THEOLOGY & CHURCH
“Yam of God? Biblical proof that Jesus was a walking, talking plant person” – This post gave me a good laugh. Taking Biblical literalism to its satirical extreme, it makes a very good case for why Jesus was the Son of Plant.
- “The not-so-ridiculous reasons people leave church” – a quick summary of the genuine reasons people leave churches, in light of the way people within churches dismiss the validity of ex-church members’ negative experiences. For me it raises the question, when will church leaders actually start listening to those of us who’ve been hurt by the church’s social structures or who raise genuine concerns?
- “What do ‘certificates of purity’ communicate to sexual assault survivors?” – More really quite disturbing reports of the evolving face of conservative Christian purity culture. Further reading here: patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/category/purity
- Sr Joan Chittister, the dissident nun, shares her secret life – I don’t have enough words of praise for how Sr Joan’s wonderful writings have inspired my own faith. I have barely scratched the surface of her works but I find myself often bringing to mind little snippets of her wisdom. What a powerful intellect and marvellous writer. I found this short article about her life before religious vows interesting – it adds another layer to how I understand her writings.
- This month I’m taking a course in Astronomy through Open Universities Australia’s free Open2Study short courses. The course is a four-week introductory overview of the science of astronomy, major breakthroughs (including, refreshingly, frequent acknowledgement of women’s contributions to science) and some mind-blowing, awe-inspiring discussions about our wonderful universe. The course is presented by a radio astronomy researcher and lecturer from Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia.
As I’ve mentioned previously, though I have a lifelong love of science, for many years my particular social circumstances meant that my only exposure to scientific progress was heavily mediated by the selected reporting and interpreting of the creationist community. There were lots of reasons for this and as I’m completely disinterested in engaging in any debate (it’s just too dualistic and feels unnecessarily divisive and other people are far better at it than I), taking courses like this one has helped bring me up-to-date with current scientific understandings of the origin, expansion and development of the universe. One thing I’ve found particularly helpful in the Astronomy course is the clear explanation of what, exactly, are scientific theories (they’re not just vague hypotheses) and I have formed a far more accurate understanding of the process of the scientific method as it pertains to astronomy.
The course makes me think of Franciscan priest Fr Richard Rohr’s comment (which from memory I think was in this particular lecture) that scientists are far better than most religious folks at being humble before their incomplete understanding of the universe – where fundamentalism wants the black-and-white truth and wants it right now, science is able to take its time and explore the possibilities.