Gathering Topic: 
The Paradox of Pluralism
by Jack Miles | November 2019

How Christians can purify their civic commitments
by Slavica Jakelic | November 2019

The first Christians were not like us
by David Bentley Hart | September 26, 2016 
which is also found in the 2017-2018 Conversational Starter Series
Consumerism and Christianity
which is being made available at the Saint Noel Kiosk

Place and Time:  Resurrection Room, Saint Noel Parish

6:30 pm to 7:00 pm  Opening comments about the November 2019 Issue and suggestions for a topic for the next meeting.

7:00 pm to 8:15 pm  Discussion 

Miles offers two definitions of religion. A modern one where religion is one activity among many other activities such as health, politics, business, family, etc.. An ancient one in which still exists where religion, ethnicity, and culture are integrated and there is not separate secular society.  He argues Christianity produced the religion/secular divide which resulted in modernity, but he also concedes their of powerful tendencies to reintegrate religion, ethnicity and culture.

Is it possible for Christians to integrate religion, ethnicity and culture without corrupting Christianity? Jakelic argues that it can be done.  Is the really such that Christianity is always enculturated and therefore there are only cultural variants of Christianity? Note that schisms in early Christianity took place along linguistic fault lines: Roman, Greek, Coptic, Semitic.

Hart envisions the first Christians as living in high tension with their cultural surroundings, first Jewish then Greek and Roman.  Are capitalism and consumerism modern established religions and cultures integrating people's lives? 

Sociologists view sects which exist in high tension with established churches and cultures as the mechanism for the constant renewal of Protestantism. Some sociologist say Catholicism renews itself by creating sect-like religious orders and other movements within Catholicism.