multicultural
does not describe me fully
it is where to start



Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My Religious Primer


Reared in the Pentecostal religion, I was presented with two choices. The first, the only road to Salvation, required that I adhere to the precepts of a Bible-centered strict religious denomination. The second, considered to be the road to Perdition, was the worldly way, which included everything else, including non-Pentecostal Christianity.

I chose a third path, one which honored all religious traditions. In my view, religions often begin as an individual or group attempt to make sense of a complex cosmos. Except when they resort to violence and excessive proselytizing, I deeply respect the attempt of most religions to seek coherence and order in a world that intrinsically may be incoherent and chaotic.

Over the years, I have studied many religions, often joining them as a fellow celebrant, sometimes for extended periods of time. Given the "overdose" of churching in my youth, though, after any prolonged exposure, I start to suffer from wanderlust. As a consequence, I don’t “belong” to any religion, but can walk into a synagogue, church, mosque, shrine or ashram and feel at home, even if for just a little while.

It is not surprising, then, that in my fiction, I spend a lot of time in churches, with characters who embrace, characters who flee from, but always characters who try to make sense of religion and spirituality in their lives. In this, they reflect my own life's journey. Hence, the title for this blog: Pilgrim Soul.

3 comments:

Ann Victor said...

LOL, I thought you were reading my mind when you wrote your post!! It's not the differences in religions that are fascinating to me, but the similarities.

Fantastic that you've done so well with your novels and short stories!

Brent Robison said...

Replace "Pentecostal" with "Mormon" and you'd be describing me. I'm forever grateful that the Universe called me to search outside those boundaries, as it did you. Today it is only the mystical fringe of each of the established religions that speaks to me, since that deep commonality among them points to the shared root of human spirituality... our unity.

Judith Mercado said...

Brent, I too am drawn to the mystical, probably because it seems to surpass the limits of dogma. I suppose that's the same thing as saying that it points away from dogma.