Subversive Orthodox-Atheism

Mathews George
Published in
1 min readAug 26, 2023


This post narrates the concept of the development of an “Orthodox-subversive atheism” put forward by Mothy Varkey in his book Daivarajya Bhoopadangal (Kottayam: Concord Publications) 2021.

Photo by Hugues de BUYER-MIMEURE on Unsplash

The Romans considered christians atheists because they refused to worship the Roman God (often the emperors themselves). The early Christians believed and worshipped a crucified God — Jesus the Christ. Such a conception of God undermined the divine ontology of the Roman God who was conceived as immutable and impassible, therefore, without vulnerabilities.

The christian ontology of a crucified God poked a hole in this conception which threatened the empire, thus leading to persecution of the “atheists”. Varkey points out that such an “atheism” is a subversive one, that is rooted in the faith in a crucified God or cruciform divinity. Citing Zizek, Varkey states that it is the courage to be stamped as atheists, which is the route to a cruciform godliness.

How do you convey this pastorally?

It might face some difficulties explaining this, but with patience, the potency of this idea can be impactful communicated. Also, this concept has to be distinguished from other forms of atheism, so that it may not cause confusion!