By way of conclusion, let me return to the 'schizophrenisation' that Deleuze and Guattari view as therapeutic.80 In a chapter, called (after Engels and
Freud) 'The Holy Family', they offer a characterisation of one who lives as a schizo:
These men of desire — do they live yet? — are like Zarathustra. They know incredible sufferings, vertigos, and sicknesses. They have their spectres. They must reinvent each gesture. But such a man produces himself as a free man, irresponsible, solitary, and joyous, finally able to say and do something simple in his own name, without asking permission; a desire lacking nothing, a flux that overcomes barriers and codes, a name that no longer designates any ego whatever. He has simply ceased being afraid of becoming mad. He experiences and lives himself as the sublime sickness that will no longer affect him.81
The person is given over to the operations he performs, the desiring he produces and reproduces; as such this one is radically deterritorialised and gives way to the body without organs. What I am suggesting is that Christian theologians might re-think this figure in terms of Jesus as the Christ — viewing Christology as concerned with tracing and understanding the operations of Christ. I make such a proposal on the basis of trying to recover something of the 'otherness' of Christ for contemporary Christology. If Christ reveals to us what it is to be human, we cannot simply project our images of being human onto the figure of Christ. We have then to wrestle with and deconstruct the language and the categories we use to speak about this incarnate one. The early Church Fathers like Tertullian and Athanasius were emphatic that at every moment of his historical existence Jesus Christ did not cease being God.82 It was by not ceasing to be God that human beings could become deified. The figure of the schizo I take, then, as a figure for the rethinking of what is human — 'do they live yet?' Of course, for Deleuze and Guattari, this experience of schizoid living is the product of capitalism's liberation of the flows of desire. But there is a correlation between the spirit of Christianity and capitalism that Marx, Weber and Benjamin (among others) have noted. Elsewhere I have argued how Marx understood capitalism as fundamentally an idolatrous form of religion — a religion in which the operations of a transcendent God become fetishised in terms of money or gold.83 But the true schizo living — that Deleuze and Guattari recognise as intrinsic to any social production and reproduction, even in precapitalist times/places,84 because inseparable from the socius as
82 See Tertullian, Adversus Marcionem, ii.27, and Athanasius, Contra Arianos, i.42.
83 See 'The Commodification of Religion or the Consummation of Capitalism' in Slavoj zizek and Creston Davis eds., Political Ontologies (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, forthcoming).
84 Anti-Oedipus, p. 139.
such — transgresses such fetishism, transgresses all codings of desire. There might then be theological value in examining further this schizo Christ who produces, through his unique operations, the deterritorialised Church — which, if not exactly a body without organs, might, in terms of Paul's first Letter to the Corinthians (12.12—31), be understood as a body in which the differences between organs are only epiphenomenal: 'many members, yet one body'. A schizo Christology, already announcing a theological anthropology, would lead then to a schizo ecclesiology: a true socius. But that is another essay.
Was this article helpful?