THE EARTH: Genesis—A Spiritual Revolution by Diana Butler Bass

June 22, 2018

From Grounded  Almost one in four Americans no longer identifies with any particular religious tradition, a number that rises to one in three if you count only American adults under thirty.  In Canada, the national number is slightly more than one in four; across Europe, the percentage of religiously unaffiliated people is higher.  In societies that were once strongly shaped by Protestantism and Roman Catholicism, increasing numbers of people have opted out of conventional religions at historic rates.  In terms of raw numbers, between 660,000 and 700,000 Americans per year in the last decade have left religion, making “no religion” the second largest “religious” group in the United States – and the only group posting numeric [...]

THE EARTH: Genesis—We’re Grounded by Diana Butler Bass

June 14, 2018

From Grounded  If you pay attention, you can hear this shift in conversations everywhere.  On a flight from Washington, D. C., to Los Angeles, a successful executive was seated next to me.  After she told me about her work, she asked, “What do you do?” I replied that I write about religion and spirituality. She laughed.  “’Religion’ isn’t a very popular word, is it?” I agreed. “I used to be religious,” she explained.  “I grew up Roman Catholic, but left the church over the sex-abuse scandal.  The church doesn’t make much sense in the world as it is now.  But I still believe in God.  I’d say I’m a spiritual person.” “Lots of people tell me that they are ‘spiritual but not religious,’” I said, [...]

THE EARTH: Genesis—God With(in) The World by Diana Butler Bass

June 7, 2018

From Grounded  Here in the labyrinth, I struggle to find words to describe what I feel. Up on the mountaintop, I knew the language to describe God: majestic, transcendent, all-powerful, Heavenly Father, Lord, and King.  In this vocabulary, God remains stubbornly located in a few select places, mostly in external realms above or beyond: Heaven, the church, doctrine, or the sacraments.  What happens in the labyrinth seems vague, perhaps even theologically elusive. Like countless others, I have been schooled in vertical theology.  Western culture, especially Western Christianity, has imprinted a certain theological template upon the spiritual imagination: God exists far off from the world and does humankind a favor when choosing to draw [...]

THE EARTH: Genesis—Where Is God? by Diana Butler Bass

June 2, 2018

From Grounded  Not so long ago, believers confidently asserted that God inhabited Heaven, a distant place of eternal reward for the faithful.  We occupied a three-tiered universe, with Heaven above, where God lived; the world below, where we lived; and the underworld, where we feared we might go after death.  The church mediated the space between Heaven and Earth, acting as a kind of holy elevator, wherein God sent down divine directions and, if we obeyed the directives, we would go up – eventually – to live in Heaven forever and avoid the terrors below.  Stories and sermons taught us that God occupied the high places, looking over the world and caring for it from afar, occasionally interrupting the course of human affairs with [...]

THE EARTH: Genesis by Diana Butler Bass

May 26, 2018

From Grounded The whole universe is God’s dwelling.  Earth, a very small, uniquely blessed corner of that universe, gifted with unique natural blessings, is humanity’s home, and humans are never so much at home as when God dwells with them. (U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Renewing the Earth)   Everything is related, and we human beings are united as brothers and sisters on a wonderful pilgrimage, woven together by the love God has for each and which also united us in fond affection with brother sun, sister moon, brother river, and mother Earth. (Pope Francis)   What we need is here. (Wendell Berry) I am sitting in the center of a labyrinth at Mount Calvary, a monastery in Santa Barbara, California.  The labyrinth, a [...]