Mediating the real - a native take

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This chapter reflects on the links between media and theology with a “native take” on the question of “What is real?” In the age of media, “fake” dominates and problematizes the inquiry for “what is true,” which intertwines with the question of the real. Jione launches from several starting points: from “the Real” in the footsteps of Jacques Lacan and Slavoj Žižek; from the not fully post-colonial Pasifika where “the real” drowns in troubled waters, thanks to nuclear testing nations and global climate injustice; from (is)lands where “the real” has been wiped out by the “great white flood” and the land and its resources have been stolen with the sanctions of the “doctrine of occupation”; from West Papua (still under occupation by Indonesia) where “the real” is ignored by international neighbours; and from the desktops of children and young people who obviously know more about the media world than old theologians. From these starting points, what’s real? How has media hidden and/or exposed the intersection of these real points?
Several “homing devises” (ideas that home) emerge: For the sake of critical theory, “the organic real” is obligating. For Pasifika, the cry for climate justice includes condemning nations that deposited 24,000 years half-life nuclear waste into the ocean that links all lands in the world. For postcolonial (is)lands, the settler ideologies and theologies that still govern them require decolonization. And for West Papua, simply, Merdeka – real, thorough, freedom. These homing devises are, easily, real in ideological and symbolic ways. To move them into materiality (which requires compensation) and justice (which requires negotiation) is a task for mediating theologies. Finding resemblances between media and nativehood (to coin a term), as in the features of liquidity and fluidity, Jione imagines that mediating theologies would devise as well as offer provisions for the organic real, including subjects who live under occupation and minded by carers who see them as empty and worthless (e.g., children and young people).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMEDIAting Theology
EditorsJione Havea
Place of PublicationGermany
PublisherEvangelische Verlagsanstalt GmbH
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9783374068128
ISBN (Print)9783374068111
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameContactZone: Explorations in Intercultural Theology


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