The Beauty of the Infinite, Hart

An interesting start:

A certain current within contemporary philosophy, however, asserts that violence is — simply enough — inescapable: wherever Nietzsche’s narrative of the will to power has been absorbed into the grammar of philosophical reflection, and given rise to a particular practice of critical suspicion, a profound prejudice has taken root to the effect that every discourse is reducible to a strategy of power, and every rhetorical transaction to an instance of an original violence. From this vantage a rhetoric of peace is, by definition, duplicity; subjected to a thorough critique, genealogy, or deconstruction, evangelical rhetoric can undoubtedly be shown to conceal within itself the most insatiable appetite for control; the gesture by which the church offers Christ to the world, and bears witness to God’s love for creation, is in reality an aggression, the ingratiating embassy of an omnivorous empire. Of course, if power’s pathos were indeed the hidden wellspring of every act of persuasion, Christianity, as it conceives of itself, would be an impossible presence within history: the church as the earnest of the ‘peaceable kingdom’ could never communicate itself in a way that would not contradict its own evangel, and the ‘city of peace’ that the church tries (or at any rate claims) to be could never actually take shape, except mendaciously, as a dissimulation of power’s arcane operations behind an apparent renunciation of power (such, at least, is Nietzsche’s accusation in The Genealogy of Morals).”

David Bentley Hart, pg. 2

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