Below is the very last of a series of articles corresponding to chapters of the book Preis der Sterblichkeit: Christentum und Neuer Humanismus (Freiburg im Bresgau: Verlag Herder, 2015), edited by Kurt Appel, translated by Rachel Thomas. English editor, Carl Raschke. This volume of essays represents one of the major works in the new Catholic “cultural humanism” from Central Europe.
Prayer as Opening and Re-Creation of the Symbolic Order (Mk 6:30-46)
Following the second philosophical digression, another dimension of prayer will be considered in this chapter, namely, prayer as a reconfiguration and opening of our symbolic order. J. B. Metz emphasizes that the “language of prayer remains full of painful discretion” and “does not condemn the person addressed”. J. Reikerstorfer notes “that the lament even more than the affirmative language of praise and thanksgiving preserves the unapproachability of God himself”.
Both thinkers have placed prayer in the context of the memory of suffering as an experience of resistance against injustice, distress and apathy. It is important that prayer also questions the existing symbolic order of our world as well as our thinking and does not call on God to legitimize it, but confesses his name in seeking to change it. In order to explain how prayer is to be understood ontologically as the beginning of a new world, as a departure from the closed aeon, I would like to draw on an event which has a special meaning within the Bible. That is the so-called “multiplication of the loaves”. How incongruous this title sounds remains to be explained. It is told in all the Gospels, twice in Matthew and Mark. For the following explanations Mk 6:30 – 46 should be cited:
The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest”. So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place”, they said, “and it’s already very late. Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat”. But he answered, “You give them something to eat”. They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?” “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.” When they found out, they said, “Five – and two fish”. Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand. Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray (Mk 6:30-46)
The context of this pericope is the sending forth the apostles (6:7-13). They return from their work and are completely exhausted by the teaching they have conducted. What is initially evoked in this context is, in the Deuteronomic tradition, the formation of Israel (and, for Christianity, the Church) as a learning community. The content of this doctrine is, as contextualized by the Gospel of Mark, the Kingdom of God. Jesus impresses upon his followers this doctrine Jesus not just intellectually, but also inject it into the innermost fibers of the human body. In this context, again and again, his “authority” over the unclean spirits is underscored (eg. Mk 6: 7). That is because the old symbolic order, which dominates the linguistic, physical and social body, is called “demonic”; it is deeply hostile to life, disorienting and destroying personality. In the center of our existence are forces that lead people into the abyss of death and loneliness.
Jesus unburdens his twelve disciples by instructing them to rest. Then, as the crowd persists in pursuing them, he performs the teachings himself. His motivation is to get tot he heart of what is meant by the kingdom of God. He allows himself to be overcome by the misery and want of the assembled crowd. Or, to put it more precisely, he allows their confusion to be felt in his very inner being. This response expresses a key attribute of the divine itself, which is quintessential to the name of the YHWH – his compassionate care for his own people. The injuries, distress, and confusion of the crowd pierces to the very core of Jesus’ body, which becomes the resonant space for the very place of God, and thus the new heavenly palace of the divine court. God’s old Occidental residence in heaven, or in the temple, where heaven was able to touch the earth, is now transposed into the resonant space of a body in which the suffering of the people resounds and a site of compassion and mercy can be carved out.
This scene is crucial for understanding our remarks that follow. In place of the ancient geography of the heavens, temples, cult, and earth, the body of Jesus emerges as a concrete continuation of Old Testament prophetic geography, focused on YHWH’s compassion extending all the way to the divine entrails. The palace of God as a frame of reference for sacred symbolic order is transformed into a shared space of perception, a space which finds concrete forms of expression in the teaching and the life of Jesus and those who follow him. The tremendous effort made by such a reorientation of the present world is immediately made clear to the reader of the Gospel.
Enter the twelve apostles now after taking a rest. It is evening, the hours subject to death (V 35). Spatially, our attention is drawn to the “remoteness” (V 35) of the place where Jesus is active. The “desert” or “remoteness” (êrhmoj) at the same time conjures up another association. It is the place of the demons and thus the ancient locus of disorientation in which the subject is destroyed.
