mad in pursuit journal

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS, AT THE intersection OF the devil & a dog's life

God, 4

Maybe I've beaten this subject to death for the moment. But it is Sunday and even if you wake up to National Public Radio, you get a little dose of religion.

"On the Media" featured David Plotz, a columnist for Slate, who has decided to read and blog about the Bible. He is working his way through the Old Testament. I checked it out and it's pretty interesting and funny.

"Speaking of Faith" featured Martin Marty, historian of public religion, who is at the University of Chicago Divinity School and whose name I remember from my college days in that city. He gave me some insight into my current religious indifference, citing the upheavals of the Sixties — from the Second Vatican Council to the influx of Asian religious influence and a kind of anything goes attitude — for the emergence of pluralism and the shrinking back of mainstream Protestantism. I was there! He referred to northern Europe and northern US as the Spiritual Ice Belt, where religion and church-going is now of little importance in daily life. Guess that's where I am. However, I have to admit that I love thinking about the cultural and sociological —and even theological — aspects of religion.

Finally, I like how Marty distinguishes the "two kinds" of religion — not liberal vs conservative but "mean vs. non-mean." So I can support religion, as long as it's the non-mean variety.


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