Thursday, February 5, 2009

On Revelation

I must confess a certain obsession with the writings of Ricoeur on religion, narrative and imagination. At one point in The Bible and the Imagination, the author opines: "revelation is the transfer from this history to our history." The imaginative or creative moment is birthed with the recontextualization of narrative - who am I in this vignette? In this way, the myth of revelation-as-sealed becomes revelation-as-creative-engagement. Yet, I am forced to ask: what is the significance of Unitarian Universalism's textual allergy to narrative? In his essay Philosophy and Religious Language, Ricoeur suggests that the form (and genre) of our religious articulation in turn reflects on its message. As the only authoritative text in our tradition, Singing the Living Tradition contains not a single excerpt of narrative verse. Whose stories, I wonder, can we enter into? Is revelation, ironically, thus rigid and fixed?

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