The Twelve apparently urge Jesus to dismiss the people, the expanded group of followers, so that they can buy something to eat (V 16). But they also seem anxious to go to the “villages,” to return to civilization and not be exposed to the demonic threat of the desert. Although the symbolic order of civilization, although ominous on its own account, has been superseded in the basileia of Jesus, it has not yet been fortified to withstand the threat of the desert. In his general commentary on the Gospel of Mark
B. Stareert attempts very sensitively to show that this gospel was probably read in the Easter service celebration of the Roman congregations and that the catechumens should be understood as belonging to the eschatological Christian community. The gospel is about a radical change in the symbolic order of knowledge and life, which, if Starzertert is correct, leads the catechumen first through baptism into a life-threatening desert experience in order to arrive on Easter morning in the eschatological community of the Church. The same is happening in this pericope. The crowd has begun to receive the teachings of Jesus, but it would be dangerous to leave them in the “desert” alone.
The arguments of the Twelve are therefore not only concerned with the necessity of food, but also with the question of what is reasonable for the people. What they disregard is the fact that their return to the present social conditions in the villages also poses a great danger. The danger lies in the futility of previous attempts at teaching and learning, together with the threat of a return to the “fleshpots” of Egypt with their inherent inverted and inhuman orders. As B. Standaert notes there are good reasons why the text – through the injunction that people return to their homes – alludes to 1 Kings 22:17.
In this passage such a return is bound up with the sad fact that the scattered crowd no longer has any “master”, no frame of orientation. Jesus does not respond directly to the suggestion made by the twelve, but instead directs their attention to “eating”. The twelve had been so busy teaching that they did not even “have a chance to eat” (v. 31). The same goes for the crowd, which is why Jesus instructs the twelve to “give them something to eat” (v. 37). This establishes a connection to 2 Kings 4:42-44, where the prophet Elisha saves his own disciples from most dire hunger, thus proving himself the representative of the “lord”, which is in itself an indirect response to the twelve. Their question, “should we buy bread for 200 denarii …” (V 37) highlights what is a subtly implied danger of a futile exodus from the old symbolic order. Within two verses (V 36.37), twelve of the Twelve use the word “buy” in connection with food.
The peril is that, even though the disciples are supposed to have the kingdom of God as their chief focus, they are nonetheless preoccupied with the issue of money and purchasing food for the people . At this point, the reader is distracted from keeping their attention on God, who is the addressee of the prayer. There seems to be “no Lord” (1 Kings 22:17) who could make a turn from the order of exchange and the transactional economy.
Jesus does not embrace this logic, rather he responds with the question, “How many loaves do you have?” And the two commands “Go” and “See” (V 38). Both requests, taken together, suggest that what ensues will be a change in their perspective. The change comes about slowly, starting with sight of the five loaves and two fishes. The text steers suggests that eating is not merely about the intake of food, but about a real meal, a feast. Even if the amount of bread, as well as the number of fishes, is ridiculously meager, as well as that of the fish, something much more significant is taking place than a simple act of eating .
Of great importance is the next command in which Jesus directs the “crowd” to sit down on the grass in groups and for the disciples to distribute the food. (V 39). Two levels of meaning are thus evoked. First, the transition from the disorderly crowd to the grouping of the people is an important step in the exodus (cf. Ex 18). But more important is the reference to the “green grass”. So far, there has only been talk of the desert in which the scene plays out. Now our attention is called to the presence of grass. It is beginning to take on a view that is able to open up the previous marginal existence to new life perspectives.
The final verse (V 41) brings the crucial turnaround. What is not described in this verse is the multiplication of the loaves. However, in Jesus’ word and deed there is a massive resonance with the Eucharistic event, evoked by the sequence of “taking”, “blessing”, “breaking” and “giving”, which is interrupted only by the view to the “heaven” of which from YHWH fed his exodus people with the manna.
Analogous to the celebration of the Eucharist, a change takes place in this sequence and, as with the feeding of manna in the wilderness, a preparation for the Exodus commences. Contrary to the common exegetical scheme often used in the case of the multiplication of the loaves of bread, we are suddenly immersed in this decisive verse, in a prayer of Jesus. We are confronted with a tremendous creative power that thoroughly alters the import of the text. What Jesus brings into being is a completely new kind of landscape. It is a landscape characterized by abundance and a general mood of festivity. As in the Eucharistic conversion, where the order of being shaped by bread and wine morphs into the veritable body of Jesus, we have here a transformation of the demonic desert into the eschatological, signified by a festive gathering of the liberated people of God. Time passes into the seventh day.
