Barry Taylor is someone I respect very much. He’s written a wonderful post about where he thinks the Christian faith is going after the death of God and the death of the self (what I would call the death of metaphysics). Here’s a taste:
It would seem that the consciousness of the world has changed. Mark I. Wallace, in his book, Fragments of the Spirit, names both the ‘de-priviledging of metaphysics’ and the ‘erasure of the self’ as two significant challenges to Christianity in the third millennium. What does this mean? Well to me, it heralds a shift in human self-understanding away from the subjective and static view of the self, bequeathed to us by the Greeks and others that has driven our understanding of the self for centuries. I believe this is being eclipsed by a more mobile and fluid understanding of the self, where inwardness is not of prime focus. Two things going on for me–we can reference ourselves without a working hypothesis of God (Vattimo) and we can now consider ourselves without the anthropocentric impulse of the Enlightenment.
What are the implications of this? Well, they are immense. It throws into question how we engage with life, ourselves, each other. It challenges assumptions about what is prioritized in religion–’spiritual disciplines’ for instance, in that I believe that most disciplines are rooted in ideas of the self that no longer hold true (at least for me) and therefore must be revisited. I also think we are liberated to pray as Jesus invited us to pray, i.e. communally–’our father’–it is a form of prayer not anchored to a technology of inwardness.