Batch 2 2018 — Identity (Valedictory edition)
by Sarah Bacaller
Loss, whether material, relational or conceptual, poses a challenge to human resilience and aspiration, yet is pivotal to selfhood. Paradoxically, the stringent reassertion of particular markers of fixed or tribal identity can bind identity to loss, failing to recognise that dynamic selfhood grows beyond itself in experiencing loss or contradiction. How is movement through and beyond loss resourced? How is the reality of contradiction affirmed and maintained, without remaining an all encompassing, defining reality?
Time moves on. What seemed insurmountable yesterday, passes today; crisis narratives heralding doom are exposed as false prophecies tomorrow. If there seems no reason to keep going on, human resilience keeps going on because, unjustifiably, it chooses to … even when contradiction cannot be resolved. This going on is itself a way of surmounting contradiction, whilst importantly recognising the real loss prefacing new gain. Reaching beyond what is, despite what is, human resilience negates its negation (Hegel). Selfhood expands to integrate or determine itself in relation to negation in looking to the next moment of becoming.
If identity is ‘in Christ’, this need not invoke static or defensive assertions of tribal identity toward ‘threats’ of contradiction. Actually, it represents continual willingness, courage and faith to become more than what any loss may suggest.
Sarah Bacaller is a tutor and research assistant in Christian Thought and History at Stirling Theological College.
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© Stirling Theological College, 2018. ISSN (online): 2207-5860. ISSN-L: 1324-6623. This copyright material may be reproduced if acknowledgment is given, except where otherwise indicated. Editors: Sarah Bacaller and Sam Curkpatrick. Consulting Editor: Stephen Curkpatrick. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org