It is critical not to forget the starting point of the narrative. The whole scene is set in motion by the fact that Jesus is shaken to his very viscera by the wounds of the “old” world, and as a result of this new sensibility becomes the voice of YHWH. This union of Jesus-YHWH expands in time in the pericope cited here, stretching from exodus (manna feeding) to the Eucharistic feast of basileia. There is also a great spatial arc from Jesus to the Twelve and the multitude to the sky, and also a qualitative one, ranging from the desert and its bleakness to the green grass and the bounty of bread and fish. The image of a poverty turns to one of plenty. The new symbolic order, that of the kingdom of God, is characterized by unlimited creative power – the new creation of a nourishing world along with an affectivity in which the name of God is realized in the person of Jesus.
This decisive movement takes us far beyond a request-and-receive schema of prayer, insofar as the whole world is transformed through the creative word of blessing. Of course, the question of the historicity of such a scene arises because it automatically raises the problem for us of what we have to expect from prayer. Two interpretations, which are usually regarded as opposed, fall short. Neither say that the miracle of the bread is to be understood allegorically, but that it has nothing to do with objective, or physical, reality.
It would be equally wrong to misconstrue the miracle historically if somehow we were to produce a filmed documentary about Jesus. Rather, it is all about a totally new symbolic order, one behind which there is no “other” objective reality that can not be abstracted from the actors as well as the readers and hearers of the story. Prayer has shattered the old symbolic orders while opening the door for new ones, those in which the creative power, joy, and sensitivity of the social and individual body can manifest more profoundly.
What is required is a “devaluation” of all images that have accompanied and constituted the previous world in order to create it anew. At this point, the transition of images leads to a change in the temporal setting. The miracle of Jesus’ feeding links the manna miracle of the Exodus to the Eucharistic feast of the eschaton. The reader is thus faced with the radical occasion of the festival itself, in which previous temporal instances are suspended and the interlocking chain of cause and effect is fractured.
At this juncture we can begin to appreciate the skillfulness of Mark’s description. At no point is Jesus portrayed as the one who “multiplies” the loaves and the fishes, thereby becoming simply one causal agent among others. The scene is now set for an eruption of exuberant and free creativity, one which no longer can be measured by the necessities of the past, but one that generates a whole new symbolic order. At the same time, the tremendous difficulty in arriving at such a change in perspective is implied here by the gospel itself. Soon after this incident, Jesus’ colleagues once more ask, “Where will one be able to satisfy this crowd with bread in the desert?”(Mk 8:4) Then in 9:16 the disciples “discuss among themselves that there is not enough bread.”
The implication here becomes difficult to square with the subsequent history of Christianity. The implication is that immersing oneself in a world that runs deeper than our sensory and affective “desert” is freer than the sphere of causality. That is the most difficult task human beings face. In this view prayer does not eventuate merely in an objectively, or subjectively, perceived new world. Instead the coordinates are reset so dramatically that an entirely different mode of understanding is demanded, an opening that extends into one’s inner being, one that allows us to enter into the world of the miracle.
Perhaps then the conclusion of the sequence of verses is obvious. Jesus bids farewell to the crowd that is now equipped for new vision and hearing, that is released into their responsibility as Exodus people. Jesus enacts the whole scene with a prayer, because even for him this radical openness and creativity is possible only in a constant correlation with the life-giving symbolic order of the father.
Prayer as Translation of the Subject
Jesus ‘connection with the Father is presented in a very special way in the Gospel of John, where Jesus’ own words to his disciples characteristically transition into prayer to the Father (John 14-17). Jesus emphasizes, as this gospel states, “The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority” (Jn 14:10). This sentence expresses something that pervades biblical and ecclesiastical prayer, that is, a shifting and translating of the subject.
At the beginning of this section the idea of the heavenly court was mentioned. The biblical palace was presented as God’s court, populated by angels, and one of its main duties besides God’s praise is to bring earthly prayers before God. Indeed, entire communities conform to this pattern (see the Book of Revelations, in which the letters to the seven churches are addressed to their angels), just as individuals have their associated angels as representatives in heaven. “Behold, ye do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you, ‘Their angels in the heavens are constantly watching the face of my Father in the heavens'” (Matthew 18:10), Jesus teaches his disciples.
