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Ritual

"The only way to erase those who have died unjustly is to erase memory, but not even memory can be erased permanently."    - Karen Baker Fletcher ; My Sister, My Brother; Womanist and Xodus God Talk


"Ethical grace is full-bodied life in the present—attuned to what is beautiful and good and responsive to legacies of injustice and currents of harm. For ethical grace to flourish, however, we require strong communities, rituals to train perception, and beauty to hold us and give us joy."    - Rita Nakashima Brock & Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker ; Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, p. 418


"Deep mourning is not something a person can do alone. A high tide of grief can drown a stricken soul. Those who are too alone may find they can survive loss only by damping all feeling down. Closure of the heart protects against overwhelming sorrow and debilitating rage. One of the most important functions of religious community is to provide a container for grief. Held in the embrace of a community’s rituals and traditions, grief can find its depth, anger can voice its anguish, and protest can fuel creative action that holds out the possibilities of restored and protected life even in the midst of or aftermath of injustice and tragedy. Paradise is a place for the brokenhearted. Its accommodating environment can hold the sharp pieces of shattered lives, allowing sorrow and despair, incompleteness, rage, and struggle. Within the embrace of paradise—the realm of God’s ongoing creativity, the realm of the Spirit’s all-permeating breath—those who suffer may find balm. The brokenhearted victims of violence, neglect, or abuse may find recovery. Life in paradise does not mean that conflict or despair or injustice are eliminated. It means that being present, fully feeling, and passionately engaged is possible and that the struggle for life can be sustained."    - Rita Nakashima Brock & Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parkera ; Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, p. 407-408


"Images can seduce us against our will and against our best interests as a society; and they can form the consciousness of the sighted in ways that deepen our responsibility for and love for life. The capacity to relate critically to images matters in a visually saturated society."    - Rita Nakashima Brock & Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parkera ; Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, p. 207


"The Axial sages changed this; they still valued ritual, but gave it a new ethical significance and put morality at the heart of the spiritual life. The only way you could encounter what they called 'God,' 'Nirvana,' 'Brahman,' or the 'Way' was to live a compassionate life. Indeed, religion was compassion."    - Karen Armstrong ; The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions


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