characters í Reinventing Liberal Christianity 104

characters Reinventing Liberal Christianity

characters í Reinventing Liberal Christianity 104 · [PDF] ✪ Reinventing Liberal Christianity By Theo Hobson – In this provocative book Theo Hobson addresses the current crisis of liberal Christianity In past years liberal Christianity challenged centuries of authoritarian tradition and had great politicLiberal Christianity today is widely dismissed as a watering down of the faith and conservative forms of Christianity are increasingly dominant Can the liberal Christian tradition recover its influenceHobson puts forth a bold theory about why liberal Christianity collapsed and how it can be reinvented He argues that a simple revival is not possible because liber. The book sounded interesting but was uite disappointed Hobson gives the history of liberal Christianity in detail pointing out the myriad of ways it has fallen short in his opinion That is not necessarily a criticism as I agree with much of what he says My disappointments fall under three things He needlessly in my opinion uses large words perhaps to come across as a scholarly work but could have gotten his point across while making the book easier to read He also focuses heavily on the negative ie what various peopledenominationsgovernmentsetc did wrong and hardly at all on positive contributions or solutions Which brings me to my final disappointment which was what shot my rating down He ends the book with a few ifs such as If the church would do this thenand then comes out and finishes with paraphrasing Can we come up with things that will reinvent liberal Christianity for the better Only God knows Really He could at least come up with some suggestions that could carry the conversation further It feels like I read half of a book only to find that the author died before he could finish

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Al Christianity consists of two traditions a good tradition that must be salvaged and a bad tradition that must be repudiated Reinventing Liberal Christianity untangles these two traditions with a fascinating survey of Christian thought from the Reformation to the present and further aims to transform liberal Christianity through the rediscovery of faith and ritu. This was an odd book didn't finish it but focus is on the church's relationship with the liberal state To put it in 18th century English terms he seems to be advocating Erastianism where the church serves the state

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Reinventing Liberal ChristianityIn this provocative book Theo Hobson addresses the current crisis of liberal Christianity In past years liberal Christianity challenged centuries of authoritarian tradition and had great political influence It played a major role in the founding of the United States and gave rise to the secular liberalism that we take for granted But Reinventing Liberal ePUB #199. I picked up this book not knowing what to expect but it turned out to be uite interesting being in large part a history of church state relations thoughout the centuries The author points out that you’d think people who are concerned about Christianity being dominated by fundamentalism legalism and reaction would articulate their opposition in rational discourse otherwise known as “liberal” Christianity But this has generally been flawed because as the rational aspects of Christianity developed it lost what made it uniue in the first place its cultic ceremonial practices and their mythic appeal Hobson is principally concerned with Protestant Christianity which in its reaction against what it considered to be superstitious Catholic practices went to the other extreme and threw out most ritual practices as a manipulative tool of clerical power Historically there was some justification for such charges We are presently in a state though where a liberal humanism has replaced liberal religion “liberal” in this context meaning close to “ rational” and as the Enlightenment of the l8th cetnury gained power rationality meant and that the religious non rational elments became superfluous For all of its history the church has existed alongside the state either in opposition to it or with the conversion of Constantine in the 4th century in cooperation with it Religion for centuries was seen as a necessity for morality and in that sense only a religious person could be a good citizern Atheists could not be tolerated as an atheist had no loyalty to the order reprsented by the church and the state This idea was particularly undermined by the American experiment of the late lth century one that made the “wall” of separation between church and state one of its guiding principles Opponents were appalled without the recognition of Christian morality any country would devolve into anarchy and ultimate ruin On the other hand Jefferson and his followers saw the guiding principles of Christianity being not supernaturally inspired but merely rules of behavior which could be determined logically and rationally The role of the state then was to be neutral and not allow any religion a place in the public sphere rather than provide public tolerance for beneficial different religions Of course there was always reactions against this tendency It would make of religion not just a rational process but one that demanded an element of some form of personal “faith” in God This belief although possible to b partially e defended in conceptual and rational terms has nothing to do with doctrine but with what happens in a person’s emotions and psyche Besides the argument is that “reason” is not always to be trusted Democracy for example puts great emphasis on the rule of the majority but what if a majority favors barbaric behavior such as happened in Nazi Germany Who can withstand this pressure except the type of Christian who is motivated by an autonomy which is immune to clever reasoning no matter how “rational” it may sound A secular liberal state what we have today in America idealizes tolerance and freedom But for what purpose Our reliance on market capitalism spawns the choice of empty pleasures which have nothing to do with any sense of the common good a coming together of people Hobson feels such a sense of good is at the heart of cultic Christian practices The liberal secular state with its emphasis upon freedom is not necessarily a bad thing but the old concerns about it tending toward anarchy of individualism has some basis Hobson stresses that it’s not going to be easy in fact will be extremely complex but he feels that there’s a real need of religious rituals that engage the secular world instead of alienating it What these would be or how they’d come about is unknown but without them we’re worse off The closest thing America has to ritual intensity that unites people is the passion that they feel for sports but this is ephemeral; what’s needed is a religious euivalent Where can that be found “God knows” are the last words of the book