Reflexive versus restorative nostalgia

What do these terms mean: reflexive and restorative nostalgia. Actually, it’s quite simple: someone with reflective nostalgia thinks about the past, likes to look back, likes to remember, but knows very well that it’s over. Someone with restorative nostalgia, on the other hand, wants nothing more than to return, to preserve the old. Nostalgia itself…

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Why did I leave the church?

Positive disintegration Years ago, when I met Frederik Vester, a professor of cybernetics, at his home in Munich, we had a friendly little dispute. I told him how much I appreciated that he had found the operating principles of God in his research, because if we looked at creation, we would recognize these principles. I…

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Identity and Semantics

In a message about identity I heard lately, I found a major problem in our usage of words that stands in the way of further development. Please let me know whether I am too picky. We traditionally tend to define identity with our belonging to a tribe. Be that “a child of God,” “saved,” or…

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The consequences of the creation story

Again and again I think about the consequences our interpretations of the Bible have for us. In the case of Revelation, it is clear: the near expectation leads to short-sightedness in the church in massive crisis situations, because they expect the return of Jesus now, the rapture, the big clean-up and the end. This leads…

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Pandemic, Gender, Abortion, Church

It is interesting. The national leader of the March for Life has been found arguing against the pandemic regulations saying that he does not care for some old people dying. He has been the lead defender of the right to live for years, and a few months back has shown how selective this right is…

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Halacha and Haggadah

Walking and telling stories. That is what these two terms allude to. When I hear this without knowing exactly what it means, I see a rabbi slowly walking through the landscape and telling stories. This rabbi could well be Jesus, surrounded by his disciples. At the same time, the word walking reminds me not only…

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