What does Zizek mean when he talks about 'christian atheism'...

What does Zizek mean when he talks about 'christian atheism'? From what I've understood Zizek likes it because Christianity is the only system of believes that promises to reconciliate one with the big other. But what does 'big other' means in Zizek's work? And what does christian atheism acomplishes? Does it redeem actual christian ethics, theology and related stuff in the eyes of marxism?

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Which Christianity? The doctrine of Rome isn't the doctrine of most Eastern churches.

I can't speak for Zizek, but I know Stirner basically said that atheists and christians aren't actually that different because the atheist prides himself on rejecting christian ideology while still actually basing much of their lifestyle on that very ideology they claim to reject.
I haven't read Ego and His Own in a few months so I might be a little off

ZIZ has been very clear that there is no big other, but it is "necessary for us to exist as individuals." In the same way that fantasy is necessary for sex, the idea of a big other which must "register our predicament" is almost universal, though false. We are alone.

Do the eastern churches add or remove any books from the Catholic church?

different catechism, a few extra books in the OT, and some weird doctrinal differences (the first split was over whether the son is really the same as the father)

Why does "Christianity" have to be atheist? What benefit is there to removing G*d out of the equation entirely, or insisting that G*d has to be removed from the equation before the system can be truly ethical?

In Judaism, you don't perform mitzvot simply because "it's the right thing to do"; we understand our faith as transcending the typical religion-as-moral-code. Faith (emunah) comes first; it's understood there is no point to becoming a religious robot (i.e. someone who strictly follows the ethics on a surface level) without first loving G*d. There is no dichotomy between internal vs. external.

I don't dislike Zizek, but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth when any philosopher uses religion superficially as a prop rather than exploring it for what it is.

This. Before I did shuvah I dated a guy who was Antiochian Orthodox and he told me the Eastern Church doesn't believe in most of the concepts which have become hammered into western Christianity (Original Sin, JC "dying for sins", etc.).

I reject the idea that Xtianity is intrinsically universalist in any meaningful fashion. Historically it was spread by the sword and there was huge resistance to it everywhere it was exported.

Islam on the other hand is a much better theology to go by. It was never spread violently and its values are not moral claims but virtue ethics aimed at strengthening the community and individual.

gr8 b8 m8

It wasn't. Check your history. Every group which took up Islam (including the Persians, Egyptians, north/Sahel Africans, Somalis, Indians, Indonesians) did so willingly and Islam strictly prohibits any kind of forced conversion. "There is no compulsion in religion." You are literally not allowed to force anyone to believe or adhere to any kind of action without their consent first.

you probably think strippers really like you, too


Original sin was one of many things the Catholic church created from thin air.
As for Jesus not dying for our sins, this is mentioned in the books of Peter, Romans, Corinthians, and probably others.

i never understood this bit of doctrine.
someone dying for my sins make as much sense as someone hitting themselves in the foot with a shovel for my mortgage

If you don't believe in original sin you can't believe Jesus died for your sins, the latter is literally predicated on the former. That is the sin he is dying for, not the sins you actually commit in daily life you're still on the hook for those.

According to Christianity, gentiles couldn't have gotten into heaven without Jesus taking their burden (sin). It's like the Green Mile when John Coffey sucked the illness out of people and coughed up bees.

The Eastern Churches don't adhere to this doctrine though. They believe JC transcended death, rather than "die for our sins".

Also, nowhere in any Jewish text does it say Moshiach "dies for sin". Your sins are completely your business and no one can truly repent for you. Likewise, the suffering servant passage in Isaiah isn't even a messianic verse.

so jesus is mister jingles?

According to Christianity no one could go to heaven before the crucifixion, not even Jews.

It's more like, Paul told the Gentiles they had to be accepted into the House of Israel, and that they needed to follow JC in order to do that.

It exists nowhere in the bible. If you haven't read it, I suggest you do before preaching to other people. As I just wrote, no gentile could make it into heaven without Jesus. This is why he died.

This is untrue. The Jews had a different covenant.

Jizya taxes were ALWAYS lower and less burdeonsome than zakat taxes which were only paid by Muslims, dipshit. If conversion was only to avoid taxation how come tax burdens were lower for People of the Book than they were for Muslims?

considering the jews are generally agnostic about the afterlife, I am sure they were disappoint

This kind of selfie theology is one reason why we religious folk mock you seculars.

new meme detected

Not necessarily. Our sages discuss what happens after death: your soul goes to Gehennom (Purgatory) where it is cleansed, then if HaShem decides you've completed your duty on earth you get into Heaven, if not you're reincarnated so your neshama can finish what it started.