The centrality of representative prayer pervades the entire Christian tradition. One prays for the other, the living for the living, the dead for life, the living for the dead, the deceased for the dead, angels for the living and the dead, etc. Theologically even more significant is the fact that the dogma of the Trinity has its origin in prayer, not in ontological considerations. Since God is always in relationship, we are always in relationship to God. It is not only the case that Christian prayer to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit invokes the name of the triune God, but more so that the Christian prayer gesture is usually such as “in the Spirit through the Son to the Father.” If we look at the Psalter, here, too, the worshiper prays, Christianly, through the mediation of Jesus, David, the Spirit, or even Israel.
But what is the meaning of this peculiar structure of prayer? Could it also contain an indication of what Jesus meant by the commandment, “not to babble like the heathen who say they are heard with their many words” (Mt 6: 7)? This question has an unprecedented dimension to it, the problem of translation.
When the Son prays to the Father in the Spirit, there is at least a twofold translation and shift of the praying subject until prayer reaches the addressee. In addition, in the heavenly court those to whom one prays are interchangeable, such as in the case of the dead, of angels, etc. It seems that the praying subject is constituted as a translated subject before God. One could say that in prayer, the unvoiced subject becomes its own voice – or even the voice of the other – transforming itself from a singular existent into a fundamental openness. “We have an idea of this excellent possibility, which is the possibility itself of language, that is, the possibility of our being …the possibility of the world itself,” writes Jean-Luc Nancy in his book “Adoration” on this connection between prayer and openness to the world. Nevertheless, the fundamental transformation of the subject’s voice and orientation is also of key importance. Here we have a further, radical intensification of Hegel’s idea of the subject as “becoming-other-to-itself”.
In prayer, the subject interrupts the world, places it and himself in an intersubjective space, and directs it to a radical, indeterminate openness, to the other of himself. Thus, in prayer, a differentiated dialectic of subjectivation and de-subjectification takes place (or one could also say, a process of becoming a subject as a dialectic of ego-loss and ego-acquisition). We know from Lacan that a letter never sent never reaches its address. For every “self-expression” is always also an affirmation within the “great other,” within the symbolic order in which the subject is placed and from which it receives its recognition, orientation and language.
Human subjectivity takes place within the dialectic of the particular and the general, of speaking and being-spoken. To put it more forcefully, the human subject consists in the assumption that one’s own being is always in relation to another being, of a being that speaks and is spoken about, of a being for the other, of the unavailable opening that has been impacted by another. It is the answer to granted or denied recognition. Its actions and speaking are also the actions and speaking of others. Within this being the intersubjective relation is exceeded, especially if it were conceived as symmetrically contoured by other individuals, inasmuch as every single subject was already recognized as a subject in the first word and in the first gesture. Prayer provides the response to the word that the subject has already spoken consciously and unconsciously, although we should emphasize that response and demand are not understood in a causal or chronological sense, but are synchronous with each other. There is no word without response, no response without word.
Before returning to the matter of de-subjectification in prayer, it should be stressed that the meaning of prayer is not exhausted in a response to an opening and in addressing others. That is especially true when prayer is understood as the action of the praying subject. G. Lohfink is right in his criticism that modern day prayers are often not invocations of God, nor are they actions of worshippers. The problematic aspect of his book on prayer, which bears a questionable title, is that prayer does not just offer us a “home “(as if YHWH could ever become our home), but that prayer is the “conversation that God himself is.” Lohfink directly addresses the problematic nature of communication between God and human beings.
When reading his book, in which commendable exegetical observations are made as part of a very traditional theology of prayer, one wonders whether the problem of prayer for modern humanity can be traced straightforwardly back to our lack of moral effort, of a deficit in ecclesiastical oversight. Lohfink does not seem to have realized that direct access to God has itself become profoundly problematic, and it would be interesting to hear his view on what happened to all the unanswered prayers that characterize out epoch so dramatically. Did the worshippers saying those prayers not pray enough? As fas as the divine conversation within the Trinity is concerned (which, according to Lohfink, the person prayer should enter) shall we say sarcastically, “thank God, here at least we have deciphered the very nature of God’s internal communication, one that is evoked so often in a German-speaking culture with such tremendous faith in the science of linguistics?”
