Having read a couple of books by Karen Armstrong- a former nun, I looked forward to her piece “Not the last word” in a recent issue of Third Way Magazine. Karen is against dogma and for seeing religion as a real force for good. She writes, “No one can have the last word about God, and opinions can be entirely egotistical. Faith is about trust and compassion, which is the most important thing in the world.” She makes a call for people of faith to return to that central focus on compassionate action and away from dogmatic belief.
Karen goes on to describe how she moved away from religion after finding her own upbringing too parochial and explores the holiness in humanity- “Everyone should make the effort to welcome the stranger.”,and hiWayghlights the dire consequences of failing to respect this. She goes on to describe the founding of a Charter for Compassion as a opportunity for people to join up an reclaim their faith, which they believe has been hijacked- she concludes “by not encouraging compassion, we invite disaster.”
Challenging stuff, let’s see what can be done to focus on compassion rather than conflict and respect holiness rather than celebrate being holier than thou!
For the full article see Third Way Magazine’s website http://www.thirdway.org.uk/510