Tag Archives: metareligionrap

Dreaming Quantum Dreams

This post is part of the January Interfaith Synchroblog.  The theme is “Religion and Science”.  Links to all contributors are listed at the end of this post.

Before I begin I just want to make it clear that anyone out there with the least bit of knowledge about quantum physics could easily prove that I don’t know a thing about it.  Sure I could talk a little bit about entanglement, which is the quantum physics theory that some form of communication, faster than the speed of light, allows particles that have become entangled to know and respond to what the other one does no matter how far apart they are, or I could talk a little bit about the amazing double slit experiment that basically says nothing is real unless it is observed – but like I said, just “a little bit”.  However, in my defense, even Richard Feynman, the American physicist who received the Nobel Prize in 1965 for his contributions to quantum electrodynamics said, “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.” 
I first became interested in the connection between quantum physics and faith when I read the essay “Physics and Faith: The Luminous Web”  by Barbara Brown Taylor.   She absolutely astounded me with the way she allowed science to enhance her perception of God and his creation. Below are a few paragraphs from the essay that really spoke to me (you can find the whole thing  here):


“When I am dreaming quantum dreams, the picture I see is more like a web of relationships–an infinite web, flung across the vastness of space like a luminous net. It is made of energy, not thread. As I look, I can see light moving through it like a pulse moving through veins. I know the light is an illusion, since what I am seeing moves faster than light, but what I see out there is no different from what I feel inside. There is a living hum that might be coming from my neurons but might just as well be coming from the furnace of the stars. When I look up at them there is a small commotion in my bones, as the ashes of dead stars that house my marrow rise up like metal filings toward the magnet of their living kin.

Where am I in this picture? All over the place. Up there. Down here. Inside my skin and out. Large compared to a virus and small compared to the sun, with a life that is permeable to them both. Am I alone? How could I ever be alone? I am part of the web that is pure relationship, with energy available to me that has been around since the universe was born.

Where is God in this picture? All over the place. Up there. Down here. Inside my skin and out. God is the web, the energy, the space, the light — not captured in them, as if any of those concepts were more real than what unites them, but revealed in that singular, vast net of relationship that animates everything that is.

It is not enough for me to proclaim that God is responsible for all this unity. Instead, I want to proclaim that God is the unity — the very energy, the very intelligence, the very elegance and passion that make it all go. This is the God who is not somewhere (up there, down here) but everywhere”

Like Barbara Brown Taylor, I also dream quantum dreams – dreams of unseen connections and unexplained phenomenon, dreams of a broken world made whole again, dreams of unity without uniformity and diversity without fragmentation, dreams that allow me to imagine that when science and faith meet, secrets buried in the physical universe will be revealed, secrets that bear witness to the glorious attributes of its creator, secrets that will urge us to seek, to marvel and even to doubt in order that our theology will be edified.

At times science can be alarming for many of us, stripping away answers without providing new ones…and yet I sense that it may be from these uncertain places that a fresh and more robust gospel will emerge.  A gospel that is not just scientifically sound and spiritually alive, but a gospel for all things – a whole gospel for the whole world – a gospel that dares to imagine a world where God’s dreams come true.

Here is a list of all the contributors to this synchroblog:

Reality Isn’t What It Used To Be at Notes From Underground

Dreaming Quantum Dreams at Grace Rules

How I Taught Science instead of “Christian” Science at the Evening of Kent

Is Evolution Atheistic? at glocal Christianity

Post-Modernism: A Challenge to Science? at Fr Ted’s Blog

Faith, Reason And Unreason at The Musings of a Confused Man


The Dialogue Begins

If you are interested in the dialogue that has been sparked by the “Interreligious Dialogue Synchroblog” (that is a mouth full) then hop on over to Khanya  or More Than Cake where there are ongoing dialogues about the difference in evangelizing and proselytizing (if there is a difference), what is permissable or at least, preferable, in an interreligious dialogue and truth.

Interreligious Dialogue: Risky Business

I am writing this post in collaboration with other bloggers participating in an Interfaith Synchroblog.
For more information on the Interfaith Synchroblog go here.  Links to the other posts are listed at the end of this post.
Some people believe that interreligious dialogue is risky business and fear that it will lead to syncretism or relativism or to people being misled or losing their faith. I don’t share these fears but I do believe that interreligious dialogue is risky business.
I believe that it is risky business because it isn’t easy and we will probably fail as much as we succeed. We will probably find ourselves often debating instead of dialoguing, coming to the conversation with preconceived ideas about points of disagreement and failing to be as humble and patient as we desire.
I believe that it is risky business because successful dialogue requires that we come to the conversation honestly, sincerely and vulnerable, willing to be self critical of ourselves and our own religious or ideological traditions and beliefs, willing to be open to being wrong and open to change.
I believe that it is risky business because the very ideals of interreligious dialogue demand that we are willing to embark upon a personal journey that has no clear destination in mind. A journey that may lead us to an internal debate about our own beliefs and traditions.
I believe that it is risky business because dialogue changes those who risk it. The aim is not to change the other, but to risk being changed. As much as interreligious dialogue tears down stereotypes and preconceptions about the other, it transforms the way we understand our own beliefs and, as a result, the way we live out our beliefs.
Yes, I believe that interreligious dialogue is risky business. It is risky like love and forgiveness and mercy and grace are risky. It is risky but I believe it is worth the risk.
“At the first level inter-religious dialogue is a dialogue, that is, a conversation on a common subject between two or more persons with differing views, the primary purpose of which is for each participant to learn from the other so that he or she can change. In dialogue each partner must listen to the other as openly and sympathetically as he or she can in an attempt to understand the other’s position as precisely and, as it were, as much from within, as possible. Such an attitude automatically includes the assumption that at any point we might find the partner’s position so persuasive that we would act with integrity, we would have to change our own position accordingly. That means that there is a risk in dialogue: we might have to change, and change can be disturbing.”
From Leonard Swidler’s foreword to Jewish Monotheism and Christian Trinitarian Doctrine: A Dialogue by Pinchas Lapide and Juergen Moltmann; Fortress Press, Philadelphia, 1981.)

Here are the links to the other participants in this synchroblog:

J.R. Miller (Christian) of More Than Cake on “A Christian Approach To Interfaith Dialogue”

Liz Dyer (Christian) of Grace Rules on “Interreligious Dialogue: Risky Business”

Matt Stone (Christian) of Glocal Christianity on “Is Interfaith Interfaith Enough”

Steve Hayes (Christian Orthodox) of Notes From The Underground on “Interreligious Dialogue”

K. W. Leslie (Christian/Pentecostal/Assemblies of God) of Evening of Kent on “Gathering With The Pagans”

Phil Wyman (Christian) of Square No More on “A Christian Presenter At Pagan Pride?”

Beth Patterson (Liberal Christian w/Celtic undertones) of Virtual Tea House on “Same Stove, Different Teapots”

Yvonne Aburrow (Wiccan Unitarian) of the dance of the elements on “Only Connect”

Jarred (Pagan/Vanic Witch) of The Musings of a Confused Man on Interfaith relationships

Andii Bowsher (Christian) of Nouslife on More tea Wicca?

Mahud (Pagan) of Between Old and New Moons on What Does Interfaith Dialogue Have To Do With Me?