Feb 7, 2012

Scripture for the Modern World

In my most recent Affirmation, I added the following passage:
I believe in the veneration of the written word as scripture. I believe that venerable works are not confined to a single tradition, era or culture. Canonization only causes stagnation. The works of contemporary poets and philosophers are no less valid than ancient or historic works. Scriptural veneration is an individual practice, and venerated works differ from believer to believer.
Growing up as a Mormon, however, I would recite the following:
We believe the Bible to be the Word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the Word of God.
We believe all that God has revealed, and all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
(Articles of Faith 8 & 9)
In effect, the latter articles extends the former to include the Mormon Church's Doctrine and Covenants, their Pearl of Great Price, and possibly even their more recent The Family: A Proclamation to the World (though there has been no official Church declaration to this effect). While my current belief certainly extends from the teachings of my youth, it is both more inclusive and exclusive.

Following through with my recently understood personal belief, I have lately been considering what works I view as "scriptural." The resulting list comes in two parts: 1) selections from tradisional canon; and 2) works of more recent poets and philosophers. The list which follows represents those works I currently use in my personal ritual, with the acknowledgement that these works do not work for everyone, and that the list will evolve.


Current Scripture for the Enlightened Evolutionary

Selections from the Holy Bible (including the Apocrypha)
In particular, I have a soft spot for the Elizabethan diction of the King James Version
American Poetry
Humanist Documents


Remember, this is neither a complete list, nor a final one.

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