Faith Deconstruction: What It Is and How It Works

Feb 2006
15,097
3,942
California
Very informative!

Deconstruction starts with the realization that all of reality is constructed. This is so because we can only see, i.e. understand, what we can place in an interpretative structure of understanding. When applied to faith and belief systems deconstruction can have dire, but ultimately healthy, consequences. The movement of those who deconstruct and leave their faith is growing in America. It can no longer be ignored.

When I studied at an evangelical seminary in the Mid-West I encountered the term deconstruction for the first time. I heard it being whispered in the margin of classes on hermeneutics and systematic theology. Before I knew what was happening, I was in the midst of the deconstruction of my theology and soon my faith. On the one hand, I knew what I was doing on the other I didn’t really know why it was happening; only that it was necessary and that there was no way back.

For many at this seminary, deconstruction was the dreaded monster that equaled falling away from the faith. For others, it was a social activity that they participated in only to abandon it again as soon as they got a call to a pastorate. On the other side were those, a minority to be sure, who pursued deconstruction and went down the slippery slope of I-don’t-know-what-is-beyond-but let’s-do-it. Some lost faith altogether while others found faith beyond the boundaries of their previous faith.
So what is deconstruction? What is faith deconstruction? And why should I care?

Deconstruction is to understand the constructed nature of human reality

It all started with the postmodern philosophers, notably Jacques Derrida, a French philosopher of the second half of the 20th century, who did much work to lay bare the hidden assumptions behind that which we assume to be our world. Analyzing texts he pointed out how all of human reality is constructed by humans themselves in ways they don’t recognize. Of course, there are the bare facts of the planet we live on, the bodies we have, the oxygen we breathe, the fact that there are more of us, etc. But even the bare facts of life come to use filtered through complex mental lenses of which we are not aware and which let us see those bare facts and all the rest of the world in a certain way.

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Dec 2015
20,340
20,858
Arizona
Very informative!

Deconstruction starts with the realization that all of reality is constructed. This is so because we can only see, i.e. understand, what we can place in an interpretative structure of understanding. When applied to faith and belief systems deconstruction can have dire, but ultimately healthy, consequences. The movement of those who deconstruct and leave their faith is growing in America. It can no longer be ignored.

When I studied at an evangelical seminary in the Mid-West I encountered the term deconstruction for the first time. I heard it being whispered in the margin of classes on hermeneutics and systematic theology. Before I knew what was happening, I was in the midst of the deconstruction of my theology and soon my faith. On the one hand, I knew what I was doing on the other I didn’t really know why it was happening; only that it was necessary and that there was no way back.

For many at this seminary, deconstruction was the dreaded monster that equaled falling away from the faith. For others, it was a social activity that they participated in only to abandon it again as soon as they got a call to a pastorate. On the other side were those, a minority to be sure, who pursued deconstruction and went down the slippery slope of I-don’t-know-what-is-beyond-but let’s-do-it. Some lost faith altogether while others found faith beyond the boundaries of their previous faith.
So what is deconstruction? What is faith deconstruction? And why should I care?

Deconstruction is to understand the constructed nature of human reality

It all started with the postmodern philosophers, notably Jacques Derrida, a French philosopher of the second half of the 20th century, who did much work to lay bare the hidden assumptions behind that which we assume to be our world. Analyzing texts he pointed out how all of human reality is constructed by humans themselves in ways they don’t recognize. Of course, there are the bare facts of the planet we live on, the bodies we have, the oxygen we breathe, the fact that there are more of us, etc. But even the bare facts of life come to use filtered through complex mental lenses of which we are not aware and which let us see those bare facts and all the rest of the world in a certain way.

View attachment 5774
Whoa. My brain feels like I just finished slurping a Tasty Freeze. I seriously doubt if you'll get many responses to this piece because 'War and Peace' was easier to read, but as an educator, I loved the art of deconstruction, although I'm sure I used it in a much simpler form. Breaking things down into smaller pieces and then putting them back together is part of everyday life. We may not realize were using it, but we are. All the time.
It's also useful in our relationships with people---the mistakes we make in our lives---and how to correct those mistakes---how to create a road map BACK to Central City.
So.....I guess I can understand the strategy of deconstruction in religion and the author makes some good points, but how many Christians have the time or inclination to contemplate their belly buttons---which is basically what the author is selling.
Most of us question our faith on a daily basis and when we do we go through mental gymnastics. WE step into the witness stand and prepare to be cross-examined. That's deconstruction. Unfortunately, there are just too many people who refuse to question their own faith--their own ethics--their own failings because they JUST don't see them or won't admit to them, no matter how often they are "called " on them.
People (Christian or not) don't like to be wrong. Deconstruction smacks of flaws. Most people just aren't interested in (as the author says) 'peeking behind the veil of our own reality'.
From the piece:
Deconstruction needs two elements for deconstruction to happen. First, there is the appearance of the anomaly. The systemic and absolutist nature of belief systems is specially designed to erase difference and to prevent the anomaly to appear. The second condition is an environment that fosters deconstruction. Such environments, oddly enough, often exist in places where you’ll find an official intolerance for them.
How many people are WILLING to SEE (admit to) the anomaly? How many people are willing to admit to intolerance?

The fact that you're posting this article of "faith" on a site overflowing with hard-headed GodFreaks AND committed Atheists/Agnostics probably isn't going to serve you well.....but I wish you luck. :)
 
Feb 2006
15,097
3,942
California
Whoa. My brain feels like I just finished slurping a Tasty Freeze. I seriously doubt if you'll get many responses to this piece because 'War and Peace' was easier to read, but as an educator, I loved the art of deconstruction, although I'm sure I used it in a much simpler form. Breaking things down into smaller pieces and then putting them back together is part of everyday life. We may not realize were using it, but we are. All the time.
It's also useful in our relationships with people---the mistakes we make in our lives---and how to correct those mistakes---how to create a road map BACK to Central City.
So.....I guess I can understand the strategy of deconstruction in religion and the author makes some good points, but how many Christians have the time or inclination to contemplate their belly buttons---which is basically what the author is selling.
Most of us question our faith on a daily basis and when we do we go through mental gymnastics. WE step into the witness stand and prepare to be cross-examined. That's deconstruction. Unfortunately, there are just too many people who refuse to question their own faith--their own ethics--their own failings because they JUST don't see them or won't admit to them, no matter how often they are "called " on them.
People (Christian or not) don't like to be wrong. Deconstruction smacks of flaws. Most people just aren't interested in (as the author says) 'peeking behind the veil of our own reality'.
From the piece:
Deconstruction needs two elements for deconstruction to happen. First, there is the appearance of the anomaly. The systemic and absolutist nature of belief systems is specially designed to erase difference and to prevent the anomaly to appear. The second condition is an environment that fosters deconstruction. Such environments, oddly enough, often exist in places where you’ll find an official intolerance for them.
How many people are WILLING to SEE (admit to) the anomaly? How many people are willing to admit to intolerance?

The fact that you're posting this article of "faith" on a site overflowing with hard-headed GodFreaks AND committed Atheists/Agnostics probably isn't going to serve you well.....but I wish you luck. :)
Love your last sentence, reminds me of Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities.... :)

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair …, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way …”
 
May 2019
755
27
USA
Faith Deconstruction:
Who'd of guessed there'd be such a thing as an all too dang lily brilliant white Evangelical black hole sucking up everything in sight as that Catholic Church megalomaniacal crusade dhimmitude servitude jihad where as before only black holes were off in outer space sucking up all the light, stars, planets & the such; but with a supreme swastika up Uranus court of a Christian Nation they can believe stupidly "man is God" fallaciously.