Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Meaning of Life, Part 39

Some people today are lamenting that the "ecumenical movement is dead." What is dying and is boring is not the movement within ecumenism but the lack of it. And this comes from people's being satisfied with what is basically a dualistic approach to ecumenism.

In this model, which our psychologically oriented society calls "dialogue," representatives of different traditions talk to each other with a certain tolerance and desire to understand one another. This represents a first step to ecumenism, and it is clearly an improvement over centuries of battles waged between foes. But we must move today from dialogue to common creativity.

Ecumenism is not about talking together or putting out position papers together but about creating together. What can two parties, Protestant or Catholic, Christian or Buddhist, scientist or theologian, artist or mathematician, create together? That is the question that the universe and the human race and God the Creator put to all of us. It is a question of how deeply we care about birthing and how deeply we can create with those who differ from us by interacting in dialectical and not merely dualistic ways.

The universe was not created by tolerant dualisms but by mutual interpenetrations. Of course this implies letting go: Hydrogen must let go of its hydrogenness and oxygen of its oxygenness when the two come together and create water. Letting go is demanded as much of religious traditions as it is of individual religious believers.
--Matthew Fox, Original Blessing, pp. 215-6