LETTER TO IRISH TIMES


www.ireland.com

PUBLISHED ON 15th OCTOBER 2003

FAITH IN 21ST CENTURY

Madam, - The writer of Thinking Anew (October 11th), while agreeing with me about the need to search for new symbols and metaphors for seeking to express spiritualities for our life and commitments in a global village, claims that the Bible's symbols and metaphors still have power to challenge our lifestyles.

My argument in my book Tried for Heresy A 21st Century Journey of Faith is that some do and some don't. In particular, because now in 21st century we do not ascribe titles of divinity to extraordinarily gifted people, as happened in first-century Mediterranean culture, the metaphors such as "Lord" or "Saviour" do not speak as once they did with meaning and power to express the significance of Jesus.

However, perhaps the more prophetic part of my book is to take seriously the implications for liturgy if it is true that some biblical metaphors and symbols no longer speak with relevance and reality today.

I thus question whether the Mass and the Eucharist have a future, and if not, then maybe quite new forms of leadership will be more appropriate. The worries over vocations and the debates over celibacy may be overtaken by events, and like so much in the church's history become issues that have been sidelined by the changes that the prophetic mind was given to glimpse, - Yours etc.,

Andrew Furlong

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