I always thought he meant that most modern christians are actually atheists (think Nietzsche's view of so-called christians) b/c they don't follow the words of christ, they just sort of do what the establishment tells them while going to church on holidays or slapping a bumper sticker on their car to feel good. After all, being a "real" chrsitian would mean spending your life helping the poor, protesting damn near everything the state does, fighting capitalism greed, etc.

I should add there are multiple interpretations though.

The death was mortal, not spiritual. The father, the son, and the holy spirit are one. Jesus is the same thing as God. He can return to earth, and will according to the book of Revelations.

please don't stop, this is too good

not that hip on Judaism, and what little I know is from Reform tradition, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. But to pretend that there is a consensus on the afterlife among the midrash writers is a little dishonest, right?

ok then

They were also descended from Adam like everybody else. The Mosaic covenant didn't absolve them of this (of course Jews don't believe there is anything to be absolved of since they don't believe in hereditary original sin).

If you actually read any of the gospels the main audience for Jesus' teachings are Jews, gentiles rarely appear. This is especially explicit in Luke which constantly reinforces that Jesus' role as the messiah is to save everyone, Jews and gentiles alike. Jews weren't already saved they still needed Jesus.

Not in the old testament. But it is fundamentally ingrained in the Christian conception of the messiah.

Like seriously, what sins do you think he was dying for?

Not an argument.

Tell that to all the Yemenite Jews who had their children taken away from them and forcefully converted.

Tell that to the Moroccan Jewish women who were forcefully married to Muslim men.

Tell that to the Iraqi Jews who fled pogroms all throughout the 1940s (I'm fully aware this was during the colonial period; not all anti-colonial resistance takes the form of Arab Sunni chauvinism).

Tell that to the Dönmeh who remain in hiding to this day (hint: they'd be punished if they revealed they were crypto-Yids all along).

proddie detected. In catholicism and orthodox belief, the writings of early church fathers and apostolic tradition is as important as the bible

So you believe Jews before Christ went to hell?

Not in the New Testament either. The seven deadly sins are another Catholic creation.

So according to you, Avraham, Yitzchak, Yakov, Yosef, David haMelech, etc. all didn't get into Heaven because JC hadn't been born yet.

Yes. As did everyone else on the planet. This much is explicit in the new testament.

It is though, without original sin the crucifixion makes absolutely no sense. Seriously, explain to me what it was supposed to accomplish if not the redemption of original sin?

And if you say it's allowing gentiles into heaven I needn't remind you that this isn't in the old testament either and Jews don't believe that gentiles are barred from the afterlife.

Of course they are but that's a completely unrelated concept to hereditary original sin.

Zionist detected. Jews were treated better in Muslim lands than they were anywhere else on earth. The only reason those "forced conversions" happened was during times when Jews were overpowering Muslims economically, so Muslims felt the need to humble them. Jews were never kicked out of Arab countries. Zionists expelled Palestinians so Arab countries put pressure on Jews. When the Jews started showing sympathy with the Zionist entity they were given an ultimatum and many of them left on their own free will.

This word means nothing anymore. Calling someone a Zionist is literally the equivalent of "support the troops" or "impeach Trump". Most modern politics is done on nothing but empty rhetoric anyway.

For someone who claims to hate colonialism, you certainly seem to like the idea of a civilizing mission.

Knowing several Moroccan Jews, I highly doubt this was the case. Either way, you are never going to convince millions of dedicated Zionists to just "give up" their ideology by using New Atheist "everything you believe is a trick and you're stupid or evil for believing in it" tactics. Ideology isn't just something you learn from above, but something conditioned on to you from multiple sources (think Althusser).

Are you Mormon?

No? I'm Catholic. Besides I'm pretty sure it's virtually impossible to go to hell in Mormonism.

Right from the Gospel of Luke

Hell/Purgatory is temporary in Judaism. Luke wasn't even a Jew anyway (there were Gentiles living in Eretz Yisrael during that time).


Key phrase, Christianity is not Judaism and has very many irreconcilable theological and metaphysical differences going straight back to Jesus' own teachings.

And it doesn't matter if Luke wasn't a Jew. Christianity is universalist and the Gospels are the most fundamental texts of Christianity. I'm not sure there's any surviving Christian sects that reject Luke.

