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May 06 , 2011

Beyond Dogmatism

How Mystery Matters


The ultimate mystery of all existence undermines the dogmatic thinking that has fueled human conflict for thousands of years. Ideologies of all varieties can inform and inspire, but when followers claim their convictions are absolutely true, the stage is set for conflict with those who don’t agree. The contemporary tensions among religious ideologies could be reduced if passages in revered texts were interpreted symbolically rather than literally. Dr. Markham elaborates on these themes and others in this provocative series of essays. Using personal anecdotes, he explains why he questions fundamentalist interpretations of Christianity and shares alternative views about God, heaven and hell, sin and salvation, soul, love, power, justice, and the tension between individualism and community. Essays may be read separately or sequentially, and make excellent resources for reflection by, and discussions among, those with different backgrounds and convictions. Reader comments include one from an American Baptist: “Intrigued, not insulted or intimidated,” one from a lifelong practicing Catholic: “Challenging, but it opened my mind,” and one from a woman who was baptized Episcopalian: “…….a thoughtful and sensitive book which will resonate with anyone who has struggled with the dichotomy of the resistance to dogma vs. the longing for certainty.”
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