On the other hand, the moment of de-subjectification in prayer must be highlighted as well. This moment must not be contextualized within a familiar mystic tradition to the extent that the worshiper engages in the prayer of the Holy Spirit and thereby leaves behind his contingent, empirical existence. Rather, attention must be paid to the fact that the subject’s self-objectification means that the content of the prayer will never directly make it to the one to whom it is directed, especially if we are to assent to Lacan’s dictum that “a letter always reaches its destination”, and if it is not forgotten that “the signifier’s displacement determines the subjects’ acts, destiny, refusal, blindnesses, success, and fate.”
Jesus is reported to have made an unsettling remark that a belief, like a grain of mustard seed, is all that we need to tell a mountain: “Go from here to there,’ and it will go. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Mt 17:20). Apart from the always possible allegorical interpretations, the idea could arise in this saying that it was about a miracle of shift and displacement, in which case the mountain would become almost incidental. The core of the prayer lies, as suggested in the interpretation of Psalm 36, precisely in the fact that the name of God causes a displacement of the Word.
Against this background, one can perhaps recognize that the whole Gospel of John as a singular prayer guide, because in it Jesus repeatedly appears as the one who strangely deflects the questions and the desires of his interlocutor while never offering direct answers. So the essence of prayer is not that God responds directly to a request, but that in the prayer as request itself, there is a displacement and a shift. Even in prayer of intercession, the Christian cannot simply take the place of the other, since that would mean that the other becomes the reflection of one’s own desire. He or she can only take a place within the shift that is taking place, that is, semantically execute this previous shift in which the other becomes the subject at all.
Hence, prayer is not characterized by a linear cause-and-effect relationship. Indeed, it seems quite absurd to consider myself as the “cause” of the fulfilled wish of the other. Because I have prayed for you, God has given you this or that. It would be just as peculiar if I were to fulfill my own prayers (e.g., by virtue of the form they take, their intensity, or my own moral integrity). The institution of the priesthood can presumably be traced back in significant part to the hidden knowledge that prayers are not directly addressable in the sense that, within his church, the priest is responsible for the translation activity.. This necessity of translation suggests that desire, gratitude, or praise in which the worshiper opens up to the divine other will bring about a shift within God himself before their possible arrival.
As long as this shift – Guanzini made this point in her discussion of anamorphosis – has not taken place, the language remains mired in general imagery and phantasms. It would be their continuous and impersonal production, not the distinctive personality of the worshippers, but the respective imaginal output of the overarching symbolic order, which as shown earlier, aimed at obfuscating one’s own mortality. If we couch this argument in biblical terminology, one could say that it highlights the principal obsessions (“demons”) of the social body in which we are configured. In these “images”, the language and aims of prayer would dissolve, so that in the end only a self-referential mirror, the virtual surface of abstract desire, would remain, reflecting mere “nothingness” and eliminating our contingent individuality.
Overcoming this “demonology” entails a shifting of our supplications (as formulated by Lacan) in a transition from pleasure to desire where only prayer can attain its goal. This goal would then be to receive oneself as an individual in the transcendence of all images and fantasies. Or, if we may speak theologically, we can say that the meaning of prayer would be our subjectification before God. If love is where our ultimate subjectification is realized, then prayer would be the gift of love, through which we fully open ourselves to completely receiving our own name,and for each of us to receive our own calling.
Through the translation of our own imaginary such a gesture would require its own abandonment, so that prayer would produce a peculiar kind of emptiness and openness in which the subject would no longer be meaningful, but only identified and callable by name – for example, “Mariam!“. The reception of the name as callling would then, as described in John 20: 11-18, be the starting point of a second turn (the first was, lets remember, the turn away from the sphere of the “own” to a willingness to follow one’s beloved to the place of death), towards the witness and the vision of the Lord (“I have seen the Lord,” Jn 20:18).
