Quakers have been working to reconcile opposed groups in conflict-ridden areas for decades, but the confidential nature of the work means that it is rarely talked about. Oliver Robertson writing in “Quake” reflects on the work so far, and where it may be going next.
In the twentieth century biblical scholar Krister Stendahl criticized theologian Rudolf Bultman and the entire theological enterprise of his time for his anthropocentrism when he observed: We [Christians] happen to be more interested in ourselves than in God or in the fate of his creation….Bultmann’s whole theological enterprise has one great mistake from which all others emanate: he takes for granted that basically the centre of gravity—the centre form which all interpretations springs—is anthropology, the doctrine of man.
This narcissism in religion helps explain the climate emergency we are currently facing as well as much of the exodus from organized religion today. In contrast, Aquinas’s view of the world is cosmological and therefore prophetic for our times for it interferes with the anthropocentrism of the modern era that is so manifest in religion as well as in politics, education, economics and the rest of culture.