Mar 26 2009

March 2009 Newsletter

Published by under Newsletters

Sea of Faith


Dunedin             March  2009

Graham Batts introduced us to:
“The Lloyd Geering Reader”

Graham writes:
“Lloyd Geering is perhaps New Zealand’s foremost public intellectual. He is certainly our most decorated, as one of the twenty living persons who are counted as a member of the Order of New Zealand. He is well known to three generations of New Zealanders as one of our most honoured and controversial figures.”
So began the introduction to a book entitled “The Lloyd Geering Reader” edited by Paul Morris and Mike Grimshaw of Victoria and Canterbury universities respectively.
This is the
first collection of the writings of Lloyd Geering covering a period of nearly 50 years. Thicollection covers the full spectrum of his writings, and condenses them into one, very
readable book.

If “Sea of Faith”  needed a patron saint, it would be hard to find anyone better than St. Lloyd!!
If I had to choose one book to take to a desert Island, it would be this one.
If you want a no-nonsense account of  “what’s it all about” then this book, with it’s concise and precise use of language, will provide many of the answers to the things that have bothered you for years.

It will be my privilege to introduce the book at the next meeting.
Would you be interested in travelling as a group to Mt John (near Lake Tekapo), having a conducted tour of the Observatory there, staying the night in motels, and returning next day?  If so, please let Don know – by phone or email, or at our March meeting.

Page 2
Our Cup of Tea:
If you are willing to take a turn now and again, preparing, serving and clearing up,  please turn up this time at 5.20 pm for an explanation of the kitchen equipment and what needs doing. If you can’t come this time, but are willing to be on the roster, please let Don or Margaret know.
Ian Fleming has offered us this:

Noel Cheer recently presented a comparison between the church’s presentation of Christianity and what the Sea of Faith might hopefully grow into.  His colourful metaphors grabbed my attention and concurrence. Perhaps they will grab yours too.

So here follows Noel’s summons to arms: to (to coin a phrase!) walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

In email correspondence Noel was agreeing with and responding to the following opinion:

“Religion in the past often acted as an escape route from facing the anxiety and challenge of living life experimentally, perhaps one of our tasks is to help recreate a religious world that is able to face it”.

In support of this, Noel went on to present this church/SoF analysis that impressed me:

“… (Cupitt’s) recent book “The Meaning of The West” sets out well his case that the West only got going when it disconnected from Aristotle (thanks to Galileo) and Plato — and returned to the vision of a utopian paradise (The Kingdom of God) under a predictable and just God in a moral ethos in which respect for the morally-accountable individual was important.

“The record shows how poor a delivery-vehicle Christianity has been and, as I see it, we are faced with a cleanup job reminiscent of the Augean stables task assigned to Hercules.

“We people over the age of perhaps 50, who have come out of a church environment, are the walking fossils of the dead church.  At best the classical church of Christianity is a photograph album of ancient practices — like a Jane Austen novel.  At worst it is a sort of petri dish in which grows nasty xenophobic self-satisfied intellect-free sub-cultures.

“And their voice is too loud.  They represent neither the best of the past (the Kingdom vision of the sage from Galilee) nor an adequate vision for a post-Christian (and, therefore, post-Modern) future.

“My hope is that SoF will grow as a fear-less exploratory scouting party — unimpeded by dogma, prepared to let the chips lie where they fall.  In my own opinion its orientation is antithetical to that of Pope Benedict as well as that of the pentecostalist fervour of both the United States and of neo-Anglican Africa.  There is serious work to be done and these forces are counter-productive.

“Marx made the comment that the purpose of philosophy was not confined to understanding the world but that it should go on to change it.  SoF should adopt a similar sense of revolutionary purpose.  Talk, which we do in abundance, should lead to action.”

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.                                                                               (The Buddha)

Chairman:    Geoff Neilson   –    Phone 489-6727  –    Email: Geoff

Newsletter Editor:   Donald Feist  –   Phone 476-3268   – Email:   Don
Branch Website:

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