Sunday, 23 July 2017

I borrowed a "theology" book

from the library yesterday. It was on the "new books" shelf when I went to knitting group and also collected a book I had ordered on inter-library loan.
I borrowed it for the Senior Cat. It was a subject I thought might interest him being concerned with what might be called "the edges of belief" or "doubts".
When I arrived home I waved it in front of his paws. He pounced. I made tea. He drank it absently. Almost two hours later I made him his light evening meal and gently removed the book from his paws. 
      "I should be doing something else," he muttered, "But it was much too interesting."
Yes, he was interested. He went on reading it last night. 
What interested me about this is that, at 94, the Senior Cat still enjoys having his thoughts on such topics challenged. 
My mother hated it. Her ideas about things like religion were firmly fixed. It did not do to challenge them. It upset her. She grew up in a religious tradition which did not even include a Sunday sermon, just readings from the Bible and another book. Ritual suited her.
I know many other people the same. It is none of my business to challenge their beliefs or lack of beliefs in such subjects. I keep my thoughts to myself. They don't want to discuss anything...although they may well be willing to tell me what they think and what I should think.
There are other people who are willing to be challenged. I may not change their views. They may not change mine. We can have a discussion, often a lively discussion, about such things.We can say to each other, "That was interesting. I'll think about it some more."
Ritual and tradition can be comforting in their familiarity. They can even be fun. There is certainly a place for them.
But, I really don't want to belong to the "I am right and you are wrong" brigade.


jeanfromcornwall said...

I am always deeply wary of people who know that they are right, especially when their certainty is based on religious faith. Who made them so sure? And how did they know that they were the owners of the only truth? It is frightening that people can live thir lives so blinkered.

kristieinbc said...

I think it's amazing that your dad is doing so well, and is still trying to stretch his mind and ideas at his age. He is a "young" 94. I'm curious about what the book was, if you don't mind giving out the title.

catdownunder said...

"Black sheep and prodigals" is the title Kristie - by a Dave Tomlinson. I haven't looked closely at it but he has found it interesting.
Jean - I am with you on being wary.