Re: MD Static and dynamic aspects of mysticism and religious experience

From: Sam Norton (
Date: Tue Dec 07 2004 - 10:24:05 GMT

  • Next message: Mark Steven Heyman: "Re: MD The Quality of Capitalism?"

    Hi Wim,

    Why do you accept a dictionary definition as the final answer? On this point I think the definitions
    in dictionaries are likely to be wrong, ie, the understanding they give cannot be separated from the
    wider philosophical culture in which they play a part (SOM), and so they are compromised. The
    understanding of theology I hold onto is a) that of the Church Fathers and b) that of the academic
    community that has formed me. I'm sure your understanding is perfectly consistent etc, I just don't
    think it's the only possible one.

    As for the Quaker/ Anglican balance, I wasn't trying to make a competitive point, which seems to be
    the mould in which you are wanting to pursue things. Which is odd, for the logic of that would seem
    to be, if more people choose to go from Anglicanism to Quakerism than the reverse, then Quakerism
    must be higher Quality. Is that really your argument? (I've asked my colleague for an answer to your
    question, so I'll let you know what he says. He might simply say that he hasn't stopped being a
    Quaker, of course). Perhaps it is vitally important to you that Quakerism be demonstrably better
    than Anglicanism (or, traditional Christianity more generally)? As opposed to simply 'the highest
    Quality option available to me at this time'? Surely these things are unknowable and unprovable this
    side of heaven, so they're not that productive a topic to pursue?

    > 'Third level competence' in religion is useful for a people that lives in
    > direct dependance on nature: perfecting religious rituals supports the
    > seasonal cycle of work needed to survive as a group in specific natural
    > circumstances. Certain instructions for food preparation in Tora, Bible and
    > Koran originally had use to safeguard collective health (in circumstances in
    > which hygiene was lacking). I don't think we (in the Netherlands and Great
    > Britain) need religion for stability and survival of our 3rd level patterns
    > of value any more.

    I'm not sure you're right about that last point - but I'll pursue it in the terrorism thread.


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