by: Rupert Brooke (1887-1915)
FISH (fly-replete, in depth of June,
Dawdling away their wat’ry noon)
Ponder deep wisdom, dark or clear,
Each secret fishy hope or fear.
Fish say, they have their Stream and Pond;
But is there anything Beyond?
This life cannot be All, they swear,
For how unpleasant, if it were!
One may not doubt that, somehow, Good
Shall come of Water and of Mud;
And, sure, the reverent eye must see
A Purpose in Liquidity.
We darkly know, by Faith we cry,
The future is not Wholly Dry.
Mud unto mud! — Death eddies near –
Not here the appointed End, not here!
But somewhere, beyond Space and Time.
Is wetter water, slimier slime!
And there (they trust) there swimmeth One
Who swam ere rivers were begun,
Immense, of fishy form and mind,
Squamous, omnipotent, and kind;
And under that Almighty Fin,
The littlest fish may enter in.
Oh! never fly conceals a hook,
Fish say, in the Eternal Brook,
But more than mundane weeds are there,
And mud, celestially fair;
Fat caterpillars drift around,
And Paradisal grubs are found;
Unfading moths, immortal flies,
And the worm that never dies.
And in that Heaven of all their wish,
There shall be no more land, say fish
Originally posted on BVLSINGLER PhD Diary + Blog :
Scientology is in the mainstream news again with the announcement that a woman who wants to marry in a Scientology chapel has won a Supreme Court battle to have it recognized as a ‘place of meeting for religious worship’. Five judges have over-ruled a 1970 ruling that prioritized veneration of a God in deciding what was genuine religious worship or not.
Good news for Miss Louisa Hodkin who gets to go through her choice of ritual in her choice of location.
Provocative thoughts from Mr Tuckett!
Originally posted on The Critical Religion Association:
At the recent BASR/EASR conference at Liverpool Hope University I spoke about dragons. My paper was on the application of Ninian Smart’s dimensions of religion to the Nine Divines. The Nine Divines is the principle “religion” to be found in the Elder Scrolls video game series and it has no meat-world presence. My argument was that the Nine Divines as a religion met all the dimensions that Smart detailed and that there were no logical grounds upon which we should not consider it a religion of as much legitimacy or reality as any meat-world counterpart (i.e. Hinduism, Islam, etc.). In short, the Nine Divines is an example of what Smart characterises as an Imperial religion: a ‘relatively loose’ organisation ‘with cities and regions for instance having their own priesthoods and cults’ (1996:237).
There was a certain amount of ludicrosity to the whole affair, something I felt acutely as I did my field research from the comfort of my own armchair. On more than one occasion I was forced to stop and ask myself “is this serious?” I mean, how many field researchers have had to deal with the problem of troll attacks as they travel to investigate what sort of items have been left as offerings at a shrine? It certainly doesn’t feel very phenomenological to bury your axe into a bandit’s face. However, this in itself was part of what fascinated me about the whole exercise. As ludicrous as it all was, going through Smart’s dimensions I found no impediment to say that the Nine Divines isn’t a real religion. The fact of the matter is that applying our scholarly assumptions and categories to the religion of a video game throws up interesting challenges that we might not have considered if we restricted ourselves to roaming the meat-world. The main question I raised in my paper was that despite the fact that there are various discussions about the reality or unreality of gods, spirits, or what have you, no scholar has every stopped to consider the reality or unreality of the practitioners. No definition of religion I can think of stipulates that the practitioners of that religion, however defined, have to have meat-world presence.
What a nice way to wake up in the morning
An initial breakdown of data from the 2011 census in Scotland is now available:
It shows, among other things, a decrease in numbers of those selecting the ‘Church of Scotland’, ’Other Christian’, and ‘Jewish’ categories. ’Church of Scotland’, for example, is down 10% since 2001 to 32.4% of the population. All other categories show an increase. Most notable, perhaps, are the figures for those selecting ‘no religion’ – up from 27.8% in 2001 to 36.7% (the current figure is around 25% for England and Wales).
Expect these figures to be discussed and debated ad nauseam in the coming weeks/months/years.
‘to make general statements about ‘the Asians’, ‘the Jews’ or ‘the Irish’ reeks of disrespect, ignorance and even prejudice. Yet the same statements can be made to sound respectful and even solidary when uttered about the Asian, Jewish or Irish ‘community’’ (Gerd Baumann, Contesting Culture, 1996, p.15).
OMG! Someone with a family connection to the land-mass beside the one on which I was born has won I sporting event I care/know little about AND a lady who has married into the ‘world’s best-known hereditary monarchy’ is having a baby AND David Cameron has decided to protect my eyes (and therefore my mind?) from images (and ideas?) which he deems ‘offensive’… I love my Big Brother unequivocally.