I first heard of this book when Ms. Doughty did an interview on the Tangentially Speaking podcast. I found her fascinating and was keen to read the boI first heard of this book when Ms. Doughty did an interview on the Tangentially Speaking podcast. I found her fascinating and was keen to read the book. It is a fascinating book, part memoir, part treatise. It does make me curious how representative the practices she described are to the rest of the Western World. Highly recommended. ...more
I first heard of Atul Gawande when he gave the Reith Lectures on the BBC in 2014 on this same theme. A friend then recently lent me the book to read aI first heard of Atul Gawande when he gave the Reith Lectures on the BBC in 2014 on this same theme. A friend then recently lent me the book to read and while I wasn't sure what else I would get out of it, I am very grateful that he insistently put it in my hands. I think this is one of those books I will need to come back to every decade or so, as my life follows whatever path is ahead of me to remind me of the key questions that must be asked when the end is apparent: - What is your understanding of the situation and its potential outcomes? - What are your fears and what are your hopes? - What are the trade-offs you are willing to make and what are you not willing to make? - What is the course of action that best serves this understanding?
I sincerely hope that my friends and family will love me enough to help me chart my last days according to these principles and that I will have the courage to do so for them should circumstances require. And to advocate for that against a medical profession that is only slowly coming round to being able to assist in this way. ...more
A valiant effort to get Quakers thinking more rigorously about our beliefs and what we can constructively say to the more mainstream faiths. UnfortunaA valiant effort to get Quakers thinking more rigorously about our beliefs and what we can constructively say to the more mainstream faiths. Unfortunately, I don't think it goes at any length to actually help Quakers forge what could reasonably be labelled theology, and that perhaps is not a bad thing.
What it has done is convince me that theology is more reflective of people in the place and time it is written than it has anything to do with God. And if you use theology as a starting point for discussion and record, then this isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, if used to try and solidify Truth, then it becomes something that is fundamentally divisive - giving us something constructed by our own egos to fight over rather than an earnest searching after Truth.
I would hope that any Quaker use of theology is more in the vein of a starting point. Still, the tendency towards divisiveness is not to be taken lightly. Perhaps there is a better way than theology to get at the former while still avoiding the latter.
Regardless, Ms. Scott doesn't actually give us answers (in good Quaker tradition), but lots to think about. And if that was her aim, it was well achieved. But as an actual basis for theology in the strict sense of the term, I don't find it convincing nor necessary....more
I wish I could give this book 3.5 stars because it is extremely thought provoking and exceptionally well researched. The author makes a very compellinI wish I could give this book 3.5 stars because it is extremely thought provoking and exceptionally well researched. The author makes a very compelling case for his assertions - that Jesus, as a historical figure - the difference is important - was a *political* as well as a religious revolutionary - that Paul fundamentally changed the focus of early Christianity - from a Jewish sect to a religion entirely separate from the Jewish faith as it had existed to that moment.
The book is at times a bit unfocused due to the two competing theses, and getting to the end it's hard to know which was more important. I almost wish that he would have spent his energy on the political aspect of Jesus's life and left his arguments about Paul for a separate book.
Still,tThere are lots of other fascinating insights that I had never seen pulled together in one place - a highly recommended read for those who are interested as much in the historical roots of Christianity as well as the theological roots. The notes and bibliography are particularly rich and I am looking forward to delving into many works he recommends/cites....more