Saturday, 9 June 2007

columns on Saturday

Jonathan Sacks asks in The Times Can we really learn to love people who aren’t like us?

Christopher Howse writes about The Beautiful Names of God.

Mordechai Beck writes in the Guardian about The New Sanhedrin.

Clifford Longley writes in the Tablet about Catholic bishops and their approach to UK politics.

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times Remember that manners makyth man.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 9 June 2007 at 8:28am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

Howse's article on the beautiful names of God was poignant. In romantic moments, I often think that if the Hindu's were relaxed about the Abrahamic religions they would parallel their Brahmic model to the God of gods of the Abrahamic texts. The idea of the ultimate Creator.

Sacks poignantly asks if we can really love people who are not like ourselves? A more poignant question is can we survive if we do not love people who are not like ourselves?

I think God loves us all, for all our foibles and inadequacies. Even Richard Dawkins, I think redeeming Dawkins would bring pleasure to God.

Dawkins wakes up in Zion. "Oh, Zion exists".

"Yes", replies God.

"Oh, you exist" says Dawkins.

"Yes" says God.

"Oh" says Dawkins.

"Thanks for the meme theory", says God, "the priests were too busy preening in front of their mirrors to come up with anything innovative".

Snicker. That's worth a few months fun watching Dawkins squirm as he works out how to reconcile his insults with God's plan to move humanity forward.

Similarly with the secular state. One contemplation in the last few days is "What happened to the nunneries?" If the Catholics (and no other Christians) decided to close the only refuge women had from being passive wombs, pawns in power politics or abusives males: then who are they to complain if the secular state fills the void that the religious castes had abandoned?

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Saturday, 9 June 2007 at 12:13pm BST

Our Anglican realignment essay question for today, class, thanks to Rabbi Sacks: Can we Anglicans today join hands to become agents for peace against those who seek to globalise various doctrinal conflicts, condemnation, and religious policing?

I guess resisting realignment matters, after all. Maybe.

Posted by: drdanfee on Sunday, 10 June 2007 at 4:46pm BST

Sorry - why should Hindus borrow a concept outside of their own perfectly adequate concepts. They have the purest of concepts for transcendence in Brahman, and yet there is personality, and action is realised in Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, creator, sustainer, destroyer and recreator. Plus the stories of Krishna and rama cover all the human traits: Krishna is even a very naughty boy which, in Christianity, is confined to the marginal likes of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas where the boy Jesus drives his parents up the wall. Plus then ther are the deities that do important projects, rather like religious forms of present day consultants - and these deities all have a family structure. So, if you want a big blockage removing, remember you can call Ganesha on 01469...

Posted by: Pluralist on Monday, 11 June 2007 at 1:59pm BST

"why should Hindus borrow a concept outside of their own perfectly adequate concepts."

Or Christians for that matter.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Monday, 11 June 2007 at 3:37pm BST

Sorry, I didn't mean to make it sound like borrowing. It's more a romantic, ending of tower-of-babel curse thing that they recognise the parallels in thinking. A bit like Paul walking around the pagan statues and seeing one devoted to an "unknown god".

Considering the angst between some Hindus and some Abrahamic faith proponents, I was trying to suggest a way or pouring soothing oils.

I listened to a lovely sermon on the weekend, where the preacher talked about learning to recognise God's presence in all of Creation, including those of other faith. He suggested we try talking to that which is mutually understood, rather than pointing fingers at what is different.

The idea of the Ultimate Creator in Hindu theology, parallels the Abrahamic differentiation between prophets and God. It's a rough model that would not survive a nitpicker, but it is a useful basis for trying to be pleasant to each other.

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Tuesday, 12 June 2007 at 1:44am BST
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