Tag: becoming of g-d
I am enjoying starting my speaking & book tour in Melbourne Australia, but it has begun in a background of ongoing trauma. I am now stuck inside after storms have caused a return risk of fires so a state of emergency has been created, requiring to all be at home and await instructions. It feels very traumatised here, a lot of people have died, and the risk continues. It feels a little bit like that feeling I remember from the London Tube & Bus terrorist activity 2 years ago. There is a profound sense of fear here, but at the same time, a real sense of people coming together. I was really moved by the memorial in the Anglican Cathedral remembering those who have died. So it is a strange time to kick off a tour when I have bronchitis and on antibiotics, and where the books I sent over were all printed wrongly by Lulu!!! So it has been extremely challenging. I am hoping it is going to get easier!!
Ian Mobsby Speaking Tour in Melbourne, Gold Coast, Newcastle, Sydney, Blue Mountains, Auckland, Hamilton & Cambridge March 2009
In Ysidro, an extremely poor neighbourhood near San Diego, a community group led by architects improved what the locals felt was a slum by reconditioning 12 homes, a ruined church into a community centre and a shared garden out of abandoned street markets. It created a new community that refound its centre and self-respect. The architect quotes:
It’s so important to think of housing differently, not as units thrown on the landscape [often to make a quick profit], but strategically and politically about density and social structure.
Or a group of architects working in San Agustin Caracas, a run down area socially isolated and excluded. Here the architects have planned and are currently building a new metro cable car station to enable inhabitants to be part of the city. In addition, they have built gyms for the kids living in the middle of the slum barrios, some of the most densely inhabited places of the world. They have built new markets for employment, new toilets to reduce disease, and new bridges to increase access. Next they plan to build schools and a medical centre. Notice not nice riverview developments for the super rich, but a recommitment to the poor. Statistics have shown that these inclusive activities have contributed to a 35 per cent drop in crime in the area.
These projects point to a commitment for social transformation to be experienced in the here and now, not in some future after life treasured by many Christians, but the desire for liberation, love and inclusion to be the experience of the now.
What this all points to for me, is the importance of phenomenology and its connection with theology with such people like Jean-Luc Marion. Christianity, if it is true, needs to come out of experience of the here and now. Many Christians bang on about social transformation, but I can’t think of many situations where this is actually achieved in the here and now. This approach is hardwork, is political, comes with a cost. In my second book, the becoming of G-d, I am highly influenced by a phenomenological reflection of theology, particularly of our understanding of the Holy Trinity coming out of the experiences of the people of God, and how God through present experience challenges us to live out a focus of radical spiritual community that is committed to social transformation. This lies at the heart of the notion of the Kingdom of God., not only of some after life, but of the here and now.
So this story, of architects playing their part in improving aspects of the lived environment, improving transport, sanitation, fresh water supplies, communal space and safer streets contributes in a real way to social transformation. This is a challenge to many Christians like me, who often have lots of words but not much action.
Many know, that I have dreams about Moot living this out more, if and when we move to our proposed new home in Old Street London.
I am having a UK launch of my new book at:
THE LONDON CENTRE FOR SPIRITUALITY BOOKSHOP
nearest tube: BANK
There is wine and nibbles, so please do consider coming. It is an RSVP event, so help us by reserving places. Click here for more info and booking places here There is a map here too.
So if you have not checked this out, check it out here
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In this Podcast, Aaron Kennedy interviews Ian Mobsby about the implications of his new book, the becoming of g-d
Personhood is therefore explicit in the Christian faith, when it draws on a Trinitarian ecclesiology, that has something to say about a God who is three persons of one substance, (Please note that this is not three substances and one person which is the mistake that many of us Westerners make). So we can take inspiration from the Trinitarian God, to seek our personhood, or what it means to be a human person – or more accurately – how we are becoming persons.
In contemporary business, we used to have personnel departments with personnel managers. I find it interesting in this light, that these departments have become human resources departments and human resource managers. The difference is sublte, but points to an increasing depersonalisation of roles in every area of life, that seeks to make us individuals and not persons.
Christianity then has a lot to say about what it means to be a person. Indeed, a person in connection with other persons, which then takes inspiration from a God of three persons that find their identity in being one holy community. If anything, Christianity is about putting back this ‘egalitarian-ness’ back into culture which is increasingly becoming little more than a market. If we draw on the Trinity, we have much to say on being persons and justice…
She was very brave, seeking to follow God where ever God takes her. In an amusing way, I really do think God was teaching me something, which revisited Chapter One of my book “the becoming of G-d”. That Christians and Jews really do have a deep shared tradition, along with Muslims, but sometimes, in the contemporary world of politics, you would never know it.
Carmel expressed her pleasure in meeting me, of always taking delight in meeting people of faith, to share and envision hope. In our conversations, Carmel and I, we touched a deep shared faith, and one where she showed me respect and hospitality, and I remain deeply touched by our conversations. She hungered for a solution to the Palestine Israel Conflict, she detested Zionism, she longed for a new just President of the United States, and deeper understanding and love between the Abrahamic faiths. Yes, unexpectedly, I was deeply challenged. My prayers go with Carmel, that she continue to bring hope and reconciliation where ever she goes, as God uses her to further the Kingdom in ways, I initially would not have been able to imagine. And so I return to England, and all the pain in the Anglican Church of division, before the Lambeth Conference. Thank you God for people like Carmel! That we can have some hope in our future.
It was a suitable end to this years tour. So tomorrow I catch a plane and start heading back to the UK. It was good to finish this tour amongst friends. So thanks Karen and COTA again for your support and hospitality.
Great conversations already, including catching up on Gareth’s thinking about some of the theology he has been reading as part of his course at Cambridge. All good stuff, and reminds me that the more you study the more you realise you don’t know. So taking in easy today before working tomorrow, hopefully it will cool down by then. It now seems ages since I was in London, so I am beginning to look forward to stopping this speaking tour and talking about other things than the Trinity…. However, I have submitted a book proposal to Paraclete again arising out of the conversations on this tour, and you will be pleased to hear that it is not on the Trinity!!!
Mark McCleary has been a bit of a hit over here, with his wit and Irish accent, particularly with some from a more German extraction, he certainly knows how to make an impression! The highlight of the tour so far for me, was a moment at a sunset in Vancouver overlooking the bay and pacific ocean when Mark said – what a beautiful and large moon (under the influence of alcoholic beverages). He mistook a large sodium street lamp to be the moon. I suppose you needed to be there…. You can’t take these Holywoodinians anywhere!