Tuesday 20 October 2009

In Depth Cupitt

Tuesday evening and it's time for In Depth again, a small group that meets under the auspices of St Mary's Barton-upon-Humber. This time it is Don Cupitt, and I'm presenting about the man who remains my most influential theologian.

Here is the paper that I shall ad-lib from - that gets distributed electronically and on paper, and it is on my website of course.

I just happened to be rifling through some very old bits of paper - I still have two letters from Lesney (remember them - diecast engineers and makers of Matchbox cars) dated June and July 1970 - and found old drawings including Don Cupitt (reproduced here) and David Jenkins on one piece of paper and two correspondences from Don Cupitt, one in response to my critical book review of 1989 and another in response to a letter in 1986. Of the two, 1986 is by far the most interesting [note: more advanced PDF readers like the free PDF X-Change or free Sumatra PDF can see my commentary text (which is an XML overlay)]. Basically it puts arguments that Don Cupitt now, generally speaking, puts himself (!) - direct talk, myth taken from our thought patterns of this time, the religious language of everyday talk, and a movement away from seeking myth out of the construction of Christianity. I see his turning point as 2006 and The Old Creed and the New, and I reviewed that as well.

Next time, it is uphill again through doctrine, starting with David Jenkins, who some took as a theological radical, but I never have, whose theology was based on Barth and Bonhoeffer. And my drawing made years ago is also reproduced here. I remember some years ago when David Jenkins was on TV in an invited audience making it plain to Melvyn Bragg and company that he was very different from John Spong's liberalism on the panel, and for me that said everything. David Jenkins was no equivalent of John Robinson either: what was important in the 'Durham Affair' was that someone quite orthodox was being vilified in an increasingly right wing Church (theologically speaking). More on that for discussion in a month.

Something extra...
Don Cupitt's cave
Submitted by Pluralist on 23 August, 2005 - 7:26pm. [Surefish discussion boards, I think]

The cave inhabited by Don Cupitt has a front door, side door and back door. There are many windows, some with frosty glass and many clear. It has been redecorated several times and had some structural work. The living room has been done in a nice shade of Buddha, the kitchen has Christianity as a splash wall behind the cooker and the bedroom has some comforting shades of humanism.

In postmodernist John Milbank's cave, the one door that exists has been bolted, the windows have been bricked in and boarded up, and although the house is decorated in pure Christianity throughout the light bulb has bust and no one can see anything.

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