Spiritual Bankruptcy: A Prophetic Call to Action Kindle Edition
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If this is the central premise on which Spiritual Bankruptcy: A Call to Prophetic Action is based, the central thesis is that Christians (or any followers of one of the world's great Ways) need to break free of secularism and religiousness. While neither religion nor secular thought should be cast aside completely, we must seek out a path beyond them. To use the author's term, Christians need to "secularize" their tradition. This doesn't mean buying into secularism itself, which is in fact a rejection of the Christian Way. Rather, it means embracing a practice of thought and behavior that focuses not on some otherworldly heaven or hell, but on the real problems of this present world.
In Cobb's view, this process of secularizing is the truest form of adherence to Jewish and Christian tradition. He argues with some force that the most defining moments of the Bible involve one or more persons insisting that mere religion is not the goal of God's work in human history. Figures like Jesus and Paul defied religiousness. They were adamant that any thought about God must manifest itself in certain behaviors in this present world. Reclaiming this tradition of secularizing, Cobb insists, is a necessary correction to the otherworldly religiousness that has taken hold of American Christianity.Read more ›
Secularizing, however, can lead to secularization. Cobb is careful to always separate the two processes. Secularizing, which is close attention to the natural world as the ground of existence and the source of life and the spiritual, is not the same as secularization, which is exclusive attention to the human world combined with the rejection of other dimensions of the natural, and of the traditional and religious explanations of those dimensions. To repeat, secularism is the rejection of traditional knowledge, whether it is traditional ecological knowledge or the spiritual beliefs of the great Ways of binding people to each other and to their places. By contrast, secularizing is the linking of those ways to all grounds of existence, through recognition and respect. Secularization, as another form of narrow reductionism, has allowed civilization to indulge in the madness of ignoring increasing catastrophes--worse, civilization is accelerating the rush to an almost-certain collapse.
Secularism, in academics, business and science, hastens and contributes to problems and catastrophes, from the loss of justice to ecosystem collapse. Secularism has failed to respond to emergencies and crises. It is shortsighted and destructive. Although religion still plays a large role in human affairs, it also fails.Read more ›