The Grammar of a Cultural Act: A Review of Matthew John Paul Tan's Justice, Unity, and the Hidden Christ. Eugene: Pickwick Publications, 2014.

Conor Thomas Sweeney

Abstract


This review engages claims about the form and telos of an act made by Matthew John Paul Tan in his Justice, Unity, and The Hidden Christ, against the backdrop of the fate of social justice and ecumenism after Vatican II. Tan argues that a post-conciliar failure to consider the social context and the cultural presuppositions of an act has led to the Church becoming a chaplain of the capitalist order of Liberalism rather than an embodiment of a distinct ‘politics’ of Christ. This review takes up a conversation with Tan’s thesis, focusing on the cultural construction of an act, the role of practices in the mediation of faith and belief, and the way in which Christianity can be a properly social embodiment, not of the practices of liberal capitalism, but of the practices of Love. 


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