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Awe-Filled Wonder: The Interface of Science and Spirituality (Madeleva Lecture in Spirituality) [Paperback]

By Barbara Fiand (Author)
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Item description for Awe-Filled Wonder: The Interface of Science and Spirituality (Madeleva Lecture in Spirituality) by Barbara Fiand...

We live in extraordinary times of transformation when the growth in human knowledge and the expansion of consciousness have reached unparalleled proportions and are affecting the totality of our self understanding, of our worldview and the religions that have flowered there. The purpose of Awe-filled Wonder is to deepen our understanding of the impact that recent discoveries of science are having on our God-quest. The book hopes to stimulate thought, to encourage dialogue, to open up long needed questions--to legitimate them and explore where and how they have arisen. All human longing for the Ultimate is rooted in the context of the time in which it arises. It formulates its vision out of the language and symbols of its age in order to present a time-relevant approach to that which, nevertheless and at all times--in spite of all our striving, will remain holy Mystery. Part One of the book identifies the implosion of our dualistic ways of understanding and interpreting reality and of naming our God. It explores the recent discoveries in the scientific community that have directly impacted this implosion and, in the light of the changes these invite in our understanding of reality, suggests the need for new religious metaphors and symbols. Part Two of the book concretely engages the new. The author invites the reader to let go of a God image "above" or "beyond" us and to embrace one that experiences "presence," at-onement, the flow of Love as the energy that courses through the universe rather than "acting on it" from above.

Publishers Description
Invites us to enter into the spiritual transformation and the expansion of consciousness that the extraordinary discoveries especially in quantum physics and cosmology are opening up for us today and inviting us to apply to our God quest, to our personal understanding of ourselves, and to our view of the world we live in.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Paulist Press
Pages   80
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 6.81" Width: 4.49" Height: 0.28"
Weight:   0.2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2008
Publisher   Paulist Press
Series  Madeleva Lecture In Spitituality  
ISBN  0809145294  
ISBN13  9780809145294  

Availability  6 units.
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More About Barbara Fiand

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Barbara Fiand teaches spirituality at the Institute of Pastoral Studies of Loyola University Chicago and is the author of books that include From Religion Back to Faith: A Journey of the Heart, In the Stillness You Will Know: Exploring the Paths of Our Ancient Belonging, and On Becoming Who We Are. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Barbara Fiand currently resides in Cincinnati, in the state of Ohio.

Barbara Fiand has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Madeleva Lecture in Spirituality

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Philosophy
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Science & Religion

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

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Reviews - What do customers think about Awe-Filled Wonder: The Interface of Science and Spirituality (Madeleva Lecture in Spirituality)?

Great read!  Aug 9, 2008
Barbara Fiand is very articulate in expressing her views! I was gratified to find a kindred spirit in her writings.
"Awe-Filled Wonder" needs more Wonder.  Jul 11, 2008
Barbara Fiand has assembled a list of characters who have wondered deeply within the realm of Science and Spiritually. Consequently, this collection of people, unfolded a new story for the "ordinary people" that has set them adrift in the state of confusion about their orthodox-literal-dogmatic belief systems. Charles Taylor in A CATHOLIC MODERNITY states that "ordinary people" (the masses) are living within this experiment: "There is something unique in our modern 'secular,' Western culture, in that it is the site of the only large-scale attempt in human history at living an exclusive humanism." This is today's ground zero!

Theologian Paul Tillich use to say and I believe Barbara Fiand would agree with his statement. "God is beyond existence and essence." If you make Jesus God (Christ) he, then, is placed by this literal invention beyond existence and essence. This dogmatic elevation and invention since 325 has caused "the only large-scale attempt in human history at living an exclusive humanism." At today's ground zero, in our space and time, God and Christ are now empty metaphors turned into dogmas for "ordinary people" which is why 27 million Catholics in the United States (Pew Report) have left the Catholic Church with no intention of returning. Here is how they think! When the dogmas of God and Christ get in their way of building their humanity they have to let these dogmas go. This is ground zero! This means for Catholics in particular that they must retrieve the existence and essence of the "historical" Jesus' faith in God's Kingdom on earth.The time has come to end the literal fantasies about God and Christ embedded in literal dogmas. I get the vibrations from this book, especially from Barbara Fiand's last chapter "Christ Jesus" that she lacks the courage, logic and gut feeling to practice her science and spirituality that is in line with Tillich and many other liberal theologians

I wish Barbara Fiand's interface of Science and Spirituality was more aware of ground zero where "ordinary people" are adrift from Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. I wish she could come down and walk their walk and talk their talk with the questions that "ordinary people" are asking. What are their questions? Elaine Pagels in her book BEYOND BELIEF strikes at the heart of orthodox dogmatic literalisms with these questions. "Who can tell the Holy Spirit when to stop? Who can say the Holy Spirit has stopped? When everyone claims to be divinely inspired, who knows who has the spirit and who does not?" As a married Catholic priest the question I get from "ordinary people" are: "What am I?" "What am I to do?" These are reflection about their loss humanity and a quiet, anxious, deep appeal from their seeking consciousness as to where they can find their essence. And, they will not accept dogmatic appeals. Hence, Barbara Fiand's dogmatic hints registered in her last chapter "Christ Jesus" is DOA, dead on arrive, with the masses of "ordinary people."

