Jesus Christ, Cosmic Disrupter

More words from Žižek, this time on Christianity rupturing the pagan order:

“On the one hand there is the pagan Cosmos, the Divine hierarchical order of cosmic Principles, which, applied to society, produces the image of a congruent edifice in which each member has its own place . […] The very core of pagan Wisdom lies in its insight into this cosmic balance of hierarchically ordered Principles – more precisely, into the eternal circuit of the cosmic catastrophe (derailment) and the restoration of the Order through just punishment. […] [T]oday such an attitude is artificially revived in the multitude of New Age approaches to nature and society.

Christianity (and in its own way, Buddhism) introduced into this global balanced cosmic Order a principle that is totally foreign to it, a principle which, measured by the standards of pagan cosmology, cannot but appear as a monstrous distortion: the principle according to which each individual has immediate access to universality (of nirvana, of the Holy Spirit, or, today, of human Rights and freedoms): I can participate in this universal dimension directly, irrespective of my special place within the global social order.”

Žižek also goes on to compare Darth Vader to Jesus (seriously: immaculate conception, prophesies fulfilled, work with me here),

“Since the ideological universe of Star Wars is the New Age pagan universe, it is quite significant that its central figure of Evil should echo Christ – within the pagan horizon, the Event of Christ is the ultimate scandal.”

So there you go, a stumbling block to the Jews, foolishness to the Greeks and Darth Vader to the New Age crowd. Edit: Ross Douthat posted Rene Girard’s take on Christ as the disrupter of the pagan cosmic order on Friday. For those that find Žižek confusing at times (that is to say, everyone) this might clarify things a bit – at least on the point of punishment and justice.