Easter Reflection: On Mortality, Knowledge, and Strangeness.

“How strange it is to be anything at all!”, exclaims Jeff Mangum in one of my favorite songs.

It is a rather strange thing, indeed, to exist.  Maybe you don’t think so, you might think you have the answers for why we are here and where we are going, walking around with a “road map to life“. That’s ok. Personally, I find it eerie, upsetting, and rather awkward, that without your consent, without a choice, you were brought to existence, born from parents you did not choose, in a country you did not choose, taught and indoctrinated with customs and ideas about everything without ever been given a second to pause and think twice. Time keeps pushing you forward whether you like it or not, with every single choice you make remaining forever a part of your history, impacting you and others around you in infinite collaterality. Everyone who was here before you experienced this constant pressure from time, too. Everything they taught you was the best way they managed to figure out what exactly is going on, but not everyone concluded the same things, and who knows who is right?

Time never gives you a second chance. If you pay attention, you will notice decay and mortality all around you. Flowers blooming and withering, your own body changing, loved ones dying. Opportunities lost. Nothing can ever be undone, only reconciled. Offenses can never be taken aback, only forgiven.

It’s easy to feel insecure. Continue reading Easter Reflection: On Mortality, Knowledge, and Strangeness.

The Study of God: on method

Recently a friend of mine who has very little religious education gained interest in theology, and surprised me with maybe the best question I have been asked in a while: what is the theological method?

If you have ever studied something seriously, academically, critically, you understand his question. Ιt is a question of epistemology: “how do I know?”. In traditional sciences, there is a scientific method: controlled, observable and reproducible experiments lead to conclusions and allow predictions. The experiment is then repeated and reviewed by other scientists who confirm or contest the conclusions, and as that happens the whole community arrives at very probable theories about a subject. History also has its method, since history cannot be repeated or reproduced, neither controlled, so it stands outside the realm of science. Math and logic, along with philosophy, all have their systems of proof testing. So when we speak of the Divine, what is our method to differ between truth and non-truth? How do we know? Continue reading The Study of God: on method

Watch The World Burn #1

Note: The blog’s been really quiet lately because life was crazy this past month: wedding, volunteering, end of Summer, and a bunch of other things. But we’re back!

Two good friends of mine recommended that I’d watch the documentary “Samsara” (check it out), which I did, not long ago. It’s a stunningly beautiful non-verbal documentary, excellent cinematography showing several sequences of different aspects of humanity. Being non-verbal, the message is quite open for interpretation, and it surely left me with some thoughts.

There was this sequence about food (here!) that really turned my guts around, but it affected mostly my mind. You see, I love being a carnivore, and I don’t plan on ever becoming a full on vegetarian, but knowing that what was shown in that video is more or less our global reality made me consider it. Still, don’t worry, this is not another pro-vegan post in the internet. I will talk about food, but the issue I want to address is deeper. It’s about entitlement, ignorance, some recipes and a bit of history. Continue reading Watch The World Burn #1

The God of unbelievers #1: Theology not for Christians

Ever since I have started studying theology, I have had quite a few interesting conversations with different people. I am studying in a secular, “liberal” university with believers and non-believers from different backgrounds and different insights into who God is. Some of the conversations I have appreciated the most were with atheists, people who deny, for a number of reasons, the existence of the God I love. You see, I am a Christian, but my favorite philosopher (if I may not call him a theologian) is Friedrich Nietzsche, who proclaimed that God was dead. I am very interested in the reasons why people would not believe, and to me, understanding honest atheism helps me understand both God and men, which I believe is what theology is all about. Continue reading The God of unbelievers #1: Theology not for Christians