Rick Moody at Salmagundi:
It’s easy, when reading Ross Douthat, with his talk of a “tribe” of meritocrats and culture workers, with his feel-good conservative Catholicism, to know what you are against spiritually. Being against things is at the heart of Douthat’s article. It’s at the heart of certain kinds of evangelical practice, it’s at the heart of the ideologically pure Left and the ideologically pure Right. What’s much harder, especially in the Christianity of the present, is to say what you stand for, even if standing “for” things is theologically central to all that Christianity imagined of itself, when, e.g., it codified the Nicene Creed.
Let me, then, say what I imagine liberal Protestantism, e.g., stands for. In my daily reading of the work of Franciscan contemplative Richard Rohr I recently came across the following from Julian of Norwich, a profound early English mystical voice, and a writer much admired by Rohr and other contemporary thinkers about Christian theology: “Would you like to know our Lord’s meaning in all this? Know it well: love was his meaning. Who revealed this to you? Love. What did he reveal to you? Love. Why did he reveal it to you? For love. Stay with this and you will know more of the same.”