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  • Writer's pictureBenjamin Davis

Atheism for Lent - Week 1: A Reflection

Will Doss:

This first week of AFL I found myself reconnecting with something I lost (more like gave up) on my journey of de/re-constructing: a desire to dive deeper into the mystery and participation in God. The selections from Weisel, Merold Westphal, and John Caputo particularly brought me back to a time in my life when I was searching to certain of my correspondence to God; my desire to learn more about this Being and to know it better.

It’s bizarre and beautiful both (or to be linguistically correct, “sublime”) to return to material that initially broke me this side of being comfortable with an agnostic set of beliefs where I now feel more whole.

The defining moment of this first week (to me at least) was the “God in the Gallows” selection from Weisel’s “Night,” where Weisel is confronted with seeing a young boy hung from the gallows as he holds onto life for the excruciating better part of an hour. It is here, in solidarity with the death of the innocent, that we see echoes and glimpses of a God who loves his creation to point of emptying godself of divinity, taking on the full frailty of man, and breathes God’s last breath swollen and painstaking breath, to show that it is precisely into death of the self that the journey towards divinity takes us.

Benjamin Davis:

I loved the introduction that was week one. The idea of creating space simply to pause and reflect without judgement (especially with regard to ideas we may have been conditioned to reject outright) is helpful not only for this practice, but for life in general. Really looking forward to week two.

Devin Lisembee:

Peter Rollins spends the first week creating a space where ever part of me is welcome.  Where my body is a safe space for every part of my personality to be able to sit down and participate.  Questions are not bad and belief is not good.  They just are.  And they get equal seats at the table.

My wife introduced me to this concept through the works of Brene Brown.  In a completely unrelated way, she does an awesome job really developing the same concept that Pete is trying to do in this first week of AfL

Stephanie Lyons:

Still anxious about the destination of this journey, but very appreciative of the critiques, and the safe space created to dialog. I noticed in the introduction that Peter Rollins used the word curate to describe the collection of materials used for this course, and I see that curate is absolutely an accurate description. I appreciate the way art and music express thoughts and ideas, and how deeply those expressions are experienced.

Andy Olsen:

I really enjoyed settling in. Can't wait for week two!

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