May 17, 2009
My friend and flatmate Michael Carden has written another blog post on the St Mary’s in Exile community, reflecting on a recent homily by Terry Fitzpatrick at the TLC building.
Michael discusses Terry’s equation of himself with those on the margins, and questions how that equation can be effectively articulated without a reflection on Terry’s own privilege.
Michael zeroes in on the rather odd ‘Buddhist’ references in the homily. I think it’s absolutely right to query how Terry has gone about composing the margins of his own discourse. I have no objection to, and rich praise for, those who find points of articulation with Buddhist traditions and their own cultural background exploring those – and many do so from a place of absolute respect. Sociologically, we live in a post-traditionalist society where one can’t simply say that because of ethnicity or heritage that ‘we’ are Christian.
While we – in this place and at this time – no doubt remain within a broader culture that’s been formed by Christianity – there are many for whom their own life and formation is not in any real sense Christian, and some for whom ‘other’ faiths and mysteries provide a point of articulation in their own spiritual practice. I, myself, am becoming increasingly interested in (or perhaps reinteresting myself in) some connections that can be made between Taoist motifs and a certain sense of time and the articulation of events to each other that could be named Jewish. It’s a work of thought, and a practice, that I think is bearing immense fruit for me.
But we do need to question our own place in regard to margins, and whether, why, where and how we inscribe them.