Responding to Chapter 7: Spirituality and Praxis
Daphne Hampson, After Christianity (London: SCM Press, 1996)
Commentary on the final chapter:
Her aim for her final chapter is to try and find “whether there are certain ways of being in the world, certain practices, which will enable one to be aware of that dimension of reality which is God.” (p.274) She writes of the need for stillness, attentiveness and ethics/honesty. She wants us not to feel that we must be obedient to a higher being, but rather, feel empowered. There is also discussion of approaches to ethics. To conclude she names three different kinds of theological paradigms with which we enter into relationship with God: a theology of revelation, a theology of history and a theology predicated upon experience (which she favours). Her final words are these:
After Christianity there will be – people; people set in the nidst of the glory and the wonder of our world. We must trust that the fact that the Christian myth has reigned for so long will not eter us from an exploration of those spiritual resources which are ours. Murdoch writes: ‘But someone may say, we shall have to live now with spirit and without absolute and be thankful if we still have spirit and if that too is not withdrawn from us.’ To have that, truthfully, is enough.
– I. Murdoch, Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals (London: Chatto & Windus, 1992), p.467 and Hampson p.285
This is a good book. Though as I began reading I was apprehensive by the appearance of metaphysics, it turned out that the book can be understood by people without any previous knowledge of the subject. This is a great book for examining the still-very-needed feminism in our society. Also exploring a post-Christianity perspective, it purports a faith without a set hierarchical tradition. It is well worth a read.
My next book is a memoir: Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtel