Religions as LOs LO7465

A. Paz (
Thu, 16 May 1996 18:28:27 -0500

Replying to LO7431 --

Judith Weiss wrote:

I think any group that thrives as it grows and changes in response to
environmental conditions is a LO. This would include most world
religions, which are currently full of ferment and questioning and
examination of traditional practices.

Most of the ferment has been instigated by three factors, near as I
can see: feminism, technology, and cross-cultural fertilization.
Examples of women's newly heightened consciousness around the world
challenging established religious traditions are numerous, not to
mention the resurrection/invention of Wicca/Goddess Worship. The
impact of medical technology on the definition of birth and death has
forced religions to examine their own definitions. Cultural clashes: A
very large percentage (I think over half) of American Buddhists are
Jews. The fatwa against Salman Rushdie, a multi-cultural person if
ever there was one. Black American Islam. Japanese Christianity.
American Techno-Paganism.
===========End Quote============

I would agree that "any group that thrives as it grows and changes in
response to environmental conditions is a LO," as you said above.
However, I wouldn't limit the LO label to just those that "thrive." Many
groups that fail to thrive but continue to believe in the promise of
liberation and live with an active hope are, IMHO, LOs.

The interesting aspect of oppressed groups for me is that their "learning"
isn't always simply in response to environmental conditions, but to the
insights about our life-circumstances in light of some form of revelation
from a Higher Source. I don't mean religion as an opium to help one
endure suffering either (although I think we to easily discredit a
religion's ability to give meaning to suffering).

The examples that come immediately to my mind are the base ecclesial
communities of Brazil and other South American countries. (See Leonardo
Boff's *Church: Charism & Power* for more details, or Gustavo Gutierrez's
*Liberation Theology*)

(Anyway, I'm was delighted to see the reference to *Tikkun*, a challenging
and hopeful magazine to which I'm been subcriber for several years now.)


Augustine A. Paz

"A Sentence is not emotional a paragraph is." Gertrude Stein

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