Eremos Magazine - Current Issue

Magazine No. 128 [ September 2014 ]

If we cease taking people and things for granted we help re-sacralise our world...

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Inside this issue

Journeying From Atonement To At-One-Ment
by Helen Rainger
Ethics: With Or Without God by Noel Preston
Reading The Qur’an Contemplatively by Herman Roborgh
Prison Ministry Has Changed Me by Elizabeth Lee
Avoiding The King-Hit: A Reflection On Peace-Making by Michael Richards
Giving Thanks by Sasha Shtargot
Remember by Paul Kielich
Hedley Beare’s ‘Dolphin’s Leap, Hind’s Feet: Becoming A Mystic’ reviewed by Kay Harman
Ann Belford Ulanov’s ‘The Unshuttered Heart’ reviewed by Nicholas Rundle
Eremos Information and Membership


I wonder what our cover image suggests to you. Somehow the juxtaposition of Celtic cross and Australian native eucalypts suggests to me the migrations and cultural accretions of our Christian tradition. People like Richard Holloway suggest that we need to distinguish between the ‘historic packaging’ and the essential meaning of our tradition for our time and place. Once again the contributors to this issue do not shirk this challenge as they grapple with contemporary social issues and soul concerns.

‘Many Christians today find the notion of a substitutionary atonement problematic,’ says Helen Rainger. ‘Journeying from Atonement to At-one-ment’ explores the possible impact of this doctrine on our image of God, self and others, suggesting that there are alternative interpretations of biblical texts and imagery that encourage a more restorative, transformative approach to our relationships with God and others.

Noel Preston’s ‘Ethics: With or Without God’ grapples with theological and ethical issues pertaining to the environment. ‘In the 21st century,’ he says, ‘all good ethics, religious or otherwise, must be 'green' friendly, that is, eco-centric.’ He uses terms like the sacred secular and eco-spirituality sans frontières to deconstruct the traditional secular-sacred divide.

Interfaith dialogue seems necessary in a world where so much violence is seemingly fuelled by religious fanaticism. Herman Roborgh describes a group practice for reading the Qur’an contemplatively. He suggests that such a practice can take us beyond stereotypes to a more nuanced understanding of this sacred text.

Elizabeth Lee’s narrative about prison chaplaincy emphasises the mutuality and reciprocity of that ministry.

We live in an increasingly violent world, it seems. Michael Richards reflects on his own experience of a potentially violent encounter where his existing practice of mindfulness enabled him not to respond with anger. His reflection also raises questions about the social construction of violence.

Sasha Shtargot’s and Paul Kielich’s contemplative pieces complement each other. They both suggest that if we cease taking people and things for granted we help re-sacralise our world. For Sasha a simple expression of gratitude brings us into a realm of reciprocal, energising relationship. When Paul refers to ‘the collective experience of all things’, I am reminded of Kahlil Gibran’s phrase about being held ‘in the silent memory of God’, and I wonder about our responsibility to keep memory alive by bearing witness to our own and others’ stories.

Hedley Beare’s Dolphin’s Leap, Hind’s Feet, reviewed by Kay Harman, also takes us into the ‘untamed territory’ of mysticism. Nicholas Rundle’s review of The Unshuttered Heart recognises Ann Belford Ulanov’s wisdom as a soul guide in the increasing complexity and violence of contemporary life.

You will notice that we have reduced the amount of information about events and activities in the magazine. Full information is now available on our newly developed web site.

Travel well.

Frances MacKay

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