San Francisco, California
interviewing Howard Zinn
City Arts and Lectures
The Episcopal Diocese of Alabama
March 28-April 4
Holy Week and Easter
Christ Church Cathedral
Spiritual Directors' Conference
Guest speaker at the National Cathedral and in conversation with Dean Sam Lloyd at the Sunday Forum
June 26- July 2
Chautauqua, New York
Guest lecturer at St. Dominic's Roman Catholic Church, San Francisco
Weiser Lecture at Congregational Emanuel, San Francisco (see below)
Medicine and Ministry Conference
The 39th annual Conference on Medicine and Ministry of the Whole Person at Kanuga Conferences in Hendersonville, NC.
The Very Reverend Alan W. Jones, Dean Emeritus of Grace Cathedral will present the Arthur G. Weiser Lecture for Interfaith Understanding
Sunday, October 24, 7:30 pm
Martin Meyer Sanctuary
The Scandal of God
"Ah! what a divine religion might be found if charity were really made the principle of it instead of faith." (Shelley) We live in a world where there is too much faith of the damaging sort. True faith, linked to love, is always open to doubt. Miguel de Unamuno wrote, "Life is doubt. And faith without doubt is nothing but death." And St. John of the Cross, "In the end we shall be examined in love." That's it. That's the test of any religion; the test of atheism. It's the test of being human.
Our love of stories, novels, movies, adventures, even sit coms, reflects our quest for a narrative, a story to make sense of things. Stories play an important part in helping us interpret the world and simply get through the day. They provide the architecture of our thoughts and feelings.
But many of us, in spite of living inside a narrative, have swallowed the lie that science somehow is THE privileged language – the only language that’s really, really true. We're not good at seeing that we all live inside a story – not necessarily a good one and that knowing what story's playing itself out inside us might help us move into a truer one. In an essay on The Burning Bush, George Steiner writes of the “ambiguous loftiness and terror of the unsayable.” The God of Moses cannot be said, cannot be put into words. I am Who I am, I will be Who I will be. This is why we need stories – not to break the silence of the unsayable but to guard and preserve it.
This is the great biblical insight celebrated and misunderstood (and even betrayed) by both Christianity and Judaism. Literary critic Terry Eagleton refers to “The non-God or the anti-God of Scripture, who hates burnt offerings and acts of smug self-righteousness . . . the enemy of idols, fetishes, and graven images of all kinds – gods, churches, ritual sacrifice, the Stars and Stripes, nations, sex, success, ideologies and the like.” This is a scandal worth exploring -- a scandal – absurd as it sounds -- leads to the ground on which we all stand – a common and shared humanity.