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February 07, 2023


Douglas Hutcheon

Thoughtful and significant statement and comment on the ongoing journey if faith, and the dilemmas often faced, sometimes without easy resolution.
But we walk by faith and are grsteful for the facts.

Anna Robbins

Thanks for this reflection. I am a huge fan of Thomas since discovering him during my doctoral (and pastoral) sojourn in Wales. I identify with his lament and frustration - so much of faith being pushed aside that the renown gained with ease by preachers past haunted him in each sermon. It was like that in Wales, even in the 90s as elders 'remembered' the way of the chapels in the past. Except this was a false narrative that often belied the truth. In the end, when I read this poem today, I am struck once again with Thomas's prophetic tone. How, a la Taylor, the secular world has pushed the transcendent aside with such ease. It will never be like it was but surely, somewhere, somehow, re-enchantment is possible. Thanks for presenting an opportunity to think about this today, at the end of a busy workday.

Jim Gordon

Thanks Anna. Agreed on the prophetic edge of this poem; the prophetic combines the understanding of the past, clear perception of the present, and a hopeful imagination for the future. Re-enchantment with transcendence is both hope and perhaps essential if the world is to survive our human ravaging of it. R S Thomas is one of God's outriders, helping us see and understand the cost and consequences of secularisation's impatience with that which cannot be measured, commodified, exploited, and ultimately consumed. Wonder if the late RST ever read the early Walter Brueggemann?

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Currently reading

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