“The intellectual coup d’etat by wich the Enlightenment convinced so many that ‘we now know that dead people don’t rise’ … goes hand in hand with the Enlightenment’s other proposals, not least that we have now come of age, that God can be kicked upstairs, that we can get on running the world however we want to … To that extent, the totalitarianism of the last century were simply among the varied manifestations of a larger totalitarianism of thought and culture against which postmodernity has now, and rightly in my view, rebelled. Who, after all, was it who didn’t want the dead to be raised? Not simply the intellectually timid or the rationalists. It was, and is, those in power, the social and intellectual tyrants and bullies; the Ceasars who would be threatened by a Lord of the world who had defeated the tyrant’s last weapon, death itself; the Herods who would be horrified at the post-mortem validation of the true King of the Jews. And this is the point where believing in the resurrection of Jesus suddenly ceases to be a matter of enquiring about an odd event in the first century and becomes a matter of rediscovering hope in the twenty-first century.”—Tom Wright: Surprised by Hope (London: SPCK, 2007), 86-87
I couldn’t say with accuracy why this is happening, none of us can really.
But what strikes me in all of this is that rioting and looting is not the behaviour of people with something to lose. If you have a job that you want to keep; a house you’re saving up for or A Levels that will take you…
“There are, after all, different types of ‘knowing’. Science studies the repeatable; history studies the unrepeatable. Caesar only crossed the Rubicon once, and if he’d crossed it again it would have meant something different the second time. There was, and could be, only one first landing on the moon. The fall of the second Jerusalem Temple took place in AD 70 and never happened again. Historians don’t of course see this as a problem, and are usually not shy about declaring that these events certainly took place, even though we can’t repeat them in the laboratory.”—Tom Wright: Surprised by Hope (London: SPCK, 2007), 75-76
“Death is the last weapon of the tyrant; and the point of the resurrection, despite much misunderstanding, is that death has been defeated. Ressurection is not the redescription of death; it is its overthrow, and with that the overthrow of those whose power depends on it.”—Tom Wright: Surprised by Hope (London: SPCK, 2007), 62