Thursday, February 23, 2006
On the relevance of Christianity
I suppose I have been trying to formulate a somewhat complicated position about religion in my postings - basically I think that the organized formal religion, with its various dogmas and theologies, is very much beside the point. We should not judge religion based on these flimsy, laughable justifications for power structures, control and aggression. The modern and much thriving fundamentalism is nothing but a base variation of the 19th century positivist science, in itself a very primitive and destructive world view. The essence of religion is somewhere else, in something that can never be satisfactorily formulated, in the silences and gaps of our experience. I have earlier quoted Larkin's "Church Going" in relation to this point - it is a serious house, on serious earth, and not irrelevant at all to our civilization. I believe that our experience of the world is at heart mystical, something beyond words and formal thought. Religion, in its purest form, when stripped of all pretensions to power, captures this mystical nature of experience much better than wholly rational and materialistic enlightenment thought. This is not to posit any supernatural beings or "true" theologies, but to express the opinion that certain dimensions are inherent in our being in the world, and that we will be less serious, less belonging if we ignore them. This is why Christianity still matters, or should crucially matter to us. What was thought and said 2000 years ago, was a universal message - whatever its origins.