The purpose of this group will be to wrestle with social and spiritual issues, from a critical and philosophical perspective. This group is for those of us who have come from/participate in spiritual and religious communities, but are looking for a platform to articulate and engage with issues that are often taboo or overlooked in those contexts. This is based on the idea that, although the Israelite nation was started by a dude wrestling with God until his hip was displaced, and history is full of fascinating people wrestling with this concept of relational creative power, traditional faith spaces are much more conducive to certainty than questions.
Some topics that we will tackle, from a spiritual perspective, include:
1. Social justice: including race, economics and land reform, particularly in Stellenbosch - diversity is an intentional goal of this group 2. The environment: the role of the church, education in the church, the biblical/scriptural perspectives, engagement with nature and farming, sustainable practices (systemic and personal) 3. Science: the historical tension between faith and scientific progress 4. Creativity and art as an expression of faith: including exploring modern forms of art as social and spiritual commentary, such as television and film 5. Community: individualism vs communal existence 6. The miraculous and charisma 7. Liturgy, rituals, spiritual history, etc. 8. LGBT engagement: this aims to be a safe space for LGBTQ individuals to wrestle through the faith-sexuality tension 9. Multi-faith engagement 10. Doubt
I envision meeting once a month to start with, and possibly increasing it to one discussion event and one social event (hiking, beach, film-evening, etc.) per month, depending on interest.
The idea is two-fold: 1) to encourage each other in exploring new frontiers and create space for philosophy, and 2) to challenge each other to new practices, so that it doesn't stay philosophical.
I'm coming from a somewhat christ-oriented background, but I just want to facilitate this: the more perspectives, the merrier!