KevinHow will an answer to that question help?Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:07am22.214.171.124And how can I answer? It is not as simple a question as you think. It would require an entire telling of my faith journey from birth until now.
The answer I would give initially: When did I "get involved with my religion"? College is the first time I took it very seriously. Although I was raised in a faith background and I had a pretty powerful experience at age 11 -- I had not taken it completely seriously through my teen years and was ready to drop it. Even after college I struggled -- especially with the institutional aspects of the religion that angered me.
How did I get involved in my religion? After years of study and extreme doubt and misunderstanding including a period of years not practicing and considering myself an atheist and some years experimenting with other faiths.
In college I became a Religious Studies major and immersed myself in every possible topic on religion. I read and studied the following: 1) tons of philosophy and focused on epistemology and consciousness studies although I spent a large amount of time reading in the entire field of philosophy; 2) all the best critiques of religion throughout history; 3) all psychology and religion interactions; 4) all the science and religion stuff including all the info on evolution vs creationism but eventually turning to neuroscience; 5) studied about the different religious traditions around the world getting more than the basics in many of the major religions including Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Taosism (Daoism), Confucianism, Buddhism; 6) intensive scriptural studies that looked at everything one could look at in scripture including redactive criticism, form criticism, literary criticism, source criticism and various aspects of the historical-critical method; 7) historical studies of my faith expanding and looking at the development of the religion over time and the various ways it interacted in the different cultures it came in contact with over time -- including the Eastern Christian traditions that often get ignored in the West.
I also practiced the faith in ministry work -- doing lots of social justice and service work to the poor and lots of retreat/prayer time.
I went on to law school and practiced law (although I kept researching and reading about religion and faith on my own in my spare time) but then law no longer interested me and I left the practice of law to go back and get my Masters degree in theology -- getting even more intense scripture studies, church history, study of ritual and liturgy and sacraments, much more theology and philosophy -- with focuses on continental philosophy from the modern through the post-modern period and mystical theology. Finally, I am currently finishing my doctoral work in theology by writing my thesis with a focus on inter-religious dialogue and understanding/learning. I am looking at religious epistemology in Roman Catholic and Tibetan Buddhist thought and practice. So I have been studying religion in general, their critiques (including lots of atheist thought) and my own tradition non-stop for close to 25 years.
So I am not sure how that helps. But there it is....
- If God didnít manifest itself as it is said in the holy Anonymous, Wed Jun 13 8:07pmbooks. And I use the word holy books with a lot of deserved contempt. So if god didnít do that than what evidence is there that a god even is. It is than very clear that a god only reveals itself in... more
- There IS no real evidence greenman, Sat Jun 16 3:57pmAll religion is purely and simply a matter of belief and faith. There IS no objective proof that ANY faith is real, much less unique and requiring one's belief.
- Hmm I didn't noticed that I didn't put it under Δι Διός, Fri Jun 15 7:09pmSorry about that. Διός
- Sophistry as usual. RthB, Fri Jun 15 12:57pmIf you didn't exist, you wouldn't exist, eh? RthB
- As usual learn to read Roberto. (nm) Διός, Fri Jun 15 7:17pm
- Inother words if god only reveals himself to the very few Anonymous, Thu Jun 14 4:49pmΔιός, then could God be a scam invented by those that would benefit by the scam, hence the priests and religious leaders who would gain both political lower and wealth from the... more
- Well it lets in a whole host of frauds of course. Διός, Fri Jun 15 7:15pmAnd the vision one might get in it personal life is no more than a personal experiance. But as we see everyday the frauds run the show. Which is getting very dangerous with the connections to... more
- Re: Well it lets in a whole host of frauds of course. yome, Sat Jun 16 12:59amFather God, help this man, he sees every one's sins but his own.
