Ronald Rolheiser, The Shattered Lantern: Rediscovering a Felt Presence of God suggests that “the existence of God, like the air we breathe, need not be proven. It is a question of developing good lungs to meet it correctly.” He suggests that “the way back to a lively faith is not a question of finding the right answers, but of living in a certain way.”
Living in a certain way?
I read a masters thesis this past week dealing with the subject of Democracy, Federalism, and Nationality: Ukraine’s Medieval Heritage in the thought of N. I. Kostomarov. It was a fascinating read dealing with the process of national identity of the Ukraine and their independence from Russia – both nations have a common Rus’ heritage seemingly. My attention was captured with the issue of unity within the Ukraine: “Language furnished us with unity…. Language was not enough, though. It was sufficient to help provide a sense of unity, but not unity itself.” “What were once actual bonds of state became mere ideas – a consciousness of a definite common political tradition, a common law, a common religion, and a common culture. There was a notion of oneness, but no real unity.”
What started out in this blog for me as a personal interest in Governance - Faith Communities and Social Enterprise/Economy has developed into a major study on Governance and Religion. This appears to be a growing field of activity. As I googled the terms I discovered many references. One in particular caught my attention - Religion in Public Life in the Journal of Globalization for the Common Good (http://lass.calumet.purdue.edu/cca/jgcg/2008/sp08/jgcg-sp08-race.htm). This article quotes Richard Falk a long-time analyst of international affairs and advocate of social and spiritual values in global thinking. He wrote: “Without religious identity, prospects for global humane governance are without any social or political foundation; and more importantly, they are without the spiritual character that can mobilize and motivate on a basis that is far more powerful than what the market, secular reason, and varieties of nationalism have to offer.” In Falk’s book review I read: “These contributors are seekers, doers, and path-pointers on the human journey toward a global civilization, in which people of diverse cultures and belief systems will need to learn to live in true community.”
Rev. Alan Race, Editor-in-Chief, Interreligious Insight, UK/USA, http://www.interreligiousinsight.org/index.html ends his articleReligion in Public Life with the following paragraph: "The public square should not be filled with a theocratic religious voice or be left hostage to a secular liberal absence of religious reasoning, but a dialogical conversation that values the other even as it might disagree with them. This seems to me to be the next step in the support for liberty and democracy in a plural society. There is, however, one major problem in taking such a step. It will likely require us to suspend, if not surrender, our religious senses of absolutism. And the trouble is, as we know, the religions don’t like to do that."