The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #112: Authenticity

General Introduction
– Listener feedback
– The Christian Feminist Podcast

Beginning with Grammar
– Reflection of essential being
– The trouble with the term
– Self-concept and projected self
– Inauthenticity and hypocrisy

Heideggerian Authenticity
– What makes Dasein Dasein?
– Death as Dasein’s ownmost
– Authenticity vs. genuineness
– Inauthentic attitudes toward death
– Heidegger as atheist Catholic

Sincerity and Authenticity
– Hegel as dividing line
– Relationships vs. oppositions
– Performance of social roles
– Freud comes in
– Back to Thoreau and King
– An attack on the rise of the New Left
– Authenticity in music

The Cult of the Authentic
– Authenticity as God-term
– “Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say”
– Pretending to believe something you don’t believe
– Postmodernism and authenticity
– Authenticity as institutional critique

The Authentic Establishment
– What is the face of Protestantism?
– The shift to the Megachurch
– An excuse for laziness?
– The reformers age into conservatives
Religion as devil-term

An Argument from Definition
– A stipulative definition
– Existence precedes essence
– Cultivating the self
– “Inauthenticity” among college students
– Faking it
– The contingency of human experience
– The virtue of constancy
– The post-sincerity posture and the perpetual meh

3 thoughts on “The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #112: Authenticity

  1. Enjoyed this show – certainly timely as we see a generation of students who seem, at least in part, to be struggling to find themselves and identify their own distinctives. I just came across this essay today, and on it the author riffs on the same theme, connecting authenticity (in it’s various forms) and the loss of rhetoric and meaningful and effective social/public discourse. http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2013/09/10284/

  2. I’m writing to thank you gentlemen for the hard work you’ve done in creating a very worthwhile project.
    I’m a relatively new listener to your podcast series. I’ve been working through your episodes for the past few months — I’m up to #57 on Libraries. But I also thought it’d be better to start listening to current episodes as well so that joining in the conversation would be possible.
    I live in Hong Kong, and have for a long time, although I was born and grew up in Iowa. I was an English major as an undergrad, and studied religion at the graduate level for a while back in the late 80s. (I gave it up on grounds of spiritual incompatibility.) In any case, many of my interests coincide with your choices of discussion topics.
    I thoroughly enjoyed this episode on authenticity. The word (and concept!) drive me mad at times. I’m Reformed by background, but through a chain of providential connections and unexpected developments, I’m deeply involved in a Methodist church here in Hong Kong. It’s an international congregation (at least 30 nationalities represented) that defaults to a ‘contemporary’ worship model for one service, and then a catch-all hymns-n-songs-n-liturgy-lite model for another service. 
    So far we’ve avoided worship wars, but the nagging question of what’s ‘authentic’ in our worship persists. On one hand we’ve got the Methodist liturgy, which retains some (although unfortunately not anywhere close to all) of the beauty, grace and clarity of the Book of Common Prayer (BTW, there’s an episode theme for you, i.e. the BoCP). On the other we’ve got members who long for guitar riffs inspired by the Spirit, and who believe that repeating the words of a written prayer ‘feels wrong’. We have good singing; we have bad singing. We have services whose parts complement and deepen each other; we have services in which it’s just one worshippy thing after another. I suspect we’re far from unique in this.
    What’s ironic — although perhaps not surprising — is that many of our Chinese members are attracted to the ‘traditional’ (read western) aspects of our church worship (and even our building), and it’s often westerners who want to leave it all behind for something more ‘authentic’. 
    So what does authenticity mean in this kind of setting? To paraphrase McIntyre (another episode recommendation), Whose Tradition? Which Authenticity? 
    Looking forward to your upcoming episode on Tradition!

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