Saturday, February 6, 2016
Spiritual Revolution: Relationships & Renewal - Diana Butler Bass in Religion Dispatches
Religious historian Diana Butler Bass is a preeminent narrator of the decline of traditional religion and the emergence of progressive and spiritual-but-not-religious faith in the 21st century.
Her newest book, Grounded: Finding God in the World, A Spiritual Revolution, turns to contemporary science, both physical and social, for evidence of ongoing “Incarnation,” what the ancient Hebrews called Emanuel, or “G-d with us,” or what religion scholars call “panentheism”—God in everything.
Bass seeks out God in soil, water, sky, and in fellow human beings and their communities. “A shift in our conception of God is at the basis of a cultural reorganization, a cultural rebirth," she says. "The boundaries of religion, the architecture that we built for the old world has failed."
"As an institution, (the church) has failed to ask us to address the questions of poverty and class and color and ecology that really do advance the privilege of some at the expense of others."
"We need to have something that is better," Bass says. "[W]hat we have now doesn’t allow us to be who we need to be in order to save the planet, or an economic plain where people can have dignity across the world."
"One hopeful thing that I see," said Bass, "is the rewriting of theology in a new generation; people who are not afraid to ask questions that we’ve needed to ask for a long time."
"Institutions naturally do two things really well, and that is rules and rituals. They do relationships really poorly," says Bass. "That's the heart of this spiritual revolution (we're currently experiencing). We are developing a new relationship with nature and with one another in new patterns of human community."
"The question that I have is this: Can we build relationships and networks that are more about relationships and renewal?"
The full article is available here