Culture is a system of signs inscribed upon us as we learn our mother tongue. Current linguistic usages carry our values and prescribe the way we see the world. Society creates your world through you.
The endlessly fertile metaphoricity of language, the mobility and the unpindownableness of words, mean we are caught up in language, as in a ferment and flux. The movement of language is never wholly predictable or controllable.
Distinctions between fact and interpretation, truth and fiction, largely disappear. We are still language-programmed, but not in any rigid or deterministic way. Language and the world have become too shifting and fluid for that. We have come to the age of cinema, and of the magic-realist and postmodern novel. ‘Reality’ has become a magical illusion that continually shifts, changes and renews itself.
We dream the dream and it dreams us, so we can dance with it.
Creation Out of Nothing
Don Cupitt is an English philosopher of religion and scholar of Christian theology. He has been an Anglican priest and a professor of the University of Cambridge, though is better known as a popular writer, broadcaster and commentator. Cupitt has written 40 books—which have been translated into Dutch, Persian, Polish, Korean, Portuguese, Danish, German and Chinese.
Outside the Western tradition, Cupitt has looked mainly to Buddhism. Of his recent books, Emptiness and Brightness is the most Buddhist. He is a friend of Stephen Batchelor, who is sometimes described as his counterpart within Buddhism.
Eighteen of Cupitt’s recent books have been translated into Chinese. The reason for this move to the East is that, whereas in the West Cupitt is read mainly in Theology faculties and is therefore regarded as heretical, in China he is read as Philosophy and gets a much fairer hearing. Thus for Cupitt there is, paradoxically, more religious freedom in China than in the West. He is seen as writing somewhere between Christianity, Buddhism and French-style postmodernism, and his present religion of “solar” commitment to ordinary life makes sense to many people in China, which has never been much attracted to other-worldy, dogmatic religion.
Cupitt came to the British public’s attention in 1984 with his BBC television series The Sea of Faith, in which orthodox Christian beliefs were challenged. He is currently a key figure in the Sea of Faith Network, a group of spiritual “explorers” (based in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia) who share Cupitt’s concerns.
Books written by Don Cupitt include:
- Above Us Only Sky
- After God: The Future Of Religion
- Creation Out of Nothing
- Creative Faith: Religion as a Way of Worldmaking
- Emptiness and Brightness
- Jesus and Philosophy
- Philosophy’s Own Religion
- Sea of Faith (SCM Classics)
- Taking Leave of God (SCM Classics)
- The Fountain: A Secular Theology
Sea of Faith BBC Documentary, Six Part Series – Written and Narrated by Don Cupitt
Sea of Faith – Part 1 (Galileo, Descartes, Pascal) – Don Cupitt
Sea of Faith – Part 2 (Freud, Jung, Darwin, William Smith) – Don Cupitt
Sea of Faith – Part 3 (David Friedrich Strauss, Albert Schweitzer) – Don Cupitt
Sea of Faith – Part 4 (Marx, Kierkegaard )- Don Cupitt
Sea of Faith – Part 5 (Schopenhauer, Vivekananda, Annie Besant) – Don Cupitt
Sea of Faith – Part 6 (Nietzsche, Wittgenstein)- Don Cupitt