Who's afraid of metanarratives?

This past spring I wrote an extended paper discussing the importance of a controlling narrative in the formation of the human person and how Moses sets up the narrative of the exodus as the controlling narrative for the people in Israel in his instruction to them in the book of Deuteronomy. I read a lot of Michael Polanyi in developing my argument, but I'm now realizing that it would have also have been helpful to interact with Jean-Francois Lyotard. After commenting that the definition of postmodernism is "incredulity toward metanarratives" in his "Postmodern Condition," he later writes (15),

This breaking up of the grand Narratives...leads to what some authors analyze in terms of the dissolution of the social bond and the disintegration of social aggregates into a mass of individual atoms thrown into the absurdity of Brownian motion. Nothing of the kind is happening: this point of view, it seems to me, is haunted by the paradisaic representation of a lost "organic" society...There is no need to resort to some fiction of social origins to establish that language games are the minimum relation required for society to exist: even before he is born, if only by the name he is given, the human child is already positioned as the referent in the story recounted by those around him, in relation to which he will inevitably chart his course.

What Lyotard seems to be arguing is that even though postmoderns do act as those who are suspicious of controlling narratives, it remains an inescapable part of being human that we are shaped and conditioned by those stories into which we are born and we eventually accept as our own. Incredulity is not the same as separation.

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