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Showing posts from February, 2010

Religion at Harvard

. . . to unsettle presumptions, to defamiliarize the familiar, to reveal what’s going on beneath and behind appearances . . . Louis Menand, professor and literary critic making the case for religion as a curriculum requirement at Harvard, quoted in Newsweek (February 22), Harvard's Crisis of Faith

Menand and others argue that university professors who sniff at religion box themselves into “slim silos of expertise,” trying in a “scientistic” approach to submit everything to empirical measurement.

Religion—the world of faith, thought, ethics, and belief—does not submit to scientific experiment, but Barbara Bradley Hagerty found that in experiments it persistently shows its face. Spiritual reality will not surrender the field because it IS “what’s going on beneath and behind appearances.”

Steven Pinker, popular evolutionary psychologist, leads the case against a religion requirement at Harvard. He derides religion by reducing it to superstition, witchcraft, and idol worship, pitching t…

Mind and matter again

A comment to Mind over matter came to me by email because it didn't fit into the comment box. It teaches, uplifts, and gives hope for the whole world, not only for our individual lives. I hope you like it as much as I do. Although it could also follow the posts under Science, I decided it begins a new category in my index—Post-Christian.

Sondra's words launch a definite turn in my thought frame—a post-Christian frame for thinking about spiritual reality.
Jeanette

YOUR UNLIMITED POSSIBILITIES by Sondra

It isn’t a matter of mind OVER matter. Matter is Mind in one of its many forms. Mind, consciousness, is the source of matter. Look around you at the nearest physical object, a chair, or a spoon. It is consciousness expressing itself in the form of the chair or spoon.

In reference to the quotes in Mind Over Matter 2 – Wm. James, Eric Butterworth, and the quote from the bible:
What all these people – and many others throughout the centuries, are saying, couched in the language…

Fun

Thanks to my daughter, you can laugh at Jeanette on Facebook girl singer

Man vs. myth again

I wonder how many still imagine Jesus pre-existing up in heaven and coming down to earth to save us. A quick Google search tells of Greek, Egyptian, and Hindu gods and goddesses who lived up in heaven and came down to help humans (echoing the cosmology spelled out in previous post). All of them pre-dated Jesus and Christianity.

Belief in the myth is fading, and it was never taught by Jesus. In a doc’s office, someone grinned over an evangelist canvassing her neighborhood with the question, “Have you been saved?” and her neighbor’s answer, “None of your G*#%& business!”

In God Is Not Three Guys in the Sky, I ask,
Saved from what? Eternal damnation? Residence in a condemned neighborhood? Hell-fire? Few people read the ancient phrases literally anymore.
I agree with Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong:
Jesus does not save us from a fall that never happened or restore us to a status that we have never had. He empowers us to be more deeply and fully human and to enter higher and higher…

Man vs. myth 4

I'm responding to emails I’ve gotten on the subject begun with Man vs myth.

How do I bridge Christian faith with universal spirituality? By distinguishing between the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith. For a full answer, go to God Is Not Three Guys in the Sky: Cherishing Christianity without Its Exclusive Claims, but you can also find answers by clicking on titles in my index. Try “Christ divine,” “Historical Jesus,” and “Myth.”

I often find myself in the middle of religion discussions, challenged by both sides but also bringing them together. And I feel progress from comments like the following. An atheist said, I do feel that you have more in common with atheists than with fundamentalists of any religious bent. Evidence and reason matter to you as more than fallbacks to buttress beliefs placed beyond inquiry. Another atheist shifted from scorning spirituality to valuing it: Thinking spiritually does not mean giving up critical thinking, nor giving up reason and rationality…