Of life in the still-Christian South (a retired cleric’s occasional reflections)…

An Opening Word

It would be more accurate to employ the title: Of my life in the still-Christian South Carolina

As I believe that no two people ever mean precisely the same thing when using the same words,[1] I favor self-definition.

To wit…

By my life, always speaking only for myself, my observations are my own.

By South Carolina, I write of my experience in the 8th state of the Union; and, specifically in the mid-to-upstate region where I live and move and have my being.

By still-Christian, I do not mean that no other region nationally or globally bears a Christian character, whether understood by its past or current existential ethos. Nor do I mean to infer that Christianity is the only philosophical/theological-ethical framework.

Speaking in broad historical terms, I do think that the Enlightenment period’s elevation of human reason to an exalted state of influence and the developing concept of the self, over time, has led to a greater reliance on individual authority and accountability and a lesser confidence in overarching principles of belief and behavior.

Concerning these “overarching principles”, as a Christian, I think of the existence of God as revealed in Jesus Christ as embedded in scripture and embodied in two millennia and counting of tradition, and, yes, as viewed through the lens of human reason (though guided by the Holy Spirit) and as refracted through the prism of human experience.

As these things I continue to behold, in manifold forms and in myriad ways, in the active, daily consciousness of the lives and labors of the folk of South Carolina, in posts to come under Of life in the still-Christian South, I will share what I observe.

 

Footnote:

[1] To put this another way, I believe that given our individual experiences and observations, histories and memories, perspectives and opinions, no matter how similar, whenever two people seek to communicate, there always is difference between what is said and what is meant, what is intended and what is understood; thus, the constant individual necessity of defining one’s terms.

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5 thoughts on “Of life in the still-Christian South (a retired cleric’s occasional reflections)…

  1. Dear Paul,

    I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about life in the still-Christian South. I trust your powers of observation and your faithful and unfailingly beautiful expressions about what you see and experience. I am curious about what has happened there in the past 47 years since I began my unintended exile in the North.

    Love,

    Karen

    Liked by 1 person

    • My dear sister, we shall see together what arises. For the life of me, I am not sure entirely what has stirred this path of reflection. Today, it struck my consciousness as the proverbial bolt out of the blue. Again, we shall see. Much love, always

      Like

  2. Paul this sounds like quite the series. You and Pontheolla have had quite the experience since moving to SC. so it will be a very exciting read I’m sure. As a 5th generation Washingtonian I’ve thought often very recently about writing about how D.C. has changed over the last few years. If my life ever slows down I may do it. Looking forward to your words of wisdom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. And I think your writing about D.C. would prove rewarding for you and for us/me, your readers! In this regard, I spoke of you only yesterday when meeting someone who, at one time, attended St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Foggy Bottom.

      Liked by 1 person

      • What?????????? WOW!!!!!! That’s amazing!!!!! Happy I left there and found you and St. Mark’s, Capitol Hill!! Yep I may write about D.C. someday soon!! I just need my life to slow down a little.

        Liked by 1 person

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