Monday, October 30, 2006

Diana Butler Bass
I linked to an article from her earlier: hooray for the peace message. That I know of her through the several bloggers who’ve praised her work rather proves her point of a kind of re-alignment.
“I write about mainstream and progressive Christianity — churches that base their message on God’s love for all people and God’s vision of peace and justice for the world.”
To which I’d say Catholicism’s got all that (so why re-invent the wheel?) but...
They are NOT the religious right. And, frankly, they do not like the fact that the media depicts most — if not all — American Christians as card-carrying members of suburban megachurches and Focus on the Family.
Well, neither are nor do we.
But they are not exactly a religious left, either. There is a religious left, and a rather vigorous one at that. I’m talking about something slightly different — Christians and churches that are something else—a new, generous, practicing sort of postmodern Christianity, a kind of Christianity that is embracing and redefining tradition while enacting justice in the world — people and communities that escape easy characterization or precise definition.
Throw in an extra ‘post-’ (so you get ‘pre-modern by choice’, which I realise is not the same as plain pre-modern) and take out the bit about ‘re-defining’ tradition and... my friends and I who meet at an old city-centre church to pray the office, go to Benediction and read novena prayers (and don’t stand in a suburban Mass-barn having Marty Haugen sung at us and amplified in our faces*), and write blogs like this one, aren’t that different to what Dr Bass describes. (We say and more important the faith says both belief and praxis matter.)

Then of course there’s the Orthodox convert boomlet, likewise ‘gathered communities’ and not geographical parishes one is required by law to attend, and with an emphasis on praxis. ‘Crunchy’ Catholicism as convert Rod Dreher might agree.

Right in the middle of historic Christianity... and just about off most modern people’s radar, left or right. (And Central Churchmen thought they were invisible.)

Fascinating and fuel for dialogue.

*’Cos ‘that’s what the kids want™’. Average age of the people saying this: 60s.

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