KevinHow will an answer to that question help?Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:07am126.96.36.199And 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....
- 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
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