Wednesday, December 01, 2004

One thing that struck me twenty years ago as I was reading what were then "old" sermons was the constant thread of sermons on the equality of women. Things like "this is going to surprise many of you, but your wives are not your property, they are your equal partners" and such. At the same time, the people hearing those sermons were completely oblivious to the message.

Part of it was a gap in metaphor (so many of the speakers had been businessmen and spoke using partnerships as their metaphor, the listeners were college students and working men).

The same with "neither black nor white" in God. There were things said about racial equality that people blatantly missed.

I would read those threads and wonder what things are we being told that we are missing but that later generations will take for granted as the truth and look at us askance?

The emerging debate about adults who have gained freedom at the expense of their children is an interesting one. I look at it and wonder how much of that will be considered true in twenty years (vs. how much will be rejected).

Theology as it evolves is fascinating, both from the threads that weave together, and those that do not.


lizzy said...

I've never thought about this before. I had to pull out the most recent conference Ensign and re-read some talks, looking for counsel I might be missing. Thank you for making me reflect on this.

Anonymous said...

What I think you are noticing is that there are "moral fashions."

"Although moral fashions tend to arise from different sources than fashions in clothing, the mechanism of their adoption seems much the same. The early adopters will be driven by ambition: self-consciously cool people who want to distinguish themselves from the common herd. As the fashion becomes established they'll be joined by a second, much larger group, driven by fear. [9] This second group adopt the fashion not because they want to stand out but because they are afraid of standing out."

"So if you want to figure out what we can't say, look at the machinery of fashion and try to predict what it would make unsayable. What groups are powerful but nervous, and what ideas would they like to suppress? What ideas were tarnished by association when they ended up on the losing side of a recent struggle? If a self-consciously cool person wanted to differentiate himself from preceding fashions (e.g. from his parents), which of their ideas would he tend to reject? What are conventional-minded people afraid of saying?"

"This technique won't find us all the things we can't say. I can think of some that aren't the result of any recent struggle. Many of our taboos are rooted deep in the past. But this approach, combined with the preceding four, will turn up a good number of unthinkable ideas."
The essay on nerds complements it, in my opinion.

Clark Goble said...

I tend to agree - especially the talks about children.

Of course one theme I've noticed a lot, especially in Pres. Hinkley's talks, is how we relate with non-members. He is often counseling us not just to treat them as potential converts or potential threats to our children. Yet, judging by how things are done here in Utah, I think that counsel goes in one ear and out the other.

The Liberal Avenger said...


Thanks for stopping by and for the comment.

Keep blogging!

Redstone said...

Your evolution comment brings up an interesting point. I think you are correct that theology evolves, but a question worth some time might be: Evolves into what?

Many faith traditions claim the sanctity of being an original, or true, or of being directly connected with their deity. If, dogmas evolve, then are they evolving away from their original faith, or is man growing closer to his god? How would man judge which situation is happening?