Not In God's Name

Friends have invited me to a meal followed by their local book club meeting. I've bought the book. It is 'Not in God's name: confronting religious violence' by Britain's former Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sachs. It is brilliant.

It reports extensive research that shows that people who are killing in the name of God are mainly educated, well-liked normal people. Westerners are clueless as to what lies behind Jihadism. They thought we are in a secular age of human rights and that religion is secondary. In fact, religion will be the main factor of this emerging era. The question is 'What kind of religion?'.

Sachs analyses Dualism - in evolution, philosophy and religions. Dualism splits people into them and us groups, it splits the Supernatural into God or gods and the Devil or Evil. It assumes that the only way to create the desired world is to kill the evil side. And it creates scapegoats such as Jews, Christians, Sunni or Shia Muslims.

In contrast to this, Sachs argues that the Bible is an example of a non-dualistic religion that criticises itself. Its histories and prophets form a long list of self-criticism. In the Bible God is both a Judge (so the disobedient need to be punished) and a Parent (so all are also loved).

We are in a battle of ideas for an emerging age in which religion becomes dominant. Holistic Christianity - and The Community of Aidan and Hilda Way of Life - forms a fundamental foundation for this.

Members of Southern Scotland's Aidan and Hilda group met during the Edinburgh Festival for a tour and lecture on the artwork at Traquair Centre. This had been the church of a millennialist group. Almost every inch of this magnificent building has been painted by Phoebe Anna Traquair. She has paintsed the journey of the human spirit, the journey of evolving creation, and the fulfilment of all in the Cosmic Christ of Glory. After we had discussed this over lunch I saw Alba Theatre's The Three Wee Kings, climbed 211 steps towards Arthur's Seat and descended again into everyday life - informed by a new perspective.

Posted at 13:20pm on 11th August 2017
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