Brown, Derek. “Palestine”, Boston College, 2016. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:106983.
This project seeks to critique the occupation of Palestine with the categories and methods of a critical theological aesthetics. The theological aesthetics employed here is critical because it develops Theodor Adorno’s aesthetic project: beauty is dialectical, historical, and, above all, negative. Beauty is negative as it is founded on renunciation: beauty renounces ugliness. Adorno’s project is advanced through an encounter with Christ. Christ, as witnessed on the Cross, is the absolute fulfillment of negative beauty: Christ, who is absolutely personal, material, and relational, renounces renunciation itself. This fulfillment of negative beauty demands engagement and participation: to follow Christ is to do beauty; it is to renounce ugliness in a beautiful way. The occupation of Palestine, especially revealed through the phenomenon of suicide bombing, stands as an unsettling and dark ugliness. Because the occupation is funded and supported by so-called Christian Zionists, it is an occupation that challenges that character of God. Because occupation works aesthetically to occupy flesh and relationship, it is an occupation that desacralizes the living image of God. This demands prompt renunciation and beatification.