Comments: after the firestorm

Surely religion is true in the way that Peggotty is true and Barkis, and Aunt Trotwood and Mr Dick and the donkies ? .....

And 'a snake came to my water-trough on a hot hot day / and I in pyjamas for the heat / to drink there.'

And the Greek myths and the Mabinogion ....

And the worlds and works of Blake, Purcell and Byrd, Matisse and van Gogh, Wagner and R. Strauss; and Plath, Sexton and Mrs Gaskell ......
.............

Posted by L Roberts at Thursday, 21 February 2008 at 12:43pm GMT

I understand that it is the liberals in the Church of Norway who are fighting to retain establishment to prevent the fundamentalists from taking over, so there's that. Sadly, it seems to me that it is far too late for the C of E to "establish" any sort of credibility with the vast majority of the British, generally a fairly open-minded and tolerant people who have been increasingly alienated from the the "Church of England" as it has become more and more an Evangelical sect that says that they are not good enough to be members of the Church (IMHO).

Posted by Prior Aelred at Thursday, 21 February 2008 at 3:05pm GMT

L. Roberts:

Hmmm. Perhaps I am poetically impaired, but I find it difficult to fathom what you are trying to say here. About the best I can do is: Religion is true the way fictional characters, myths and works of art are true. If so, I would say that true religion is not less, but it is certainly much more. However, it may be that I have missed your point entirely.

Steven

Posted by Steven at Thursday, 21 February 2008 at 3:24pm GMT

"If, say, the Economist got its way and the Church of England were disestablished, and replaced by the American model of a confusion of sects all competing for votes, what could stop them responding to the popular demand for a condemnation of Islam?"

As I write from the land of "confusion of sects all competing for votes", I still disagree w/ Brown.

In a democratic society (See, NOT like Iraq!), the "sects" learn to take a certain minimal responsibility for keeping the peace, and those who forthrightly go about "demanding... a condemnation of Islam" are likely to be censured by their co-religionists.

Beyond that, as an American Anglican (i.e., TEC) to me it seems as if the established CofE meets the *very definition* of that type of church which the author of Revelation condemned at Laodicea: to be spit out, as "neither cold nor hot."

Yes, the CofE *COULD* turn into just another foaming-at-the-mouth sect: icy cold at heart towards just the sort of people that their (nominal) Lord embraced...

...but isn't it just as likely, in a *changed world* of disestablishment---where the nutter sects are no less "official" than the (former!) national church, and thereby become nutter-magnets---that the disestablished CofE could (pardon me, John Wesley!) experience a WARMING of its collective heart? Reflect the loving kindness of the Nazarean Carpenter---HOTLY passionate for justice? (i.e., become TEC w/ draftier naves? ;-p)

Come, Lord Christ!

Posted by JCF at Thursday, 21 February 2008 at 7:13pm GMT

People make a living writing stuff like this ......

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Thursday, 21 February 2008 at 10:28pm GMT

Steven I am in no positon to assess your degree of 'poetic impairment'-if any.

However, you seem to have got my drift !

You may want to read the DH Lawrence poem 'Snake' in its entirety, perhaps.I probably should have given it in full. A great challenge.

For myself, I can't see how religion could be 'truer' than a work of art (verbal, visual etc). But would this mean the doctrines of religion, the rites, the Scriptures, other writings , OR the rites when enacted and 'performed' in a living act of worship / theatre ?

I am very fond of Peggotty and find it hard to beleive that there was a time before she enctered our lives. Jesus too resonates for me through stories, hymns, choruses, and pictures. He may have been a historical figure, like Dr Johnson. However, for me Dr Johnson has taken on the quality of one reached through reading--though Ilove visitin his house, of course. I ahve visited Jesus' house in Walsingham too, and Mary too has felt and does feel very real at times. I particlarly like N. Slee's poems called Mary.

For me, and many truth is this subjective, varied, plural, inter-subjective, whimsical and likely to be contested within, as well as without.

Larence and Slee say it better.

UA Fanthorpe is wonderful on the relationship between history and subjectivity.

Posted by L Roberts at Thursday, 21 February 2008 at 10:46pm GMT

Hi L Roberts & Steven-

What you say about 'religion' may or may not be true, but how is 'religion' (whatever 'religion ' is) directly relevant to being a believer in Christ? The earliest believers had no sacred buildings, no formal 'liturgy', no sacrifice, no priesthood. They were 'real-life' people, not religion people.

In schools today we learn about religion in a rather fundamentalist 'one-size-fits-all' contortion of the facts. It is so obviously more scholarly not to presuppose that any given raw data will conform to one's preconceived idea of 'religion'. Maybe it will; maybe it won't.

Posted by Christopher Shell at Saturday, 1 March 2008 at 2:11pm GMT
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