A Spirituality blog from our Community

Archive for June, 2012

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“Shared joy is double joy and shared sorrow is half sorrow.” – Swedish proverb

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Salvation As Divinization

Michael J. Bonnell © 1999

Let’s leap straight into some Bible verses: “[Jesus said] I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:20a-21) “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20a) “[God] has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world”. (2 Peter 1:4) (more…)

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“Sow an act, and you reap a habit. Sow a habit, and you reap a character. Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.” – Charles Reade

Salvation As Liberation

In this session we focus on the first of the theories from the previous discussion which characterises our redemption through Christ in terms of liberation. At its core: Christ in his crucifixion identifies with us and shares our suffering; in his Resurrection Christ is victorious over all the powers that oppress us. The connotations this liberation has as a victory won by your leader in battle makes it rather different from moksha– an equivalent of salvation found in Indic religion which is usually translated as ‘liberation’, but means one’s individual release from the cycle of rebirth. (more…)

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“When in doubt tell the truth.” – Mark Twain

Comparative Theology and the Annunciation

Representation of Mary receiving the Holy Spirit, in the presence of the angel Gabriel.

Comparative theology is just what it sounds like: a dialectic between two or more religions based on their doctrinal solutions to the great problems of human existence rather than on their external forms of organisation and worship etc. The easiest way to do some comparative theology is two find two religious texts that are writing about the same thing and assess the similarities and differences.

We did something very similar near the start of these sessions when we contrasted a Babylonian creation myth with the Old Testament ones. Here, near the end of these sessions, we are going to look at the Annunciation, the announcement to Mary the mother of Jesus that she is to have an important son.  We are going to read a couple of  pieces from the Muslim scripture (the Qur’an) alongside an account from the New Testament.

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“If intelligent, informed and moral people leave the Church then the Church would be left in the hands of those who are stupid, ignorant and wicked, in which case the central proclamation of the Church would be whatever stupidity, ignorant and wickedness declares it to be… If intellectual rigour leaves the Church, then the Church will be left in the hands of stupid people. If tolerance leaves the Church, then the Church will be a haven for bigotry. If peacemakers leave the Church then the Church will become an instrument of war.” – Loyal Rue

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