The Gospel According to Adam Kotsko; And a Kotskotian Conspiracy

I recently checked the price of Adam Kotsko’s recent book The Politics of Redemption and fortunately it came up with “Look Inside” feature.  I came across a content and tone of writing that may not regularly surface over at AUFS (note well that I am saying nothing of how the two forms relate . . . yet).

Christ restores connections that have been cut off, yet he doesn’t repeat the logic of possession by trying to control those he encounters.  He forgives sins, but is remarkably reticent about how the forgiven should behave in the future, reflecting how often “sin” functions as a stigma rather than a good-faith moral assessment.  He is chastised for his self-indulgence, and in his interactions with others, he very often seems to playing with them.  His persuasiveness is therefore based not on rational argument, but first of all on his general way of being in the world – his simply willingness to be with people whom others shun or simply ignore, his evident enjoyment of them.  His way of being does not end just with him, but spreads to others as a kind of “contagious sovereignty,” an empowerment that is predicated on empowering others rather than dominating them.  Several of those he empowers are sent immediately to continue the work among their own people, implying that no implicit instruction is needed.  His actual public teaching fits within this general pattern, mobilizing surprise in order to invite his readers to come to their own conclusions, a technique that is perhaps also motivated by the sheer pleasure that accompanies an unexpected narrative or discursive twist.  Perhaps the clearest indication of Christ’s approach is the feeding of the multitude, where simple generosity and sharing result in a wholly unanticipated abundance.

Pages started breaking up too far apart to continue reading with any coherence after this quote.

Two things struck me.  First this could have been plucked almost directly out of some of Jean Vanier’s works (especially content related to fear that surrounds this quote).  Secondly this quote led me to a conspiracy theory.  The Adam Kotsko of AUFS is a kierkegaardian pseudonym of the same name (to further nuance the matter) introducing an aesthetic form to the clear the way for his later moral and dogmatic expressions.  It all makes sense now!


5 comments on “The Gospel According to Adam Kotsko; And a Kotskotian Conspiracy

  1. Maxwell says:

    This makes perfect sense to me David. I have long suspected that there were two of him.

    And congrats on the move by the way. I hope everything’s well for you.


  2. No, the conspiracy runs deeper. Both Adam Kotsko’s are the same person which makes this pseudonymous move all the more subtle and effective. We will eventually run asking (as I already have) who is this man? And our question will be turned upon us, who do they say I am?

  3. Adam Kotsko says:

    That’s an interesting way of creating an adjective form of my name. I’ve often thought “Kotskonian” would be best, but yours makes sense as well — in any case, it’s not a name that lends itself to an obvious adjective, which may well be my downfall in the academic world in the long run.

  4. skholiast says:

    Hmmmm…. You’re right. Come to think of it, I never seem to see Adam Kotsko and “Adam Kotsko” at the same time!
    In any case, the obvious adjectival construction, which I will now begin using forthwith, is Kotskoesque.

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