Utmost on my list of links is Rick Ufford-Chase’s heartfelt counterpoint to my point at Two Friars and a Fool. (Or maybe I’m the counterpoint to his point.) Next week we will respond to each other’s articles. Do go and leave your thoughts on civil disobedience there. Thanks again to the guys at TFF for the invitation to write.
A Memorable Evening with Cliff Robertson (Thoughtful Christian)
A sweet remembrance of what sounds like a fine man… and one who understands that the loving gesture can be more powerful, narratively and emotionally, than the explosion of anger.
As a psychiatrist at the University of Manitoba in Canada, he did study after study trying to tease out exactly what troubled people most about dying. What he found was that what people found most assaulting and annihilating was this idea that who they were would completely cease to exist after their death. And so Chochinov decided to do something about it.
“If the idea of having something that will outlast even you matters for patients that are near the end of life, then we need to do something that will create something that will last beyond … the patient,” he says.
The something that Chochinov decided to create was a formal written narrative of the patient’s life — a document that could be passed on to whomever they chose.
Many of our churches do end-of-life courses and retreats, which include everything from estate planning to living will to planning the memorial service to writing a “spiritual will and testament” of lessons and stories to share with the next generation. Some interesting thoughts here as we plan these events.
This Time It’s Different (Art of Non-Conformity)
A meditation on the dilemma many people confront when considering a change in one’s life. Do you take the leap now, or plan and wait until all your ducks are in a row?
He’s My Favorite Fictional Character! (Julian Sanchez)
Keith Snyder bait: a meditation on belief, narrative and (a)theism:
Fundamentalists of every sect are, pretty much by definition, strongly committed to the literal truth of all of their scripture. But the garden variety “believer,” I suspect, may often be more accurately thought of as a “suspension-of-disbeliever.” (Somewhere in the back of my head is that CollegeHumor video about religion as a species of fanboyism.) When you think about the actual functions that religious narratives serve in people’s lives, literal truth or falsity is often rather beside the point, and yet suspension of disbelief is a necessary condition of immersion in the story. On this view, Richard Dawkins is a little like that guy who keeps pointing out that all the ways superhero physics don’t really make sense.
Dawkins & co. are themselves quite capable of appreciating religious and mythical narratives as narratives. What Rée seems to be positing, though, is that they may underestimate the number of soi-disant Believers who appreciate it on something like the same level.