An accidental blog

"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Thursday, 23 February 2006

The philosophy and theology of kissing

Cynthia Nielsen's Per Caritem blog has a post on the philosophy of kissing, which includes the following:

Socratic kiss
. Really a Platonic kiss, but it's claimed to be the Socratic technique so it'll sound more authoritative; however, compared to most strictly Platonic kisses, Socratic kisses wander around a lot more and cover more ground.

Kantian kiss. A kiss that, eschewing inferior "phenomenal" contact, is performed entirely on the superior "noumenal" plane; though you don't actually feel it at all, you are, nonetheless, free to declare it the best kiss you've ever given or received.

Ben Myers, inspired by this, at Faith and theology looks at the theology of kissing:


Augustine: You awaken me to delight in your mouth, and my lips are restless until they're kissing you.

Luther: If the Word of God tells me to kiss, then I will kiss—and let the pope, the world and the devil be damned!

Adolf von Harnack: Jesus' own simple teaching about kissing was immediately eclipsed by the early Christians' Hellenistic approach to kissing.

Karl Barth: "I kiss you." There are three related problems to consider here. I kiss you. I kiss you. I kiss you.

Hans Urs von Balthasar
: Kissing is not only true and good, but it is beautiful.

Hans Küng: The Church's approach to kissing is in urgent need of the most radical and most far-reaching reform.

Wolfhart Pannenberg: One's first kiss is a proleptic anticipation of all that is still to come.

N. T. Wright: Every kiss is a dramatic enactment of our return from exile.

Billy Graham: Will you walk down the aisle and kiss me tonight? Will you do it tonight? You many never have another chance—you might be dead tomorrow!

Gerd Lüdemann
: After many years of careful research, I have decided to kiss my faith goodbye.


To which other have added:

Calvin(ism ): Even though you don't deserve me, I chose to kiss you.

Moltmann: A kiss is a present promise of the future hope. Yeah baby!

Karl Rahner
: We are all "anonymous kissers"

Marcus Borg: I'd like to kiss you again, for the first time.

Thomas Aquinas: "There are five ways to prove the existence of a kiss...."

Walter Brueggemann: "There is the kiss and the counterkiss and if one wins, we both lose."

Stanley Hauerwas
: "In the community established upon the principle of nonviolence, the question 'whom should I kiss' never arises - since to refuse to kiss is itself an act of violence. We kiss not because Jesus recommended it, but because in Jesus we discover that God is a kisser. So you'd all better damn well pucker up."

To which we might add:

Dooyeweerd: "Give us fifteen kisses - one for each modal aspect."

2 comments:

Paul said...

A Dooyeweerdian kiss is one that has no substance and no meaning.

It *is* meaning!

Cynthia Nielsen said...

Hi Steve,

I also would have added to the "top" of the list an "Augustinian-Kierkegaardian kiss"--i.e., a kiss that though having some dialectical tensions (at least from the human point of view), nonetheless, is permeated with passion.

I like your additions!

Best,
Cynthia