Saturday, 20 March 2004

weekend columns

Geoffrey Rowell writes in the Times, Our fantasies and fears can beget terrible consequences. Here is a portion:

To flourish as human beings we need to be delivered from the fears and fantasies which threaten to overwhelm us, and which can distort and destroy our humanity. The Christian teachers of spiritual wisdom point us insistently to the God whose perfect love casts out fear.
In the Gospels Jesus stills a storm on the Lake of Galilee, when the disciples are overcome with fear that the boat will capsize and they will drown. The old mythology of the chaos monster of the deep echoes in this story, but Jesus shows Himself as Lord of the wind and the sea. Immediately after this story there is another, of a man possessed by a multitude of demons, and again, just as the wind and sea are stilled with a word of peace, so the inner chaos and conflict of the possessed man is overcome by a word of peace and deliverance.
The biblical writers insist that there is one fear which is both necessary and not destructive. It is that “fear of the Lord” that is the beginning of wisdom. But what is meant by this “fear” is something akin to awe, and reverence, and wonder. It is a fear, the great Byzantine saint, Maximos the Confessor, tells us which is “linked with love and constantly produces reverence in the soul”. This awesome wonder is at the heart of the prayer of adoration in which we come before God in our need and seeking His grace, that we may be rooted and grounded in love, a love which meets our deepest needs and so dispels the fears and terrors of the night, of whatever kind.

In the Telegraph Christopher Howse’s column is about the Templeton Prize winner, When science met spirituality.

George Ellis is a 64-year-old Quaker who lives in South Africa, and he tussled in the 1970s with the apartheid government, drawing attention to the injustices done to squatters in the Western Cape. He has not won the prize for this, but for his work on cosmology and religion.
Dr Ellis has outstanding qualifications to speak about the science of cosmology, being a professor of applied mathematics who has co-authored a book with Stephen Hawking (The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time, 1973).

Mark Vernon writes in the Guardian about Resources for living.

On one level, it is no surprise that corporations are bad at coping with existential crises, or, indeed, the deep desires and longings that can lie behind love affairs. There are also positive signs that organisations can make space for their human assets to genuinely care for themselves, such as the option of a four-day week.
But beware. When the company says it wants you to flourish, it can only have your goodwill at heart to the extent that it maximises your creative output, your commercial surplus value. Life is to be found elsewhere.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 20 March 2004 at 2:00 PM GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion