Monday, September 08, 2008

Makes You Think Doesn't It? Join the conversation...

The Holy and the Profane.
[W]e are always in the sanctuary. We are in a holy place when we are in the most secular place, and the most holy place remains secular.... Whenever omnipresence is experienced, it breaks down the difference between the sacred and the profane. ~Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology (I), p. 278

This is confronting. I have experienced what I perceived to be "evil" in many places. In Kings Cross, substance withdrawal hand-holding, India poverty, crime and corruption, counselling sessions, war and movies, prison, and at the centre of my own life; where the hair on my neck stood up and I was gripped by paralysing fear and impossible flight. I know these experiences are not unique to me, and that I survived them. So what is the affirmation here in Tillich's use of "omnipresence" and "sanctuary", "secular" and "profane"? Is it just inappropriate dualism; reducing situations to one of two opposites? Or something more?
Ray Richmond
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