This "hot" topic in theological, psychological and religious studies is the question of mind/body and how our physicality impacts our "selves". Is the brain the same as the "mind"? Is our environment the determining factor in life? Or is there an innate nature within the individual that is distinct from others, like fingerprints?
I do think that there is major "news" to discover in these arenas, but my concern is with a presupposition of the scientists (if there is one) of determination of environmental issues. Of course, this would support the Church's role in helping the family and school in the development/education of the child. The development and education of children is now in question, as many "ethical" children can be raised apart from religious teaching. And the Church's doctrine of the atonement, Jesus' life, and because of these issues, the social structure itself is in crisis. The struggle for the Church to survive these "onslaughts" of "modernity" is what is on the forefront of "news headlines" in theological circles. I personally do not find that reflecting on "theology" apart from reality is beneficial. Hope should be based on real issues of this world, instead of 'pie in the sky" hope for the next.
The Church is looking for a way out of gnostic tendencies in separating the "real world" from the "spiritual one". Many distorted doctrines have hindered man's flourishing, because man if viewed as "so fallen", that there is no redeeming quality within man. Everything that a "natural man' does is questioned, as lower than a 'spiritual man". The wall of separating the sacred and secular has hindered the Church's connection to the world and has hindered how everything 'in the world" has been viewed from "art", human virtue, to higher education. These "worldly" avenues are labelled as leading the "elect" astray and hindering the 'spirit".
I think that there is "hope" for the future of religion in discussing these issues, and I hope that I can be a part of the discussion. I know I will, if not directly, I will keep informed....
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