This week I strategy to choose up the pace a bit by writing about my writing.
Sacred Dissonance was cowritten with Larry Behrendt and published with Hendrickson. It is the book that took the longest and necessary the most of me in terms of emotion, new analysis, and individual reflection. Rather than recap the book, right here is an e mail I wrote Larry yesterday.
Larry, it is been a minute due to the fact we discussed Xty/Judaism stuff. I had an practical experience this morning that I believed I’d share.
So for our birthdays (which are only days apart), Sarah and I purchased each and every other a year-lengthy Sunday subscription to the Instances. When I had this thought I imagined myself sitting down with coffee and the paper on the front porch. That is precisely what I did this morning. I study a couple articles on the front web page, looked at the finest-seller list, and opened to the sports web page. I can not inform you how significantly nostalgic joy I got from the tactile practical experience. So significantly of my youth was spent underlining stats and circling boxscores. There had been no boxscores nowadays. That was sort of jarring. But the AL and NL league leaders had been there just as I remembered them. 20 years ago I may have written out a number of permutations of a trade to land Nick Markakis so I could flip him for some other player that generally has a sturdy second half. Obtaining the paper in my hands brought back the feeling of all of these wasted hours. With 1 important distinction. The “leaders” section for batters starts with a category referred to as “batting.” This, of course, refers to batting typical, a stat that I view with diverse eyes. For pitchers, the top rated categories is referred to as “pitching.” This is basically a wins-losses stat. Not only do I appear at this stat differently, I no longer care about it. It really is intriguing but it is not telling. Even so, I get pleasure from the practical experience of revisiting these old, outmoded categories. They are meaningful touchstones. They are component of the whole practical experience of holding a newspaper in my hands and wasting time with baseball. But nostalgia is just about generally tinged with lament. I’ve changed. Baseball has changed. The planet has changed.
This is not the location to reproduce the whole text or Larry’s reply. The gist of this exchange was my sense that I practical experience the sacred far much less now than I as soon as did. No matter if it is my connection to the Church or baseball, I am merely in a diverse location than I as soon as was. I have diverse categories by which I course of action the planet. Even though I do not regret the path I’ve taken, I do miss crossing the border from mundane to sacred. This is not a loss of faith or devotion. I nevertheless get pleasure from baseball (except when it sucks) and I nevertheless enjoy my church (except when I do not). But my new categories incline me much less to sacramental practical experience.
I assume that my pursuit of Jewish-Christian dialogue was a selection to chase the sacred. In writing this book I wanted to recognize what Larry finds sacred in Judaism and Jewishness. And I wanted to see my personal tradition anew by means of his eyes. But the course of action of our dialogue has grow to be sacred on yet another level. My pursuit of the sacred (simply because it is generally one thing of social construct see e.g. baseball) necessary some neighborhood of devotion. For me, individuals who are hanging out at the borders of Christianity are finest equipped to assistance me course of action my personal practical experience. Someplace along the way, the course of action of dialogue itself became sacred to me. But, as the title of the book suggests, it is not a course of action that needs harmony of belief, praxis, or symmetry. It is an altogether diverse practical experience of the sacred.