Friday, November 9, 2012
Cracked Giving Up God For Lent
#third way magazine
#atheism for lent
#articles by me
I’ve finally cracked it. I’ve submitted the finished draft of my Third Way article on Atheism for Lent. It took a lot of effort to get right. Here’s the header teaser:
Never mind chocolate - what would happen if we tried purging ourselves of Christianity in the run-up to Easter? KATHARINE SARAH MOODY explored resurrection through an “Atheism for Lent” course.
And the opening paragraphs:
In an upper room, under a converted railway arch, a group of people assemble amidst the shadows cast by the light of candles. This, our Good Friday “Forsaken by God” service, marks the end of our “Atheism for Lent” course. Through the liturgy we have created, we are fixing our minds on an often neglected aspect of the Lenten narrative: on the cross, in Christ’s cry of forsakenness, God experiences the absence of God.
As we approach the festival of Easter, we have been giving up a faith in which God is an instrument for sanctioning our own means and ends, in order to discover a richer and more honest faith in which our doubt, despair and disbelief are recognised and remembered. Because part of the Easter message is that our experiences of the absence of God do not signal our distance from God but, rather, our identity with God who, in Christ, was also forsaken by God. Christ’s crucifixion experience of divine abandonment is the moment that Christianity is revealed as the religion in which, as G.K. Chesterton observed, “God seemed for an instant to be an atheist”.
Monday, March 26, 2012
Atheism for Lent: Religion as A/Theism (Peter Rollins 1)
#atheism for lent
For the final week of the “Atheism for Lent” Course, we will begin to look at the atheist critiques of religion (from Freud, Marx and Nietzsche) in the context of the Lent narrative in which God confesses God’s own atheism. I used some of Pete Rollins' stuff to create some reading material for the group.
Pete uses a lot of Slavoj Zizek’s work, who in turn likes to quote G.K. Chesteron:
When the world shook and the sun was wiped out of heaven, it was not at the crucifixion, but at the cry from the cross: the cry which confessed that God was forsaken of God. And now let the revolutionaries of this age choose a creed from all the creeds and a god from all the gods of the world, carefully weighing all the gods of inevitable recurrence and of unalterable power. They will not find another god who has himself been in revolt. Nay (the matter grows too difficult for human speech), but let the atheists themselves choose a god. They will find only one divinity who ever uttered their isolation; only one religion in which God seemed for an instant to be an atheist.
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy: The Romance of Faith, p.207.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Atheism for Lent: Introduction
#atheism for lent
As we approach the festival of Easter, we aim to experience something of what Jesus felt on the Cross. In his cry, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” God confesses the absence of God.
…let the atheists themselves choose a god. They will find only one divinity who ever uttered their isolation; only one religion in which God seemed for an instant to be an atheist.
During Lent, we will expose ourselves to some of the great atheist critics of religion, in order to purge ourselves of a faith in which God is used as a crutch to cope with the uncertainties and hardships of life.
In the process, we hope to discover a richer faith in which our experiences of the absence of the presence of God are recognised and remembered.