Just came across these two quotes from Quaker historical-theologian Douglas Gwyn’s book “The Covenant Crucified,” and it got me thinking about some of the work I did in a previous project I’d never written about:
Given its biblical frame of reference, the religious Right retains a more explicit covenantal self-awareness. But because the biblical code is metaphorical, not analytical, the religious Right (indeed, all biblically based groups) often struggles over how to live a biblically faithful life in our present social grid, how to address a modern, scientific, and technological society using this code. Under these conditions, fundamentalist groups shift decisively toward the purity/pollution code of covenant consciousness. Here, questions of private morality, sexuality, family relations, and devotion to church life are foreground, and wider, structural dimensions of covenant faith – a just and peaceful society (the gift/debt code) – recede into the background.
Douglas Gwyn, Covenant Crucified, 366
For Gwyn, the Religious Right is puritanical??? because moral standards become fetishes, detached from evolving patterns of life,” and operates out of a desire to reinstate Christendom, often at whatever cost. While the left holds onto contraction philosophy, over against the early Quaker and biblical notion of covenant, which ultimately, reduces covenant faith to constitutional rights” (367). Continue reading Douglas Gwyn and the Convergent-Covenant