Language & Co: The Conditioning of God, a Foray

  • Gabriel Vahanian
Part of the Radical Theologies book series (RADT)


Despite Babel and the confusion of tongues, despite even Pentecost and all the speaking in tongues, “the heavens declare the glory of God; / the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; / night after night they display knowledge.” To which, while expectably an exulting psalmist might add that “there is no speech or language / where their voice is not heard,” an alternate if not more authentic reading of this last verse would have it bluntly state that “they have no speech, there are no words; / no sound is heard from them” (Psalm 19). Whatever the speech, there is none in and through which there is no language that is not fulfilled and none either that does not exhaust itself. In other words: Language is and has to be invented over and over again. Because language is as conducive to God as it is allergic to the idol that even God becomes when the idol is worshipped. For we must always remember that God is not a given.


World Religion Christian Religion Ultimate Concern Religious Socialism Theological Reflection 
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© Gabriel Vahanian 2014

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  • Gabriel Vahanian

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