Tuesday, November 22, 2005


The incredible pain that's around in the Anglican Communion at the moment - not to mention the lascerations being inflicted around the globe more generally in the name of religion - Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist and more - put me in mind of this quote (below) from Rowan Williams' deeply moving and re-orienting book, The Wound of Knowledge. What a gift, both intellectual and spiritual, is being squandered by the warring in his Church right now! Also of relevance is the passionate statement, in a TV interview shortly before he died, from the heterodox playwright Dennis Potter - "What I have come to discover is that religion is the wound, not the bandage."

It is the intractable strangeness of the ground of belief that must constantly be allowed to challenge the fixed assumptions of religiosity: it is a given, whose question in each age is fundamentally one and the same. And the greatness of the Christian saints lies in their readiness to be questioned, judged, stripped naked, and left speechless by that which lies at the centre of their faith.

As distinct from performing those actions on others, note. Corrupt religion or ideology is that which puts the question, the task and the challenge of living on someone else (a scapegoat) 'out there' and exacts revenge on behalf of its fretful certainty. In this way, whatever its label, it becomes truly evil.

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