At the center of Christian prayer is the “Our Father”, who calls the Christian to the basileia of YHWH. The approach of the basielia is marked by its manifold openings, so that Jesus could say: “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor” (Lk 7:22). The openness of basileia was intrinsically symbolized by Jesus’ name and the open wound of his body (John 19:34).
The consequence was a withdrawal into the affective space of Jesus’ vulnerable, compassionate, and open body, into its very bowels, along with the associated narrative landscapes. That became the calling of the Christian, in which his (or HIS) name is received. This receiving of one’s name expresses the special character of prayer, which is signified by overlays and shifts. From the Christian perspective, that name always consists of a superposition of two names (proper names and the names of the Messiah), an oscillating and never determinable center point.
Throughout the four parts of this book, we have attempted to show vulnerability and mortality as primary motifs of the “new” human being and thus of a new humanism. Mortality should not be understood as a transition to “nothingness”, but as the loss of all camouflages, images and forms that demarcate our existence. Heidegger rightly draws attention in Being and Time to the fact that our existence is a “Being-towards-death”. In this respect our mortality also indicates our individuality and irreplaceability.
What remains decisive is the displacement and (self-) displacement of the locatable and objectifiable subject. The objectivity of our existence, our positivity, is capable of succumbing to nothing or, is itself already an expression of it (as was shown in the context of the fall). However, if the subject embodies itself as a sensitive reference and openness to others, with a second skin of narratives, “notifications” – Benjamin might speak of “quotations” – as well as ever new porosities, it will be all the more vulnerable and remain and hence its special form of existence.
But the maximum injury that it can experience would be reduction to a mere object. Would this mean the annihilation of the subject, or would it rather be associated with a complete retreat, an absolute absence of the subject, which would nevertheless be accompanied by the ghostly presence of a “remnant”? Mortality first means the loss of positivity, that is, the possibility of objectifying the subject. Precisely because it is not positive, because it is not a disposable presence, the subject can step out of itself; it can feel, touch and be touched. Mere objects can never come into contact; each one remains self-enclosed within its own presence. It can die and thus avoid any kind of reciprocity with anything else. There is no indestructible core of the subject. Such a subjectivity presupposes the presence of a positive “something” that is alien to it. Also, the subject can not become “nothingness”, if the nothingness were interpreted as an objectifiable void.
The loss of positivity means that the subject can not be the object of a final narrative. Even the narratives in which we will have received the voice of the subject. Its wounds, occasions, and sensations can only anticipate the moment of their own disappearance, “for the world could not have room for the books that would be written” (Jn 21:24) ). It may easily be at this point that the prayer begins. When the subject has lost its positivity, when it is the completely open space “between” narratives, when “everything” has been said about it, and when its body is permeable to the other, when the images with which it was occupied have been translated into a calling that is no longer representable, when its voice begins to cross times and spaces, when it has become the price of mortality….
Kurt Appel is Professor of Fundamental Theology in the Catholic Faculty as well as director of the Center for Religion and Transformation at the University of Vienna. He is the author among many monographs of Zeit und Gott: Mythos und Logos der Zeit im Anschluss an Hegel und Schelling as well as Dem Leiden ein Gedächtnis geben with Johann Baptist Metz.
 J. B. Metz, Memoria passionis, Freiburg: Herder 2006, 98.
 J. Reikerstorfer, Weltfähiger Glaube. Theologisch-politische Schriften, Vienna/Berlin: Lit 2008, 181.
 The translation here is taken from the New International Version of the Bible.
 On this space of perception, see also M. Neri, Il corpo di Dio. Dire Gesù nella cultura contemporanea, Bologna: EDB 2010.
 B. Standaert, Marco. Vangelo di una notte. Vangelo per la vita. (3 vols), Bologna: EDB 2011.
 See B. Standaert, Marco, 383.
 J. L. Nancy, Deconstruction of Christianity 2. The Adoration, Zurich 2012, 9.
 J. Lacan, The Seminar on E. A. Poe’s The Purloined Letter, in: ders., Letters I, ed. by Norbert Haas, 31991, 9 – 41.
 G. Lohfink, Beten schenkt Heimat. Theologie und Praxis des christlichen Gebets, Freiburg: Herder 2010, 66.
 G. Lohfink, Beten 25.
 J. Lacan, Écrits, 30.
 J. Lacan, Écrits, 21.