Definition

Welcome to Parallax. A definition of parallax is: the apparent change in the position of an object resulting from the change in the direction or position from which it is viewed. This will ring true for those who read and study theology and philosophy and who try to discuss or apply them.

Slavoj Zizek has an interesting application of architectural parallax in his book ‘Living in the End Times’ (verso books.com) that is well worth reading.

Zizek refers to Hegel in order to more closely define parallax: “It is rather that, as Hegel would have put it, subject and object are inherently “mediated,” so that an “epistemological” shift in the subject’s point of view always reflects an “ontological” shift in the object itself.”

We can see this at play when we read of the theological shift in Philip Yancey, or the public apology of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa for theologically supporting apartheid, or more recently the voluntary closure of Exodus International (a controversial Christian ministry (sic) to heal or transform gay people back to heterosexual). When the view changes, we can be ontologically challenged!

2 responses to “Definition

  1. cskolnik

    I like this post a lot. It reminds me of William James on radical experience. If I might add, I think this mediation is a third that undermines the subject/object dichotomy in general.

    Liked by 1 person

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