You are a fucking moron if you think Islam has no history of violence or colonialism.

t. ex-Muslim

Same thing for a lot of white converts to Islam. Growing up I never liked most of the white female converts I knew simply because it was blatantly obvious they were only converting to an image. Notice how leftist apologists for Islam love invoking the image of the noble abstemious Hizballah warrior, but never talk about the traditional Muslim family. Muslim women are held to ridiculously high modesty standards ("seester your hijab is too tight", "seester you're wearing blue jeans and that's not hijab," "seester you're wearing too much makeup," "seester your ankles are showing", etc.). Muslim men are pressured to break their backs in order to support not just their wives and kids but also their parents, in-laws, any family members who can't work. Yes, Islam claims to be for tolerance and liberation in principle but then again so did enlightenment values. In practice though it becomes pathological.

Judaism has its own universalist traditions which are nothing like the smugness of Christianity.

Catholics believe in a “limbo of the fathers” that existed before Jesus where the spirit would go to await the messiah

Well you sure are being very smug ITT so you could have fooled me.

Limbo is part of hell. It's a relatively nice part of hell but it's still in hell.

Islam is the only religion completely compatible with socialism. The Qur'an itself is written entirely from the view of an exploited class' struggle against an oppressor class. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was never even a head of state but more of a wise sage who held a loose-knit confederation of self-governed and communalistic tribes together through virtue alone. A Caliphate isn't even a state that protects private property but a federation of self-governed groups. I'm sorry your mind has been deeply colonized.

Hold up.

A Jewish Kampuchean, a Catholic transhumanist, and a Muslim tankie walk into a thread

We don't believe you can only be "saved" if you believe in Moshiach. The final Moshiach, whoever he/she is, will be recognized by the entire world without any opposition. The Final Redemption is entirely universal.

Likewise, Moshiach's arrival is NOT some random event based on nothing. Our actions ultimately bring Moshiach (tikkun olam). As I've previously stated, there is no dichotomy between faith vs. works; both have to compliment each other.

Islam does not believe in class struggle. The only difference between rich and poor is the rich give charity the poor receive charity. To call Qur'an "historical materialism" would get your ass kicked by any legitimate Muslim theologian.



That's cool, I realize Judaism's concept of the messiah is wildly different from Jesus. Hence why Jews still exist and they didn't all immediately convert to Christianity.

But this is what virtually every Christian church on the planet holds is true. That hereditary original sin is real and it is only through Christ that you can be saved, and I'd hazard that the vast, vast majority of churches that differ from this were founded in the last 200 years.

I agree, faith alone is a protestant thing (which is itself more complicated than just "believe in Jesus and do whatever without consequence" but that's another topic).

Don't believe this idiot. He's obviously a white convert who converted just because he has Islamo-Bolshevik fantasies. Never mind the Basmachi Movement was specifically waging jihad against the Bolsheviks.

Slavoj Žižek. "Christian Atheism". 2017

Have an hour+ video of Žižek talking specifically on this issue, posted around one month ago.

you see you can love god, follow ethics strictly and STILL doing it in a superficial, vapid way: faith for most people is as easy as superstition. There is the old beardy sky man and you greatly believe in him and have fear of him so you follow his unchanging, perfect rule. The role of faith is just the enabler of sacredness and unchangingness of dogma

I love how Zizek loves GK Chesterton.

Don't worry, I'm not believing anything that stupid.

Why Islam is not and will never be universalist:

1. When Badiou mentions Christianity's universalist element he mentions Paul saw truth in both Judaism and Greek thought, and rather than holding both paradigms as antagonistic to each other he saw them both as parts of a much larger Truth. It's the polar opposite in Islam. When the Qur'an talks about "class struggle" what it's really talking about is political struggle between Muslims (believers) and non-believers (Arab pagans, also the Jews and Christians who distorted the "authentic" message). Islam does NOT believe truth has multiple sources but makes it pretty damn clear only it and its doctrines are truth.

2. Linguistic hierarchies. Christianity never says Latin, Koine Greek, or even Aramaic/Hebrew is the holy tongue. In Islam, you HAVE to pray in Arabic even if you don't understand it. We immediately recognize Heidegger's claim that philosophy can only be done in German, Greek, or Japanese as being fascistic, so why don't we also see the obvious parallels in Islam?

3. Islam prioritizes believers over non-believers. Pretty straightforward.

4. Islam only allows Muslim men to marry Christian or Jewish women and demands that all children from said mixed marriages be raised Muslim. There is no "interfaith" upbringing allowed.

5. Islam is closer to Trotsky than Stalin in the sense where it demands permanent revolution until the entire world is Muslim. Granted, this isn't something most Muslims think about, but it is true that a true Khilafah can't be at peace with non-believers. "Shariah in one country" isn't a thing in traditional Islam.

