Probably my favorite part of Cornerstone Festival is the seminars. JPUSA does a great job of bringing in contemporary “deep thinkers” that cover a whole variety of topics. This year, there were more topics that interested me than I could possibly attend, so I had to pick and choose and hop around. One topic that caught my eye was, “(DE)CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM: POSTMODERNISM, TRUTH & FAITH”
The seminar was led by Crystal Downing, a Professor of English and Film Studies at Messiah College (my Alma Mater) in Grantham, Pennsylvania. Okay, I was also interested in catching a speaker from MY college – so what’s wrong with that?
Anyway, Crystal has written a book (which was the basis for her seminar) called, “How Postmodernism Serves (my) Faith: Questioning Truth in Language, Philosophy and Art” (Inter Varsity, 2006).
She focused on language (big stretch for an English teacher) and how as Christians we need to carefully consider our own words, as well as the words of others. Deconstruction of language is a necessary (and positive) exercise in understanding what people are really saying; rather than projecting our own influences and definitions on what is being said.
Here’s a key nugget I derived from this seminar: Language is inadequate as a vehicle by which to describe truth. Chew on that one a bit, I think you’ll find you agree.
Crystal cited the works of Jacques Derrida (the Founder of Deconstruction) often in her talks. Anyone know if him or his work? Feel free to pipe in with any nuggets about him. (I’ve got to do some research on him).
I’m also planning on getting a copy of the book and giving it a read. I’ll provide a book report when I do.