What I’m Reading this Week:

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For all you philosophy phanatics – a superb article here on incarnation, excarnation, and what it means for human beings to increasingly lose their sense of touch in this digital age of ours:

“For all the fascination with bodies, our current technology is arguably exacerbating our carnal alienation. While offering us enormous freedoms of fantasy and encounter, digital eros may also be removing us further from the flesh.”

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/08/30/losing-our-touch/

 

On “Waking Up,” a new book by Sam Harris. If God is the “default vocabulary,” through what framework can/ should/do the religiously unaffiliated grapple with all of the Big Questions of meaning, existence, etc?

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/31/opinion/sunday/frank-bruni-between-godliness-and-godlessness.html?emc=edit_tnt_20140830&nlid=67821249&tntemail0=y&_r=0

 

In addition to adding another book to my reading list, this article gets at a lot of my questions about religious experience, God, and our attempts to make sense of and speak about all things ineffable.  And it resonates because I’ve felt that same sense of astonishing and overwhelming awe in the natural world. Most of us probably have. The need to describe and share those experiences inevitably runs smack-dab into the barriers of language. So we draw on the frameworks we know, have words for, identify with: Christianity, atheism, God, sort-of-God, science, etc. Perhaps though, the meaning we find is ineffable precisely because it points to something that exists far beyond any of these created categories – these small ‘t’ truths – and gets at something bigger. I won’t even try to say what (obviously).

http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2014/08/28/343952506/atheists-feel-awe-too

 

On anti-environmental Evangelicals (RaaaAARRrrrarrraghhgh!). This article outlines some of their history in the wake of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and closes nicely with this line: “let’s hope the EPA sticks with its proposal and doesn’t cave to those who struggle with truth (and telling it).”

http://religiondispatches.org/the-epa-and-evangelical-antienvironmentalism/

This one does what I cannot and makes an excellent case for Christian care for the environment:

http://ecotheo.org/2014/08/exploring-ecotheology-toward-a-christian-theology-of-creation/

 

Lastly, a little Dostoyevsky, who must’ve been tuned into that awe and mystery of Earth and nature:

“The autumn flowers, in the garden, were slumbering. The silence of the earth seemed to melt into the silence of the heavens. The mystery of earth was one with the mystery of the stars…Alyosha stood, gazed out before him and then suddenly threw himself down on the earth. He did not know why he embraced it. He could not have told why he longed so irresistibly to kiss it, to kiss it. But he kissed it weeping and watering it with his tears, and vowed passionately to love it, to love it forever and ever. ‘Water the earth with the tears of your joy and love those tears.’ His elder’s words echoed in his soul.” 

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