We have just been through a week in which we have seen yet further examples of the deeply problematic nature of religion - especially in its monotheistic varieties.This is a wonderful post and very gently articulates what I have been struggling to say in several different ways: that religion is not all about fundamentalist nutters threatening to blow things up and burn things because the world isn't how they think it should be.
My question - developing in various ways since 9/11 - is how might we continue to access these sacramental energies without resorting to the language of the gods/God with which they were once so indissolubly linked? In short, what religion might look like after religion - after God?
Many of my Pagan friends seek to blame fundamentalism on monotheism, claiming that polytheism is inherently more tolerant. This is understandable, but it does the liberal monotheists a disservice. I think polytheism can be intolerant too - look at what happened to Socrates.
I think the problem is twofold: assuming that metaphors for the ineffable mystery are literal, concrete and graspable; and assuming that religion is an external process, something you do, a set of laws you adhere to, rather than an internal process and an internal apprehension of harmony.