- How does that relate to what he said about frauds ChristopherBlackwell, Sun Jun 17 5:46pmyome, Christians often claim that other religions are frauds. So that does bring up the question of how can one tell if a religion is real or afraid, including Christianity. After all religions are... more
- great question. yome, Sun Jun 17 11:33pmyou'll know in your heart chris when all is at peace between you and your creator, there will be no doubt if you ever experienced Christ, i have peace and assurance in my being, my heart is at peace, ... more
- yome. but I have that already ChristopherBlackwell, Tue Jun 19 6:25pmYome, You cannot understand that people in other religions feel this in their own religion. It is not something unique to Christianity. I am sure that Jews,Hindus,and and most modern Pagans feel... more
- Another quickstep past the real question welldone! Διός, Mon Jun 18 3:25amTammy and Jim Baker weren't fraudsters? The raping preacher weren't fraudsters either? Holy Mary what a dirty mess! Διός
- Yome doesn't answer plain questions. Διός , Sun Jun 17 6:52pmBut is very good in pushing hid fraudulent sin thingie' Without much susses I might add. Διός
- Really what are they? Διός , Sat Jun 16 5:02pmAnd don't spare me, make me laugh I need one right now. Διός
- Oops my response , Διός, (nm) ChristopherBlackwell, Thu Jun 14 4:50pm
- Your question doesn't even compute. Kevin, Thu Jun 14 7:55amThe way you frame it already assumes an answer. You don't think holy books are holy? I would ask: What do you mean by Holy Book? What do you think holy means? Also, you are looking for "evidence of... more
- Okay let ask this simple question which might helps. in the Διός, Thu Jun 14 9:19pmend. When and how did you get involved with your religion? And what I think is a holy book doesn't matter the bible is called the holy bible isn't? Saintly it isnít and certainly not for children or... more
- How will an answer to that question help? Kevin, Fri Jun 15 6:07am
- As seen from your reply you too were exposed to organized Διός, Fri Jun 15 7:04pmAs seen from your reply you too were exposed to organized religion and then followed a path that was uncertain but you were still seeking. That too is a normal thing the seed is sown in the young.... more
- THAT'S what you got out of my long reply? Kevin, Fri Jun 15 8:47pmA seed was planted as a child? Wow. I am very disappointed. Reducing a person's curiosity to ask the big questions about the universe and who wants to study everything that can be studied -- science, ... more
- Wrong and don't push me, I been nice and like to stay that Διός, Fri Jun 15 10:04pmway. I asked for you beginning to religion and not your whole journey. And you know why I ask that and be honest you can't claim now that you might have been looking at a later stage but again that... more
- I am not trying to push you at all... Kevin, Sat Jun 16 7:58amI really am not. I am not trying to be mean or vindictive nor do I want "stardom". You think you are playing nice? Making comparisons with religion to "Nazis"? You think you are being "objective"... more
- When I was saying donít push me might sounded too harsh. Διός, Sat Jun 16 7:11pmI meant donít make me go in to all the nitty gritty stuff. I do have no time for that and I was taken aback by you criticism of my interpretation of you post on you beginning of you introduction to... more
- Thanks for that I will reply tomorrow it is to late now. (nm) Διός, Fri Jun 15 6:39am
- The believer also works on assumptions ChristopherBlackwell, Thu Jun 14 5:01pmKevin, So one could also say that the believer assumes much, including that the alleged holy books was somehow influenced by God. there is no way to actually prove such a things so it becomes a... more
- Your response.... Kevin, Thu Jun 14 7:36pmdemonstrates that we are talking about totally different things or misunderstanding each other. I never said anything about facts or logical arguments. I am simply pointing out that there is no... more
- But your method does not work in screaming matches ChristopherBlackwell, Fri Jun 15 7:43pmKevin, And so much of what passes for religious discussion here ends up in being screaming matches. I have no problem with the idea that a god would be unknowable,that is beyond human understanding.... more
- Norhing you say... Kevin, Mon Jun 18 8:41pmGoes against the idea of orthodoxy or the tradition as I have come to understand it and teach it. As much as certain voices in and out of the tradition are sure they know what the tradition is, there ... more
- And you're right we still have many others that either fall Διός, Fri Jun 15 8:36pmunder (grin hopefully not busses) mainstream religion and are not the real self thinkers but mainly followers and do as told. And it is just those that are in the category you mentioned. That is why... more
- Might be wise to start anew string ChristopherBlackwell, Fri Jun 15 7:45pmKevin, Because who knows what direction this conversation will go.
- IMHO ... OldCM, Thu Jun 14 7:09am... that is happening by those who want to have power and control over other people. And what greater power can one have than to claim to hear from the Almighty? And have those who believe him or her ... more
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