I listened to a Podcast series of CBC Radio's Ideas in December. It was an interview with philosopher Richard Kearney about his recent book "The God Who May Be." I was intrigued by several of the concepts that Kearney brought up. He proposes that much of the beliefs that people hold about who God is is in reaction to how others present God to be. The movement in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries towards atheism was largely in reaction to how churches presented God - ie. if God is who they say He is, God shouldn't exist and therefore doesn't exist.
I find this quite challenging as many of the ways God is presented in Christianity is quite distasteful to me and so how have I decided to perceive God as a result. Also inasmuch as I present my perception of God to others.
When I look at the current trends in science and sociology I think there is a new reaction towards the hardline atheism that is promoted. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think more and more people are recognizing that claiming God can not exist is more reactive than rational. Kearney doesn't necessarily stick to reason as he bases much of his philosophy on the imagination.
Another idea is that God is the possibility of the impossible. Divinity is faceless, nameless, and unknowable - therefore it requires imagination. Kearney proposes that God exists only to those who allow Him to exist in their imagination. This does not mean that God only exists because someone is imagining Him, but that He exists for that person through their imagination. So if I don't believe God exists, it is difficult for me to actualize Him - it is difficult for God to reveal Himself to me. If I do believe He exists, then He becomes real, powerful, and creative through me and towards me.
I look forward to ordering the book and reading this a little closer. The podcasts I listened to are no longer available in iTunes, but still downloadable here:
... or you can listen to the streaming fast version here: