(In this fifth section of my paper, “Metaphoring Manifold: The Plurality of Theopoetics,” I discuss the process stream that has deeply influenced the river of theopoetics.)
While the previous theologians in the streams of liberation and process have either contributed explicitly to the project of theopoetics or, at the very least, written about theopoetics, the next two theologians have only spent little time with the project. Yet, their contributions are just as significant as the previous streams. While the other streams would not be unfriendly to post-structuralism, the radical stream of theopoetics is the tributary most influenced by the French philosophy.
John Caputo draws upon Jacques Derrida, Continental philosophy, and Death of God theology to enter the stream of theopoetics. Caputo’s dabbling in the river of theopoetics is in part because of theopoetics’ insistence on the fragility and unknowability of language. Caputo says this about theopoetics:
“[Theopoetics is] a deployment of multiple discursive resources meant to give words to the event, but without miscasting it as a gift coming down from the sky (supernaturalism) and without laying claim to the high ground of the Concept (metaphysics) which dominates it from above, without asserting that one knows the secret, the code, the rule that governs events.”
Caputo’s interest in theopoetics lies upon the emphasis of possibility over certainty–especially within language itself. He even goes as far to posit that the word “God” itself invokes possibility rather than a linguistic sign that points to that which is absolute. In theopoetics, Caputo says, “the name of God is something to do, . . . the weakness of God must be addressed by the strength of a response, which is its chiasmic partner.” Therefore, the Derridian deconstructive element embedded within the nature of theopoetics in its relationship to language is the allure that engenders Caputo to trends its rushing waters…