Sunday, April 23, 2006

Pre-Gathering Workshops - 4

As someone brought up as a Christian (both Methodist by my mother and my maternal relatives and Roman Catholic by my father and my paternal relatives), I've often been put-off by what I see as extreme arrogance in terms of expressing opinions and facts and the final word on any given subject. So it was with delight that I heard the words of the the Very Rev. Alan Jones, dean of nearby Grace Cathedral, when he called for (on the part of religious leaders, I would assume, not necessarily onlyl Christians) "epistemological humility." How refreshing! He said that instead of pronouncing what's right or wrong about such things as stem cell research, what's ethical or unethical, "we" should admit that this is a matter we need to take some time to think about. He invoked the image of the madonna and child as showing an infant god who cannot speak, who is pre-verbal. I was pleased to hear him speak of this image, since it's so central to many Pagan paths -- only it's more the mother than the son who's revered. Jones said we need to "get away from crippling certainty."

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