The Lastingham Group of Churches

Lastingham, Hutton-le-Hole, Appleton-le-Moors, Rosedale & Cropton


      York  35 miles   ·   London  242 miles

Lindisfarne 126 miles   ·   Canterbury 310 miles    ·    Rome ~1140 miles   ·   Jerusalem ~2290 miles    

Whitby  28  miles   ·  Scarborough 23 miles   ·   Pickering 7 miles   ·   Kirkbymoorside 5 miles


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What is Radical Orthodoxy?

by ASF

For a long time ‘spirituality’ and the Church have been displaced to the margins of our culture.  Many people think of religion as something for ‘those who like that sort of thing’ - some obstinately held opinions, perhaps, or a solace, but basically ‘unscientific’ and not part of real life. At school and university, religion and theology have fallen on hard times. And religion in church is often considered dull and tasteless because it’s been  watered down.

Radical Orthodoxy is a movement that endeavours to bring the Church back towards the centre of the cultural map – and even give it back its self-esteem. 

It can be quite subversive, though, because it doesn’t accept a lot of present-day assumptions. It dislikes a selfish hoarding of wealth, it doesn’t think liberal humanism will ever change the world, and it doesn’t believe in the nanny state.  

Here, stated in non-technical language, are three important principles of Radical Orthodoxy.

1.   Celebrate your life as a unity.  Don’t divide it into compartments,  ‘spiritual’ and ‘non-spiritual’, or ‘sacred’ and ‘secular’. Politics, love, music and art, work best when they are given a spiritual spin. There is something spiritual about ordinary things such as cooking a meal or going for a walk or building a house.  There is no separate ‘God-slot’. Equally, there is no area of life that exists apart from God, since it is within God’s energy field that all of us ‘live and move and have our being’.  Therefore the words of the liturgy are not meant to be spoken with a ‘Sunday-best’ face but should bring beauty and splendour to the whole of life.

2.   Believe in the good things you suspect might be true. Faith may tell us that chaos will be overcome, and that forgiveness, healing and rest for the soul are possible. Reason may seem to contradict this! However, in recent times ‘faith’ and ‘reason’ are generally seen as separate and maybe incompatible, as in the joke definition: ‘Faith is believing what you know to be untrue.’  But faith is not illogical or unreasonable, while reason itself needs faith before it can get hold of anything at all. RO tries to bring faith and reason back together again.

3.  Share your life. We all have to share our lives with other human beings as well as with nature. This gives many opportunities to build up beauty and harmony in the world around us.  Whenever we do so, we help to heal the world, liberating it from anger, fear and triviality.

   © ASF 2006


Mini-dictionary of theological terms, particularly those used in Radical Orthodoxy

Go to Radical Orthodoxy website.




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