MORE ECCLESIATICAL DEBATE
FIRST READ THIS
I don't know how you could come up with such an outlandish interpretation of what I said. For any new movement to survive, it has to well up, from the ground up. How you could interpret my words to be authoritarian and heirarchical is beyond me.
How I came up with it? Why, from your own words, dear; and the ones that were missing. You never said one word about the ground, or welling UP, or anybody in the laiety.
The second Axial Age occured worldwide during what we in the west consider the High Middle Age, roughly the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. This was the period when love mysticism flourished across all the traditions: in Christianity, the focus in spiritual writing turned from rules to direct experience of the divine in such writers as Bernard of Clairvaux. His 87 sermons on "The Song of Songs" are the flowering of love mysticism in the Christian west. Francis of Assisi's nature mysticism is a part of the same historical moment. At roughly the same time, Moses Maimonides was teaching the Empty Way of Love in the Jewish tradition. Sufism flowered in Islam, the Bhakti tradition was embraced in Hinduism and temporary monasticism became normative for all observents in much of the Buddhist tradition. Within a couple of hundred years, all of religious humankind had a change of imagination in the way they experienced their relationship with the transcendent and with each other.
You are talking about a GREAT AWAKENING, but you reference only a few writers, scholars, clerics, religious leaders who would have been known to almost no one in the world at the time. Are you saying that they somehow divined, and gave voice to other people's experience; or that they created it? Most people's lives in the eleven and twelve hundreds were still quite nasty, brutish and short. A small intellectual ferment within some parts of their Church would have had little effect on their meagre existence.
"Another such period occured in the 15th and 16th centuries, but this change of imagination was reactive, as humanity in much of the west (and parts of the east) bumped into the Enlightenment's early days" ... "The human imagination changed again and claimed a much smaller space for the individual in the human-divine relationship."
The human imagination? You mean, the imagination of the entire human race suddenly underwent some dramatic change, everywhere in the world, all at once? And in the 1400s and 1500s, before any of the major technological and social developments had occured, even in the West, or had time to settle in, and filter down to the average person's life? How? Did I miss the greatest miracle of all time, somehow?
"I would argue that the origins of our current opportunity for global mind change can be found in the first international Parliament of World Religions in 1893."
Funny, I don't remember voting for anyone in that parliament. Or receiving official notice of their acts. Or even ever hearing of it. And I'm sure no one else has either. Given the actual state of relations between the various religions since then, I can't see what effect it has had, other than in the minds of those parliamentarians. While the Catholic Church was celebrating and spreading ecumenicalism, right on through Vatican II, it was giving carte blanche to the Nazi's to slaughter Jews, Gypsies, Communists, gays, whoever. Or was that Parliament just for good churchly Christians?
"The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) produced an earthquake within Christianity--and, eventually, all of the great faith traditions--when it announced that salvation is a mystery and at least elements of it are present in all of the traditions."
Again, top-down. And no big earthquake in my parish. The bigots still hated each other, and the nice folks continued to get along just fine, no matter what our ecclesiastical masters were up to.
As to the rest of it, I think you need to get out more. I know how warm and comforting the atmosphere can be in academia, and ecclesiastica, especially in those churchy liberal theoretical kaffeklatsches, when everyone is hellbent on being heaven sent, and the world is on the verge of becoming one big wonderful Coke commercial, complete with a theme song. But the fact is, most people are turning away from organized religion. Most intelligent people don't even believe in God, as per any church. It has become a mark of ignorance and even stupidity, not to mention intolerance and prejudice, to believe in God, as most religions constitute Him. (It's still a him, right? Haven't heard from parliament, lately.) Not many sane people are listening, much less following church leaders and intellectuals, these days, thank God. Plenty are following the ad hoc sects' psycho leaders. Those who do are more likely to be strapping on a bomb for Allah, or a pistol for Jesus, as to be going all interfaith. That just ain't happening. Most Catholics I know are either hate-filled anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-modern bigots, or liberals who stop in for the wafer, and ignore the party line. Pretty much all the "non-conformist" Protestant sects, or their US descendants, are as bad, or worse.
Again, conscience comes from inside the head, not outside. Spirituality, too. It's nice, for them, that all these clerics have found a way to make a living off of our religiousity. But they didn't create it, and they rarely ever lead it. When they do, it isn't in some obscure parliament. It's that one famous little guy nailing stuff to a church door. And EVERYBODY knows his name. Or that other guy, up there on the cross. Now, name a third such influence in Christianity. I'll wait, along with the rest of the sheep here. Don't mind us if we go on munching.
Maybe it's the mulch that's making me come up with such outlandish intepretations. [urp]
Send comments to cosanostradamus AT excite DOT com.
- ratboy's anvil
- By Beauty Damned
- Shining Light In Dark Corners
- Just A Bump In The Beltway
- The American Street
- daily kos
TO POST A COMMENT: CLICK ON "COMMENTS," "Post a Comment" or "# of COMMENTS" just below the SOCIAL BOOKMARKING LINKS (Digg, Delicious, etc), about three inches down from here. Please do comment. Thank you.
IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM YOUR BLOGGERS:
Suggestion Box & Tip Jar We would like to make over this blog to make it easier to access, to read and to comment on. We would also like to serve our readers better by providing more of what you need and want to see. All serious suggestions will be considered. We hope to move to our own domain in the near future, and we would like to ask for your financial assistance in doing that, and in upgrading our hardware & software. Small one-time donations and larger long-term subscriptions are welcome. Exclusive advertising is also available. If you think we are wasting our time in doing all this, please let us know. If you wish to help us, now is the time. As always, negative bullsh*t from right-wing trolls will be sh*tcanned. Thank you to everyone else. Please send feedback & PayPal contributions to cosanostradamusATexciteDOTcom. Thanks.
SUPPORT OUR TROOPS: BRING THEM ALL HOME ALIVE, NOW!