Engaging Crossan's Ideas:
To finish off this mini-series on the lovable Irish scholar, John Dominic Crossan, today we will interact with his scholarly arguments and conclusions (outlined in Monday's blog post).
Structuralism / Metaphor:
Crossan’s embrace of structuralism (the belief that language constructs reality) is self-referentially absurd. As many philosophers have noted, if structuralism were accurate, it would mean that we could cure HIV by simply ceasing to talk about it—no language of HIV = no infected patients = no further deaths from AIDS. Indeed, we could also conveniently do away with unpleasant historical realities like the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Black Plague, American slavery, and the Holocaust. As nearly everyone is aware, there is a real physical world beyond us, that exists and has objective properties that hold regardless of my particular beliefs. Words may have significant power and influence, but they do not change historical reality—they might alter the way people understand history, but that is not the same thing as constructing reality.