Wednesday, June 8, 2011

New Visions of Divinity

Just read this article on Sarah Sentilles, who just wrote a book called Why I Broke Up with God.  There were a couple of passages in the article I loved:

"People assume I’m an atheist, but I’m not. I don’t know what I am, but if I had to choose a label I’d choose agnostic. When I say that people usually ask me if I think God exists, and I usually give them the answer that my teacher, Gordon Kaufman, used to give me: The question of God’s existence isn’t the right question because it won’t get you very far. It’s a question human beings can’t answer. If we take God’s mystery seriously, then we can never know. I think there are better questions that we can be answering: What does a particular vision of God do to those who submit to it and to those who won’t submit to it? What difference is my version of God making? Who is it harming? In one of his books, Kaufman writes, “The central question for theology... is a practical question. How are we to live? To what should we devote ourselves? To what causes give ourselves?” He argues that theology that does not contribute significantly to struggles against inhumanity and injustice has lost sight of its point of being."


"Are you hoping to just inform readers? Give them pleasure? Piss them off?

I am hoping to do all three. I hope to help people see the wide range of possible ways to think about God. There are so many more versions of God in the Christian theological tradition than most people know about. Why has our own tradition been kept from us? And I’m not just talking about feminist and liberation and black and womanist and queer theology, which I wish everyone would read. I’m also talking about the old white male theologians who wrote amazing stuff—like Freidrich Schleiermacher and Paul Tillich. These guys wrote powerful, revelatory, life- changing stuff about God, and I feel like most theology has been lost and forgotten, or just plain ignored. Communities need to reclaim their histories. I hope to help people expand their visions for God. And I hope that will be a pleasurable experience."


Posted via email from reannon's posterous

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