Faith and Being

Schleiermacher: “The contemplation of the pious is the immediate consciousness of the universal existence of all finite things, in and through the Infinite, and of all temporal things in and through the Eternal. Religion is to seek this and find it in all that lives and moves, in all growth and change, in all doingContinue reading “Faith and Being”

Ultimate Concern

Tillich: “Faith is the state of being ultimately concerned. The content matters infinitely for the life of the believer, but it does not matter for the formal definition of faith. And this is the first step we have to make in order to understand the dynamics of faith.” If Paul Tillich has recognition in popularContinue reading “Ultimate Concern”

The Narrow Gate

Kierkegaard: “Only the Eternal is … always present, is always true. Only the Eternal applies to each human being, whatever his [or her] age may be. […] If there is, then, something eternal in [an individual], it must be able to exist and to be grasped within every change.” One of the critical mistranslations fromContinue reading “The Narrow Gate”

The Focus of Faith

Schleiermacher: “We should have fewer complaints of the increase of the sectarian spirit and of factious religious associations, if so many of the clergy were not without understanding of religious wants and emotions. Their stand-point generally is too low.” A bit earlier Schleiermacher makes the point that one would not go to an art enthusiastContinue reading “The Focus of Faith”

Exploring Faith

Creative change necessarily includes a phase of disorientation, when the certainties of a worm’s world are strangely no longer relevant and the new horizons of the butterfly’s world are still unclear. On the near side of this threshold of transformation committees of worms meet in earnest to decide how the old verities can be preservedContinue reading “Exploring Faith”

In a Nutshell

I conclude my conversations with Nietzsche, Watts and Heschel by summing up what I’ve learned. All of them were lights in their time, and each one spoke out of – and to – his particular cultural context. My re-reading of these authors has opened up a new insight, however, with regard to their respective placesContinue reading “In a Nutshell”

Polarity and Paradox

Heschel: “There are two ways in which the Bible speaks of the creation of [humanity]. In the first chapter of the Book of Genesis, which is devoted to the creation of the physical universe, [humanity] is described as having been created in the image and likeness of God. In the second chapter, which tells usContinue reading “Polarity and Paradox”