christian writings in defining a truth associated with the human qualities of courage, freedom, and risk. St. Paul was faced with the extraordinary novelty of his “message of the cross.” He said to the Corinthians: “We proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:23–24). In Acts 4:13 Peter and John, “uneducated and ordinary men,” spoke with “boldness” before the Sanhedrin, who could only recognize them as companions of Jesus.2 The patristic definition of a prophet or a gnostic, as one who walks in the Christian way, “God-bearing and God-borne,” according to Clement of Alexandria (Stromata VII.13.82), corresponds to the Christian version of a parrhesiast. This person offers frankness. He speaks not as the scribes or the Pharisees but risks his life by what he says. According to Foucault, the Cartesian discourse of truth has too often come to conceive of truth as a reality that is flat, constraining, and ascertainable. But truth can also be present as a reality that...


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