By: Fred Plumer
There are a growing number of dedicated thinkers and spiritual leaders who are writing, speaking and teaching of a new world view and new ways to interpret the Christian story in it. Dynamic theologies and renewed Christologies are springing up often stimulated by our scientific and philosophical thinkers, with a few theological revolutionaries thrown into the mix.
These creative people are talking, writing and teaching about a major shift of consciousness. In the words of Michael Dowd, “It is a shift from seeing ourselves as separate beings, placed on Earth,(the world was made for us,) to seeing ourselves as a self-reflexive expressions of Earth, (we were made for the world)…it is a major shift in our understanding of who we are and what we are. It is a shift at the deepest possible level: our identity or sense of self.”
Somehow these folks have been able to find the words and concepts to describe and define this shift, something that many people, particularly young adults, have been feeling for some time but have been unable to find the words or even a point of reference to express it.
People like Brian Swimme, David Suzuki and Diarmuld O’Murchu are helping us create a whole new world view…actually a whole new universe view. People like Lloyd Geering, Bruce Sanquin, the late Thomas Berry, and Michael Dowd, among others, are helping us retell the Christian story with a freshness and in a contemporary and compelling way. People like Cynthia Bourgeault, Jacob Needleman, Jim Marion, Greta Vosper are helping us rediscover ways to live it. And people like Ken Wilbur and others are giving us ways to organize in our pluralistic world and the expanding pluralism in our Christian traditions.
I have had the opportunity to work with many of these gifted folks over the last couple of years and find their enthusiasm, their creativity, their depth and breadth of information more than impressive. Their openness, their positive outlook and faith is outright contagious. If people sitting in the pews could catch some of this, I believe our churches would be overflowing.