I wish her interface was more like Jesus' in your face model which resulted in interment and death. Can we be compromising followers that love the light but not the heat?

Robert Funk's book A CREDIBLE JESUS:Fragments of a vision, power drives Jesus into the Christian Church to awake the living dead from dogmas, with these words, "His admirers turned Jesus the iconoclast into Jesus the icon. They exchanged his view of God's domain for their visions of him." This is the grand indictment!

In Bernard Brandon Scott's book RE-IMAGINE THE WORLD: An Introduction to the parables of Jesus, comes up with this question from "ordinary people" that we must radically ponder. "To what was Jesus faithful?" Scott spits it out in a hyberbole blast for all to hear. "Jesus was faithful to the re-imagined world of the parables." The God of Jesus' faith hides in the parables.

Elaine Pagels and Karen King co-authored book READING JUDAS: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity, puts a cork screw in the narrow selection of the four Gospels that are supposedly but erroneously the word of God. Their observations,"What we hear in the Gospel of Judas is a sharp, dissenting voice. And, that author's voice was not the only one; other dissenters speak through additional texts that were suppressed and eventually buried at Nag Hammadi and no doubt others were lost. The Gospel of Judas, along with other discoveries, allows us to hear for the first time in nearly two thousand years, a few voices that dissented." We can no longer gorge ourself with only 4 Gospels for rightly to do so is a diasterous historical diet.

Rodney Stark in his book THE RISE OF CHRISTIANITY: How the obscure, marginal Jesus Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western World in a Few Centuries, places Jesus' faith of God within the "ordinary people." Why were these "ordinary people" so committed? Stark explains, "Christianity brought (to ordinary people) a new conception of humanity to a world saturated with capricious cruelty and the vicarious love of death. Christianity effectively promugated an ethical vision utterly incompatible with casual cruelty. Finally, what Christianity gave to its converts was nothng less than their humanity." This is a real lesson for the present from the historical past!

In my above reference histories there is nothing about the tour de force of dogmas. However, the Council of Nicaea, in the year 325, affirmed Jesus as God, a human invention indeed. So great was Jesus' divinity stressed the the obscure, marginal, historical Jesus disappeared until about 250 years ago when German theologians began their quest for the historical Jesus stressed in the Council of Chalcedon in 451 and this quest reached its crescendo in epic proportions by "ordinary people" in the decade called "the 1960's."

What was this crescendo? It was the era of questions and the demise of authoritarian dogmas about God and Christ. That is to say, "love trumped all dogmas!" In a sense, there are parallels with the first 180 years following Jesus' death. "The 1960's" was nothing less than a desparation to regain our humanity from the tyranny of dogmatism.

And the "ordinary people" questions still roll in. "If there is no Original Sin, then, why do we insist on the fall and redemption story of Jesus? Did not making Jesus God produce an arrogant and cruel Christian community? That is to say, "the Christian community is the ONLY one true voice of God in the global village. And,the community was willing to kill for this dogma."How much of Christianity is a "man" made invention? What can we retrieve in the probable sayings and acts of the historical Jesus that will enlighten our questions about our humanity?

The stark question I would ask Barbara Fiand would be the question John Dominic Crossan proposed in his essay "A Future for the Christian Faith" in the book of essays called THE ONCE AND FUTURE JESUS. Crossan painfully says, "What I am trying to imagine, then, is what Christianity must do to clearly and honestly to distinguish itself from fantasy?"

We have to retrieve The Credible Jesus, the spirit beyond belief, the re-imagined world of the God of Jesus in his parables, to incorporate all the discovered Gospels like Judas and Mary into our discourse, the ethical vision against casual cruelty, and finally the "letting go" of literal dogmas.

I finalize this journey into Awe-Filled Wonder, with the final nail in the coffin,from the voice of Walter Wink to be considered about the retrievable of the historical Jesus. This quote from him is from his essay "The Son of Man" that is also from the same book that I reference Crossan's quote THE ONCE AND FUTURE JESUS.

Wink declares, "These, then, are the questions,that have animated my quest for the historical Jesus:

* Before he was worshipped as God incarnate,how did Jesus struggle to incarnate God?

* Before he became identified as the source of all healing, how did he relate to, and how did he teach his disciples to relate to, the healing Source?

* Before forgiveness became a function solely of the cross, how did Jesus understand people to have been forgiven?

* Before the Kingdom of God became a compensatory after life, or a future utopia, what did Jesus mean by the Kingdom?

* Before he became identified as Messiah/Christ, how did he relate to the profound meaning in the messianic hope?

George Pieczonka is the author of ANN OF GREEN PASTURES:The makings of your married American Catholic Pastor. His web site is in his book if you want to dialogue about "ground zero."


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