Monday, 10 June 2013

Humanist Religious

In response to my sermon (and service) I'm told that I can get everything I affirm from a Humanist society, but I'm not sure that is true. The humanist would regard the religious traditions as containing nothing important not covered by say ethics in philosophy. That's not quite my position, and in an answer about being positive regarding those resources I called myself a "humanist religious" reversing around the adjective and the noun. In other words, the anthropology I draw on is a religious one, and the narrative meanings tend to be the large humanist ones of the every day. The spiritual gift that comes out of exchange can be a binding of human affirmation but also that of vision and insight as discussed by Mark Tully on Something Understood (BBC Radio 4).

I'm not the non-realist that I was, but I was a pretty soft version anyway. Language isn't the be all and end all of meaning. In order of objectivity, large-scale meanings come in maths, science, social science and the arts, the 'arty-arts' being the least objective and most subjective and closest to religion. But art and music has traditions, and so does religion. Religions might try on a bit of support via history and science, but these create problems as much as support. For someone with no place for religions, I put an awful lot of effort into revising liturgies into a more humanist form.

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