About this blog

This Blog is named after an ancient gnoseological riddle which hints hidden, disseminated, omnipresent wisdom.
I invite you to search, listen and observe with me for "the word of tree, whisper of stone, and humming together of the abyss and stars."


Evolution Tree of God

This Sunday we will again mark the birthday of Charles Darwin by celebrating Evolution Sunday. This tradition started in 2006 when religious leaders stood up to defend science teachers against attacks of the bible-belt fundamentalist evangelicals. The Rev. Dr. Byron Shafer enlisted Rutgers Church at the very beginning of this movement in 2006. Then, during the interim period, the celebration was forgotten, and we returned to this worthy cause again in 2010 and Evolution Sunday has been observed at Rutgers Church ever since.
    After a few years we exhausted the theme of the relationship between religion and science and instead we proceeded a few steps further by applying the principal of evolution to religion and faith. Of course it required defining evolution a little more broadly than in the strictly Darwinian sense, as “gradual change of characteristics over period of time”. Last year, for instance we observed the evolution of Holy Communion from Biblical times throughout the medieval church history, the reformation, enlightenment rationalism, resurgent traditionalism until our postmodern times.
This year we will apply evolutionary perspective to the name of God. Many Americans would be quite surprised to hear Aramaic and Arabic-speaking Christians (not Muslims!) ardently praying to Allah. What is going on? Is the Muslim God identical to Jewish or Christian one? In our rapidly globalizing society it is a burning question. Only last December Larycia Hawkins, a tenured political science professor at Wheaton College, was suspended and eventually last week expelled from the faculty, because she publicly stated that the God of Islam is the same as the Christian God.
    This Evolution Sunday we will apply this evolutionary perspective to the meaning and identity of the divine name. The evolution tree of the name of God will take us from the deepest recesses of polytheistic history through biblical Hebrew orthodoxy to our modern times and new developments. The issue is not simple, yet it will hopefully take us to deeper insights, to unfundamentalist faith and towards informed interfaith understanding.

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