In Princeton Seminary, there was a radical obsession with Barthian theology. I despised it, but it was only the latest in a long line of putting the divine outside the world in the Abrahamic tradition. I think the ecological consequences of God as radically other from the world are devastating. They may have been the source of not only such lovely things as climate change, this theological error was directly responsible for much of the spiritual holocaust that occurred when missionaries encountered Native American spiritual frameworks. Take this quote from Barth:
“God, the pure limit and pure beginning of all that we are, have, and do, standing over in infinite qualitative difference to man and all that is human, nowhere and never identical with that which we call God, experience, surmise, and pray to as God, the unconditioned Halt as opposed to all human rest, the yes in our no and the no in our yes, the first and last and as such unknown, but nowhere and never a magnitude amongst others in the medium known to us, God the Lord, the Creator and Redeemer . . . that is the living God.”
…or look at The Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Contrast this with the following prayer from a Lakota friend:
“When the morning star comes out and the waterbird makes her call,
the Sister Moon slips away,another day begins…..
The many threads of life woven together,hand in hand,
we walk together towards the sunset of our journeys end,
harmonizing with the strength of our Mother Earth,
as her heart reverberates with each graceful step….
Gliding across her bosom with our faces flowing with pride and hope for our future Generations,
the depth of our inner beings vibrate with the essence of sage,sweetgrass and cedar…..
As the wings of our brother Eagle gently takes us into the realm of greater understanding we take the courage to stand up and make a difference for our future singers,
dancers and voices of a new Generation to come……..
Let us be in Unity and Stand In The Spirits of Our Ancestors…..”
I am so hit by the idea that our intentions to how we feel about earth are affected by the way we pray, and was so curious I started to query the video game market for games that capture the difference spiritual frameworks. I found this game Never Alone and am curious to continue to play it and try to make one of my own for the Islamic tradition.