Current religious thought in canada is “beyond belief.” That is to say, the thought receiving the greatest attention today maintains that belief is a thing of the past if it requires anything like definite conviction.
The two most discussed current religious books both claim that people can no longer accept the idea of a personal God.
One of these, A Church Without God, is by an Anglican priest who pleads for the Church to free itself from commitment to this impossible concept of God in the interest of becoming a healthier and freer community. The Rev. Ernest Harrison thinks that traditional belief in God has been the source of both oppression and repression, and that the sooner Christians free themselves from it, the better life will be for them.
He does not recommend that the Church impose his own brand of atheism on all its members, though, because that would simply create a negative kind of dogmatism, and he is even more opposed to that than he is to belief in God. His great hope for the Church is that it become pluralistic, just like the rest of society, so that churchmen can be free to believe or disbelieve as they choose. One of his major arguments against traditional theism is that it has encouraged an absolutistic attitude in many churchmen, leading them to denounce anyone who disagreed with them.
As remarkable as this clerical opinion has been the reaction of much of the church to it. Harrison, at one time a church headquarters official, now a college lecturer in literature, has continued preaching on Sundays in a Toronto church. After the publication of his book, however, the Bishop of Toronto informed him that he would no longer be permitted to perform this ministry. Letters-to-the-editor columns in both secular ...1
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