madness I tell you

so yesterday I signed up for the lucozade hydroactive 5k run in hyde park this september.

I am not a huge runner, although I have dabbled. I have run it before - twice - but have had two years out and have not run in that time. I am a bit scared.


Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

It's now been more than a day since I posted a reply to you for a question on Fulcrum and it has not been updated. I hope you don't mind me placing this comment here answering:


If you wish Jody, read this and erase, or make something more of your point and mine here.

1 [4085] Posted by: Pluralist Tuesday 10 July 2007 - 03:35pm

Thank you Jody for that. Do please get back to the evangelical defining debate. Gosh, I've just been reading a speaker that linked the nineteenth century debate about ritual to the distracting work of Satan. That's rather a distracting view of evengelicalism.

Let me answer. The position I stated to my church friend was one I called "radical doubt" (lots of radical things, it can get tedious) regarding the transcendent or not. It is one way I'm different from Cupitt, who philosophically rules it out because you cannot get outside language. I am indeed more sociological and social anthropological, and see where it overlaps with the theological. It follows on from Peter Berger, Thomas Luckmann, Robin Gill (much I don't go with), David Martin (in parts), Richard Niebuhr, Ernst Troeltsch, Max Weber indeed. But social anthropology I think gets to the heart of the functioning of religion, and deeper than that into actual theology.

In that I have this radical doubt position, but that there is delivery of the transcendent through culture in forms of language, then that is what there is. As individuals we process symbol and language, and send it back into the pot, but we also get hit by the collective language. Now it is a bit more complicated than this, because in the past there was a sacred canopy and you really were clobbered by a very narrow range of collective understandings. Now there are choices regarding the collective language, and no obvious home - but you can still pick a home, and choose a home, and walk in faith. This is what I have done. One reason why I am interested in liturgical expression is how that walk is constructed, and I am pretty much opposed to what I call the reductionism of my former rather painful existence in the Unitarians. Reductionism carries the myth that what is left is objective, a myth that what is left can more easily be shared (it can't; with remaining objectivity comes subjectivity that is its individualism) and religion needs remythologisation, whether on new or along historical lines, and even if new it ends up raiding concepts from the past (as in neo-Paganism). So the answer is that we are inside the carrying mechanism of the language and storing of language (therefore a library of our past) that in all effect can be no different from how anyone receives Christian believing, whatever they may speculate about its sources. I can identify (as anyone can) where the construction points have been, but I can say no more than that, nor whether they in fact come from some secret place that qualifies as revelation.

As for turning up with nothing, you do actually turn up with yourself. You give yourself (as well as money and support). I am not saying there is an automatic exchange - I am saying this is the economy of the eucharist, that the exchange involves hope and a gift. I am suggesting something like this: you turn up, give of yourself and your materiality, that the eucharistic tokens are themselves material, and that in your giving you may receive nothing, but you hope you receive something. The parallel is intercessionary prayer. You put in the effort and no idea what comes back, if anything, but you hope it does, and it does in the form of a gift. Of course you may disagree with this, but I am suggesting that it is theological and social anthropological.

Behind all this too is a theological approach that notes that Karl Barth's anti-cultural pure revelation God was so high and dry that it pretty much disappeared in any worldly anchored sense, and that the open postmodern approach where objectivity and subjectivity have collapsed have left a theology where the God within has pretty much disappeared, inside a kind of reforming and deforming instant moment spirituality. This is my position.

It is why I find all the boundary making of current debates (and the same sort of debate in the Unitarians by the way) just beyond where it is at.

Then in this there is what makes this Christian. Well, first of all it is the terms of the Western religious debate (a looser identification: one that theist Daphne Hampson identifies with, she gave up being Christian), secondly because of the ethical heart and reversals of the rabbi Jesus (with all the qualifications of historical difficulty), and thirdly the community of Christians in all their diversities through the ages, from the pre-trinitarian, through the trinitarian and all the varieties afterwards. So there is a tradition - refernce points - but really I do find orthodox uninteresing.

jody said...

Hi Adrian

I don't mind you leaving your comment here. I don't know what happened at Fulcrum, sometimes that happens (I know over easter it took ages) I'm sure your post will come up sometime soon.

I'd prefer to comment about this on Fulcrum, as it's more of an ongoing discussion. but one thing I am interested in is that you put Daphne Hampson down as a reason to describe your faith as Christian in some way. You agree that she is not a Christian but still describes herself as post-Christian because that is the terms of her self-definition, being so formed by Christianity. But even so, this is about being affected by Christianity, not identifying as such. Daphne Hampson thinks it impossible to be a feminist and a Christian, and she chooses feminism.

is it not impossible to be a pluralist and a Christian too? ;-)

Pluralist said...

Now where can I reply to that?

It is not easy, let's put it like that. It depends on carrying out the practice, drawing on the tradition, and relating to that in a primary way.