Preliminary Notes on a Vom-Bag

Best stock image ever!

Best stock image ever!

Hey’all!  I’ve been wanting to post this for a while, and I just found it.   On my flight back from Chicago, I wanted to do some writing/brainstorming for my thesis, and so I asked the flight attendant for a pen, and got out the barf-bag, and got writing.  This post is the first of many that will be notes concerning my thesis.  I want to have an outlet to express my ideas as I’m working on them, but don’t worry, I’ll try and make them interesting for your reading leisure.  I just thought this would be fun to share.  This is a direct transcription from the vom-bag.  And so, without further ado…

Preliminary Notes on a Vom-bag

Explain thesis as you have to others, exhibiting the passion you demonstrated amidst the fear + anxiety of “it all!”[1]

I am looking at soteriology, the study of salvation, and integrating/synthesizing/correlating existentialism and/with liberation theology.  My primary sources will be Paul Tillich for existentialist theology and Gustavo Gutiérrez for liberation theology.

What is a/the problem in soteriology?

A problem is the overemphasis of the individualistic aspects of salvation with the communalistic aspects (social)

What are my observations of the problem?

1. Individualistic salvation (so many to list) are those that can be or all of the following tenets:

a. Salvation as admittance to heaven.

b. Salvation as “moral” progress.

c. Salvation as…[2]

2. Communalistic/social salvation (social) are those that can be one or all of the following:

a. Salvation as economic/social revolution

b. Salvation as “social” progress

c. Salvation as…

What are some preliminary notes that make this a problem?

Here we see a separation between the individual and the communal.  Why is this bad? It is dualistic. It is disembodied. It forces a “surreptitious” dichotomy (I want to try and make the distinction b/c I’m setting up a dichotomy, and while the dichotomy is a successful dualism, we cannot ignore the similarities between the individualistic emphases and the communal emphases.  So, I am arguing that we have to hold these two in (paradoxical) tension (turbulence, *ineligible*) ha![3]


This is the Auryn. Another name for it, which I couldn’t think of at the time, is an “ouroboros.”

In soteriology, the balance and tension between ind + comm, and yet yet I want to subvert this idea of balance b/c I want to argue even if we talk about the two, we cannot choose one and only one.  We surely start from one, and may even emphasize one over the other, but, we must not risk the emphasis becoming a primacy of one over the other. If there is I may use an anatheologism,[4] I would say that these loci mutually inclusive loci of salvation work as a perichoretic progression, as an Auryn,[5] each snake head devouring each other. But perhaps that is a poor metaphor. The best metaphors I can come up w/ to describe this phenomenon, and a necessary phenomenon at that, are two.

A)   It is the self that finds itself and comes to knowledge, acceptance, and love of self, that goes out from oneself and into the other,[6]

[1] The fear and anxiety referring to the depressing times during my time in Chicago.

[2] I like how I say there are so many to list, and yet I only list two.  Hey, I was running out of time on my flight!

[3] We entered into turbulence, and so my handwriting got illegible, which apparently I thought was funny enough to write “ha!”

[4] Think of an “anachronism,” but in this case, using a theological term out of its context.

[5] As per usual, I have to throw in a The Neverending Story reference…

[6] Right when I get to the good part, it’s time to land…  Oh well, I will finish these thoughts.  Why?  Well, because I have to.


Filed under Excursuses

6 responses to “Preliminary Notes on a Vom-Bag

  1. Cindy Fournelle

    I find it so funny that you, of all people, had to ask for a pen and writing material!!!

  2. Cindy Fournelle

    Plus, that woman in the picture looks a little like my Mom!!! Or maybe me!!!

  3. Travis

    I enjoyed reading this and look forward to learning more/reading more from your thesis!

  4. STeveMcCormick

    I knew right away that Auryn thingy was from NES…ha!

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