Dry Bones

People keep talking about Luke Timothy Johnson's article on the role of mysticism within religion that recently appeared in Commonweal. If you haven't read it, I suggest you do. Here is a link to it: Dry Bones: Why Religion Can't Live Without Mysticism by Luke Timothy Johnson. … [Read more...]

The Epistemology of Post-Fundamentalism

A friend of mine, formerly a devout Christian who is now an atheist (and, unfortunately, a rather bitter and cynical one at that), wrote this to me recently: I got into religion as a literal believer, and I became disappointed when I discovered that I was repeatedly lied to (the earth is not 6000 years old, for instance, and now I suspect that Jesus is not God in the flesh, any more than anyone else is anyway). Sigh.I understand his feeling of being lied to. But I am reminded of Meister … [Read more...]

Theology and Mysticism

Once upon a time, there was no difference between theology and mysticism, just like there was no difference between philosophy and science. Science ("natural philosophy") was an integral part of the quest for wisdom, just as mysticism ("ascetical theology") was an integral part of the quest for wisdom of God.Ken Wilber talks about how it was a good thing for humankind to reach the point where we were able to differentiate between "external" forms of wisdom (physics, chemistry, biology, etc.) … [Read more...]

Kings and Gods

Daniel Berrigan didn't just go away when the Viet Nam war ended. He's still around, and at 87, still teaching and writing.His new book is called The Kings and their Gods: The Pathology of Power. It's a Bible Study of I and II Kings, looking at some of the lessons in those Old Testament books concerning political power — and, in true Berrigan style, he asks some hard questions about how those ancient lessons are relevant to our perilous times … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

For Christ is revealed as the incarnation of God's love for us: he is the great lover, and the Church is his beloved, and we in her. Academic theology finds its coherence, literally comes into being as a possibility, as we find in Christ God loving us and longing for our love. And it is this response to God's love for us that is the central concern of spirituality. Prayer is in essence the loving pursuit of the beloved. The great part that silence plays in prayer has an analogy in the fact that … [Read more...]

Dogma, Dogmatically

My post yesterday on America's Unfaithful Faithful elicited some very interesting comments. Consider these snippets: Religion and Politics have one thing in common. They both make things more confusing. Religion is a passing phase in the story of mankind on earth. There is no Truth in it at all, so you may as well not bother looking. The only truth ever is within you, and you know it when you hear it. Sigh.When I wrote my first book (which came in 1997), one of the bad habits that my editor … [Read more...]

America’s Unfaithful Faithful

A recent study by the Pew Forum documents the growing "spiritual mobility" of Americans: more and more Americans are abandoning the religious affiliation of their upbringing and taking on a new religious or spiritual identity (or non-identity). Read an article about this study here.My friend who alerted me to this fascinating study notes, "What it says to me is that people are seeking something behind church doors that they aren't finding." I'd agree with that, but I also think it speaks to … [Read more...]


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