The Characteristics of [REL], 1 of 3

Having shifted up to the mode of existence itself, a general description of [REL] can now be provided. Three characteristics in particular can be noted.

First, religion experienced as [REL] will take the form of progressive composition. This contrasts with the Religion of the Moderns, which (as has been demonstrated in various posts above) is characterised by rigid institutional boundaries. This is not to say that [REL] will be disposed to lose its own demarcation or that it will tend towards becoming less distinct and more relativized over time (after all, Latour has demonstrated that the felicity conditions pertaining to its regime of truth are extremely stringent). But [REL] will be activated as it is reprised by multiple and heterogeneous entities functioning as actor-networks within the framework of the common world. The moment [REL] forecloses this possibility to itself and resolves into a settled and stable composition of some sort, it will calcify into a [DC] operation and regress into the institutional form of the Religion of the Moderns. Thus it will end up decaying like the manna that was hoarded in the desert: its ‘meaning is lost if you stop gathering it, collecting it’ (Latour, Rejoicing, or the Torments of Religious Speech, p.10).

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