What I have been mulling over for years! I do not agree with his assessment of the awareness of animals but this has not blocked my appreciation of the book. BTW I think John Lennon was channeling this when he wrote Imagine........
I found this book to be extremely valuable in my on going religious journey. Geering has laid an anthropological and historical basis for where we are today in the evolution of religion. His emphasis on the need for a more environmentally oriented God for tommorow is also provacative, although perhaps less convincing.
I would recommend the book for religious "searchers" whose minds keep pushing them to develop a religion they can embrace in the scientific and post-modern age.
5,0 su 5 stelleTHE THEOLOGIAN SAYS THAT “GLOBAL WORLD” MUST NOW FOCUS ON THE EARTH
23 marzo 2018 - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Lloyd George Geering (born 1918) is a New Zealand theologian and minister who faced charges of heresy from the Presbyterian church in 1967 for his views; he is Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. He has written other books such as From the Big Bang to God,Reimagining God: The Faith Journey of a Modern Heretic,Christian Faith at the Crossroads,Coming Back to Earth from gods, to God, to Gaia,Wrestling With God,The World to Come: From Christian Past to Global Future, etc.
He wrote in the Introduction to this 2000 book, “If religion is defined as the human concern to find meaning in existence, then this book is about religion in general and Christianity in particular. Yet this book is in no way an exposition or defense of conventional Christianity; consequently it is not intended for those who are committed to the belief that the ultimate meaning of life has already been revealed by the God who created the universe. The traditional religious answers to the basic questions of human existence no longer satisfy to the degree they once did and an increasing number of thoughtful people tend now to say they are not religious. This book is chiefly for them.”
He wonders, “The human species has gradually developed self-consciousness… Even the worlds we live in … turn out to be largely our own construction… But how did the human psyche come to have this creative power?... the inanimate universe must have had the potential for life from the beginning… but also the potential for human self-consciousness … In the same way, we must conclude, the creativity present in the human psyche is simply a manifestation of the creativity potentially present in the universe itself.” (Pg. 71) Later, he adds, “Human existence is the quest for meaning---meaning for ourselves, meaning for human society, meaning for the cosmos. It is the quest for meaning, and not the possession of final answers, which is the key to human existence.” (Pg. 81)
He observes, “the great symbol-systems of the religious traditions are disintegrating and the great symbols are losing their power. The current crisis faced by traditional Christianity is due to the decline of the dualistic view of reality… Heaven and hell symbolized the issues of ultimate personal destiny… The Christ figure symbolized our need to be saved from the worst we can do to ourselves. These great symbols are no longer pregnant with meaning as they once were… What, if anything, is to be done abut the death of symbols? Nothing needs to be done wherever symbols have died … where they have outlived their usefulness due to changing cultural conditions. It is a different matter, however, with those symbols so basic that they provided people with their sense of identity or purpose in life.” (Pg. 126)
He suggests, “the abolition of purgatory [by the Reformers] was a step towards secularization… it turned human attention back to the world. It had the effect of upgrading the importance of everything one does during this earthly life, for it implied that, since there is no intermediate state between death and the final judgment, one’s death closes off all further options concerning one’s final destiny. There is no second chance: on death one is consigned immediately either to heaven or to hell. Thus attention became more focused on life in the here and now and the importance attached to everything one does. That is the basis of this-worldliness or secularization.” (Pg. 140)
He states, “Unlike the dualistic character of the Christian world, the new global world is monistic. That means that the universe is conceived as essentially one… It means further that the former rigid dividing line between matter and spirit had been eliminated; in the global world reality is experienced as psycho-physical in that the more obviously physical earth has the capacity to bring forth first life and then thought. This monistic… character of the global world is the reason for calling it SECULAR… And the body of objective knowledge which forms the raw material for our common construction of the global world is secular knowledge.” (Pg. 159)
He notes, “The meaning system (or religion) which is appropriate for the global world must therefore clearly focus on the earth. We have evolved out of the earth and we remain dependent on it for our well-being… We cannot even venture out into space the tiniest distance without taking with us a little bit of the very earth itself. But this does not mean that we should simply venerate the earth in the way ancients venerated the earth mother Gaia.” (Pg. 189)
He concludes, “we need to show our concern for a future world that we ourselves shall never enter. This calls for the kind of self-sacrificing love which has long been affirmed in the Christian tradition and symbolized as the way of the cross. This is no more than a glimpse of the way the Christian path of faith may reappear to serve human needs within the global world. Whether we choose to use the word God, or not… is a matter of personal choice… what is important are the supreme values we come to associate with such time-honored words as God, and the responsibilities to which those values call us. If we choose to speak of God, we shall be using the term to focus on all that we supremely value and on the goals which make human existence meaningful and worthwhile; and there is no thing and no place in which we do not encounter this God… this God is to be found in all living creatures. But most of all, this God is rising to self-awareness in the, as yet, confused collective consciousness of the global human community. This is tomorrow’s God, calling us from a world yet to be created. But, to create this world, this God has no hands but our hands, no voice but our voice, no mind but our mind, and no plan for the future except what we plan.” (Pg. 194)
This book will be of keen interest to those studying contemporary/progressive/Radical Christianity.
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