Superficiality is given as the norm in modern western culture, so it's immediately assumed every kind of moral project (including faith) is ultimately rooted in nothing more than self gratification (or the infamous "chemicals in the brain" or whatever).

I don't mean to sound pretentious, nor am I trying to insult atheists/agnostics. My point was, speaking as a person of faith I don't necessarily see why G*d should be entirely removed from religion in order for those religious codes to be beneficial.

Good to know I'm not the only one who sees that. Yes, Zizek's rambling against Judith Butler was highly reminiscent of Chesterton's whole "non-believers will believe anything" saying.

Zizek it's just a good baiter. He doesn't belive in what he says. He's just there to trigger actual socialists.

Read hoxha you fuck

Ibn Khaldun had a theory of history which echoes HistMat…

For Zizek, Christianity is basically a useful metaphor. He doesn't really believe any of it aside from what it can tell us about Lacan or Hegel or ideology. For example, he states that the purpose of "The Puppet And the Drawf: the Perverse Core of Christianity" is to make Lacanian psychoanalysis understandable to even your grandmother, or something like that. The whole point of Christian atheism, I think, is to point out that traditional doesn't go far enough. So he asserts traditional atheism simply replaces one guarantor "God" with another "science, nature, etc". His idiosyncratic reading of the Christian narrative kills the big Other, so to speak. God really does on the cross (no christian actually believes this) and there really is no big Other. That's what I got from reading his work. I'm sure someone will tell me I'm wrong.

You are definitely wrong. Al those who died before the coming of Christ went to Limbo, not Hell. Christ redeemed the living and the dead, boh.

Zizek likes christianity because Lacan modeled his own bullshit on theological concepts.

Limbo is part of hell, it's not a third other afterlife that is neither heaven nor hell. It's just the best part of hell.

Same with Althusser.


Although "original sin" is never mentioned by name in the old or new testament, one can infer the Catholic church meant Adam and Eve eating from the tree of knowledge. In this case, their punishment was mortality not hell. They would have lived forever, as the story goes, had they obeyed God.

If you consider yourself a Christian, you desperately need to read or reread the bible.

It was both. In fact one is contingent on the other. Death and hell are very intimately related in Christian theology (as is heaven and ever-lasting life). Through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross those who are saved are given eternal life in heaven, this is the significance of the resurrection and overcoming death.

Fuck off jew.

White savoirism/10

Palestinians don't need Jews to self-flagellate or re-interpret our faith. Most of this conflict isn't even centered around armed struggle like it was 40 years ago anyway, but political negotiations which activists living in the West have little say over. Unless you're actively on the ground in the West Bank you're basically useless.

Claiming that Jews need to bend over backwards to show how "anti-Zionist" we are is nothing more than emotional blackmail, easily comparable to how Muslims get all sorts of shit for refusing to shoehorn their faith into a postmodern paradigm. Our religious teachings and traditions shouldn't have to be explicitly "anti-Zionist" or pass the Palestinian seal of approval in order to have something to give, beauty, wisdom, etc., nor does being explicitly "anti-Zionist" make one more principled (most of the anti-Zionist Jews I know are nothing but a bunch of self-righteous assholes with zero connection to yiddishkeit unless they can use it as a prop).


I never implied I support Israel or any state for that matter. Not to mention I used to work with BDS groups and know what a clusterfuck those movements become, i.e. if you're Jewish you can never be anti-Zionist enough, Jews are pressured to give up their Jewishness and "become" Palestinian (as if that leads to anything remotely radical).

I'm all for living one's values, but this kind of self-flagellation does little to radicalize the mind nor does it create any kind of hardline political praxis. It's just empty rhetoric and an excuse to bully.

Addendum: the fact that the left has to use emotional blackmail tactics shows a huge deficiency in its own values and principles. Potential revolutionaries who want to set an example for others shouldn't be resorting to those kinds of narcissistic abuse tactics.


"Emotional blackmail is a shitty tactic" =/= "I agree with ethnic cleansing and apartheid walls"

FFS Holla Forums

So, basically, he's advocating a sort of Cult of Reason/Cult of the Supreme Being style "religion"?


No. Basically the opposite of what you just wrote. He's saying we don't need anything like that.

Not really. He is offering a Lacanian analysis (natch) of the human condition. We think we need this idea of the big other, and maybe we do. He is illustrating the irony and paradox of our psychology, not offering a solution.


That user is a fucking pretentious new atheist shill.

of course the muslim is a tankie