The Study of God: on method

Recently a friend of mine who has very little religious education gained interest in theology, and surprised me with maybe the best question I have been asked in a while: what is the theological method?

If you have ever studied something seriously, academically, critically, you understand his question. Ιt is a question of epistemology: “how do I know?”. In traditional sciences, there is a scientific method: controlled, observable and reproducible experiments lead to conclusions and allow predictions. The experiment is then repeated and reviewed by other scientists who confirm or contest the conclusions, and as that happens the whole community arrives at very probable theories about a subject. History also has its method, since history cannot be repeated or reproduced, neither controlled, so it stands outside the realm of science. Math and logic, along with philosophy, all have their systems of proof testing. So when we speak of the Divine, what is our method to differ between truth and non-truth? How do we know? Continue reading “The Study of God: on method”

Learning to Listen: Fundamentalism, Politics, and Opening the Mind

I recently began my fourth year of university. Throughout this journey, I have gained many vital skills that will last me my whole life. But of all the skills and knowledge that I have thus far gained, it is the ability to listen that I cherish most. Continue reading “Learning to Listen: Fundamentalism, Politics, and Opening the Mind”

Weak Gods, Fragile Truths, and the Unknown

“…Joash replied to the hostile crowd around him, “Are you going to plead Baal’s cause? Are you trying to save him? Whoever fights for him shall be put to death by morning! If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar.””

I think I read this text for the first time when I was 10 years old. Not every kid goes around reading the Book of Judges when they’re that young but, in the world I grew up in, it made sense. I had already read the coolest book in the bible, Revelation, several times, and Paul is quite boring until you’re old enough to get it, so the Old Testament was the place to go until I was about 13. Short stories, soap-opera family drama, cool battles, angels destroying armies overnight, tales of glory, and clear life advice like don’t kill people unless God tells you to, or, manage well your budget, don’t be lazy, listen to your parents. I highly recommend the OT for 10 year olds. Anyhow, there was I, reading the story of Gideon. Gideon destroyed a statue of Baal, a rival god, and when Baal’s followers came to kill him, Joash, Gideon’s father, defended him with that clear checkmate: If Baal is god, you don’t have to protect him, he’ll protect himself.   Continue reading “Weak Gods, Fragile Truths, and the Unknown”

A Poem About My Cat

I haven’t written here in a long time. These days, more and more I realize that religious truths are not meant to be communicated through cold logical exercise and exposition, but through vivid imagery, music, and art. I have been writing a lot of poetry, and here I’d like to share something that very well fits this blog.

 

I got him half a lifetime ago. His lifetime.
He’s like my little brother from another species
Mon minou mignon, gato gatoso, my furball
Little fluffy killing machine
My cat Continue reading “A Poem About My Cat”

Foi.

Ça faisait longtemps.

Longtemps qu’on ne s’était pas regardé, adressé la parole ou même fait le geste de salutation habituel. L’hiver nous a laissé ”de glace” dirait-on quand vient la saison chaude. Enfin on peut respirer sans craindre de s’étouffer par la toux que le froid nous a amené; comme un amis avec lequel on avait un froid et qu’on essaie désormais d’éviter. Continue reading “Foi.”

How I Read The Bible and Other Things

I have not written anything for a good while, perhaps a month? To me this blog is largely a tool of digestion, but in the past while I seem to have digested quite a number of thoughts without needing to write. A lot of it happened unexpectedly, by surprise. Some of it happened in class, some dancing (I am not even kidding), and some of it in deep meditation, breathing.

Most of my past struggle has been in regards to how should I relate to God. Who is he/she/it, what, why. How? Most of the answer was around the way I should look at sacred writings. Continue reading “How I Read The Bible and Other Things”