Chasing Francis

Tidligere i måneden leste jeg en utrolig fascinerende bok av Ian Morgan Cron. Det er en roman, og den handler mye om Frans av Assisi. Her er noen utdrag.

Først en intro til hvem Frans var (fra s 77ff):

…. “So Francis was a big nature lover?” I asked.

“More than just a nature lover, he was the first Christian enviromentalist,” Kenny said.

“He´s the patron saint of ecology,” Bernard added.

“Kenny, Francis was clearly more than an enviromentalist,” Peter insisted. “He was a nature mystic. His love for the earth shaped his whole theology.” Peter turned to me. “Franciscans call it a ´spirituality of cratation´” he said.

“Spirituality of creation?” I asked.

“Have you ever heard of the ´Great Chain of Being´?” Kenny asked.

…. “The Great Chain of Being was something that theologians known as the Scholastics came up with in the Middle ages. They said the world was a place where God, angels, human beings, animals, plants, rocks, minerals, water, and the earth itself were all bound together. Each part of the chain related interdependently with all the others in a logical way and together bore witness to God´s glory and beauty.”

Bernard jumped in. “They saw the whole thing as a cosmic symphony.”

“Francis took this idea one step further,” Peter said. “He believed everything we see in creation is a reflection of the Creator, just as we are. Francis treated everything in creation as if it were his brother or sister, because we all have the same Parent.

“So Francis was a pantheist,” I said.

“No!” they yelled in unison.

“A pantheist,” Peter said, “is someone who believes God and the creation are one and the same thing. Francis didn´t worship God as creation; he worshipped God through creation. For him, the world was a prayer book where the vestigia Dei, the footprints of God, could be found everywhere.”

Jeg synes denne presentasjonen av Francis var farlig god, og jeg bet meg spesielt merke i en term – “cosmic symphony”. Dette samsvarer med termen “Weltenklang”, som jeg fant i boka til Jes Bertelsen med tittelen Dejlig er jorden.

Det neste sitatet jeg har lyst til å dele er fra Chase (hovedpersonen) sin journal/loggbok. Der skriver han (s. 140):

Francis, your genius was that you read stuff in the Bible (like the Sermon on the Mount), and you didn´t spiritualize or theologize it. You heard Jesus say, “Happy ar the peacemakers,” so you got up every day and embarked on a new peace mission. My usual approach is to read the Bible, try to understand what it´s saying, and then apply it. Your formula was the reverse. You applied the Bible, and then came to a fresh understanding of what it actually meant. What a concept!

Videre på s. 150 er det mer om om Frans:

He avoided preaching doctrines and dogma, because he believed conversion happened more on the plane of experience than reason.

…. Francis preached a gospel that was holistic…

På s. 207 er det en spennende metafor på Bibelen:

For years I thought of the Bible not as a story but as a black-and-white photograph, something you could use in a court of law to prove that our doctrines and propositions were rational and true. Talk about trivializing and holding back the beauty of the Bible! Now I see the Story more like a painting filled with glory, poetry, and even blurry lines. Paintings are trickier than photos. They´re open to a wide variety of interpretation, depending on who´s looking at them and the situations those viewers live in. Seeing the Bible this way could lead to things getting messy from time to time – but the World is living, not static. Our job is to invite people to inhabit our story, to be part of what God´s doing in history. And we don´t need to feel constant pressure to defend it against its critics. Truth doesn´t need defending. It is its own witness.

På s. 218 er det et boktips jeg tar med meg videre: “The Journey: A Guide for the Modern Pilgrim” av Michael og Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda. Denne referansen er i studiedelen av boka (som også er vel verdt å lese). Her finnes også et sitat av Wendell Berry (s. 224 – se full ref. i boka):

… We have no entitlement from the Bible to exterminate or permanently destroy or hold in contempt anything on the earth or in the heavens above it or in the waters beneath it. We have the right to use the gifts of Nature, but not to ruin or waste them. We have the right to use what we need, but no more, which is why the Bible forbids usury and great accumulations of property.

Oppsummert: Denne boka er vel verdt en titt! 🙂

Cron, Ian Morgan (2006/13) Chasing Francis – A Pilgrim´s tale

Om Lars

Jeg bor i Kristiansand, og lever av havpadling. Mer info om meg og firmaet på
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