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The freedom to be tomorrow what we are not today—becoming Free Spirits and Archeologists of Morning

Abstract:

In my talk I ask whether “Religion—Where Next?” (the Sea of Faith conference theme) was the right question to pose and that perhaps a better one might be “Religion—Where Right Now?” I begin by suggesting that, rather than overcoming our past religion/s in a strong fashion (replacing it/them with new strong religious ideas and practices), we might do better to employ Gianni Vattimo’s “weak thought” (il pensiero debole) which uses more subtle and creative ways consciously to surpass, twist, and reinterpret our inherited religion/s. I then turn to who is to do this kind of “weak thinking” and argue that the primary task we face is not to create any kind of new religion but to create and form new, liberal religious subjects. I suggest that one way this task can be achieved is by combining the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s therapeutic idea of how a “free-spirit” is made with the poet Charles Olson’s self-description as “Archeologist of Morning.” When combined I suggest that th…

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