DON CUPITT

 

Is it possible for people, and even for a whole society, to lose faith in God? ... [If] it happens, [it is] not primarily because something they used to think existed does not after all exist, but because the available language about God has been allowed to become too narrow, stale and spiritually obsolete ... the work of creative religious personalities is continually to enrich, to enlarge and sometimes to purge the available stock of religious symbols and idioms ... (The Sea of Faith, 1984)


DENNIS NINEHAM

 

... people of different periods and cultures differ very widely; in some cases so widely that accounts of the nature and relations of God, men and the world put forward in one culture may be unacceptable, as they stand, in a different culture ... a situation of this sort has arisen ... at about the end of the eighteenth century a cultural revolution of such proportions broke out that it separates our age sharply from all ages that went before (The Use and Abuse of the Bible, 1976)


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The Idea of the
Supernatural

If anything divides the modern mind from the ancient it is the idea of the supernatural. Some say that there exists a reality or world other than the universe of which our planet is part. Others maintain that while this was once a useful construct, it no longer holds water. Under the entire series of the "Debates" wriggles the lively issue of the possibility of the supernatural. Which paradigm do you prefer?

Richard DeRemee proposes that it is possible to stand with one foot in each camp. In Before and After the Big Bang he argues that the realm of science serves one part of us, while the realm of religion serves another. He lives in both the sacred and the profane worlds - the former for the meaning of life, the latter when science is required.

Michael Maasdorp holds that the idea of traffic between the natural and the supernatural destroys the foundations of modern knowledge. In On Our Own But Not Alone he suggests that to attain maturity we must also gain autonomy. Neither survives in a world invaded by the supernatural.