Paul Fromont points to this interview with James K.A. Smith in Cutting Edge magazine. Smith’s work has been provocative, and his last book Desiring the Kingdom is one of the best of 2010.

“…Jamie Smith / JS: What defines me is not primarily what I think, or even what I believe in terms of the propositions to which I give assent. What defines me is what I love, what I long for, what I desire. It’s located in the affective core of my person.

“To get that point is not a matter of “getting with it” in a postmodern culture. It’s not, “Oh, well, this is the new way of thinking about being human.” It’s actually just that a postmodern critique of modernism has been an opportunity for the Church to remember what we used to know. We can go back to appreciating a more holistic and affective picture of the human person.

…Caleb Maskell / CM: So this idea – that we’re chiefly defined as human beings by an account of the things that we love – is an older idea than the idea that we’re defined by our beliefs? It’s not just some newfangled postmodern innovation?

JS: Right. But nothing is wrong with believing. Believing is good. It’s just that believing is actually the articulation of what we love. It is a kind of understanding we have of God that can’t always be fully articulated. That’s why you can articulate what Christians believe, and it’s not wrong. But this sense that what really defines us is what we love; what we long for; what we desire. That picture of the human being as lover is an ancient picture. I think Saint Augustine is one of the people who articulates so powerfully that we are made for love. The question isn’t whether you love; it’s what you love.”

Cutting Edge Magazine

Elsewhere, book giveaway at Christians in Context

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